Posted by / May 4, 2016 / 7 Comments / , , ,

New Arrivals On the Farm

The phone rang at 6:36 a.m. this morning. "Who could possibly be calling me so early in the morning?" I wondered as I pulled the covers over my head and let the call go to voicemail.

And then it occurred to me that Dustin had said that our chicks had shipped the other day, and that phone call was probably the post office calling to let us know our chicks had arrived in Rhinelander. The voicemail confirmed my suspicions and I hopped out of bed to let Dustin know our shipment had arrived. Dustin, who is an early riser and already had breakfast underway, set into action and drove into town to pick up our precious cargo.

The chicks are currently living in a brooding area in my office; it's nice to have them close by to keep an eye on them for the first couple of days.

To set up our little chick nursery, we filled a container with wood shavings and set up a drinker and food dish. Then we removed each chick from their shipping box and dipped its beak in the water drinker, so it would know where its water source was. We also have a heat lamp set up over the container to keep them nice and toasty -- the temperature in their brooding area should be between 95 and 100 degrees. After about two weeks we can decrease the temperature by about five degrees until they are about a month old and fully-feathered.

In years' past we have gotten a mix of heritage breeds, but this year we chose to get only Rhode Island Reds. The idea is that each year we'll get a different chicken breed, and that way we can tell how old each of the chickens are. We prefer to get a straight run, which means our chicks are unsexed, and we hope for about 50 percent hens.


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