We finally have some critters on the farm! Yesterday our order of baby chicks arrived in the mail, yes, the mail. It’s truly amazing to think about. These chicks were born three to four days ago, packed in a box with some food and straw, shipped via US mail to my local post office, where I picked them up first thing in the morning. It’s astonishing to think that these creatures, that are only a few days old, can take such a trip when we humans need 35-50 years to mature….if ever!
The post office here opens at 8:30, and at 8:30 and thirty seconds I was inside waiting to pick up my box of chicks. I could hear them pepping as soon as I walked in the door and told the postal worker that I was there to pick up the noisy box, which generated a smile and a chuckle on her part. Peeping and squeaking box in tow, I walked to my car and drove home. I had spent the hour earlier getting their space ready by making sure it was nice and warm with heat lights, (they need it at about 95 degrees), and having water and food ready.
With extreme giddiness, I opened the lid of the surprisingly loud box to reveal 40 fluffy baby chicks that were so darn cute I had to giggle. We ordered 6 different varieties of chickens, all with different colorations ranging from off white to golden to streaked grey to almost completely black. I gently picked them up one by one and placed them in their new home, dipping their beaks in the water so that they could get a drink. It soon became apparent that the racket they were making was directly related to thirst and hunger.
The box of chicks came with some specialty starter food, which was a powder that became a gel as soon as mixed with water. It’s full of vitamins and minerals that help get the baby chicks off to a strong start. The box also came with what I can only describe as “chicken gatorade”. It’s a vitamin and electrolyte powder that again, helps the birds get a strong start and rehydrates them quickly after their long journey. But seriously, it looks and smells like lemon gatorade…..
The babies are now happy in their new home, they made it through the first night, and are looking super great! I have been hanging with them a lot and petting them and playing with them a little to socialize them. I want them to grow up to be very friendly and docile chickens that will hang out on your shoulder and let you pet them.
It feels really good to have these babies here and I am so incredibly excited about the adventure we are all about to embark upon. These girls are going to be with us for years, providing us with eggs, manure, company, entertainment, labor, and knowledge. It’s just too bad they won’t be this cute for very long.