Monday, March 3, 2014

The First Chicks Arrive at the Farm

Today was "Pick up the chicks" Day.  Or so I thought.  We drove all the way to the Hatchery and spent about $12 in gas.  Only to be told when we arrived that our order wouldn't be ready until NEXT monday.  Boy did I feel dumb.  I guess somehow the three in the month travelled over to the date side and  I thought I was to pick them up today.  Did I mention that I have dyslexic tendencies?!!  Anyways, I didn't want to waste the trip.

They had two big tubs of mixed birds.  Do you know that there are one day old chicks that sell for $50?  That's crazy!! What if it died?  The birds in the tub can be a number of different breeds.  You take pot luck on what kind you are getting if you buy them out of there.  We decided to skip those.

Our new chicks in their box

Instead, we opted for these guys.  Not necessarily a bargain, but at least a good deal.  I have been wanting some large roasting birds.  I get tired of having to roast three birds if I want to feed our family and a friend or two.  These are Black Jersey Giants.  They grow up to 12#.  Their downside is that they mature slowly.  I wanted to know what I was getting in to and so I asked the sales lady how long they take to reach maturity.  She told me, "24 months".  I asked her if it really took 2 years for these birds to mature, cause if that was true, I wasn't interested!!!!  She rethought it and decided that she should have said 24 weeks instead.  Shouldn't be a problem.  They will live in the pasture all summer.  They will be ready to put in the freezer by August.  A more typical timeframe for chickens to reach maturity is 16-20 wks.

The chicks are so cute.  They are little fuzz balls.  They just bring delight.  Their little peeps are so pleasant.  

The girls took them out of the box in the van to hold them.  They were irresistible. 

The chicks were happy to find a warm spot and checked it out.  We had the heat lamp on, and they really enjoyed it.  I can hear them cheeping as I write this!

It didn't take long and they were eating and drinking.

We did put marbles in the bottom of the water container where they drink from.  You don't want a chick to fall in and drown.

Next week I will once more be driving down to the hatchery to get more (46) chicks.  I love farming!!!

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