What luck! I got a call on my cell phone just as I was about to sit down and eat lunch. The chicks came in! I scarfed down lunch and headed out the door.
I brought the chickens home and got ready to put them in the pen I'd set up for them last night.
This is forshadowing. There are things in this picture that will cause trouble.
This is how the chicks come packed. See the toe peeking out?
I opened the box to find all the chicks packed in pretty tightly. The company I ordered from (and most others) have a minimum order of 25 chicks. That's to make it easier on the chicks for shipping. When they're packed in, they keep each other warm and relatively safe. There wasn't much extra room for them to bounce around.
The chicks need to be taught how to eat and drink since they don't have a real mom to show them. I dipped all their beaks in their water when I unpack them. I also dip their beaks in the feed, or I'll tap the feed with my finger, which causes them to all run over and see what's up. That's the chicky dinner bell.
One of these is not like the others...
This is the mystery chick they sent. With every 25 chick order, they send along a free mystery chick. It's probably a rooster. I think they just send whatever leftover chick they have to get rid of them. He's cute!
They are pretty feisty. They shipped yesterday, so they weren't in transit long!
So what was the trouble, you ask? I'll tell you! After I'd unpacked about 10 chicks, they started running all around their pen. They figured out pretty darn quickly that they could scoot right through the fencing of their pen. Oops! I had forgotten that the last chicks were already several weeks old when they moved to this pen, so they couldn't fit anymore. These little broiler chicks thought it was great fun to venture out into the big world of the garage. The first chick ran out and saw Scooter. Scooter is pretty gentle with the animals, so I wasn't too worried about that. Did you also notice in that picture that there were some older chickens in the garage? That's the rogue gang I've mentioned before. Cogburn is included in that gang. He saw the chicks and started bullying them! He was pecking their heads and trying to fling them. Darn it! Did you also notice that I'd tied Elmer to the outside of the pen? Well, it wasn't long before a brave chick ventured out on that side to pay a visit to Elmer. Well, I don't trust Elmer one bit when it comes to the chickens. He's just too young and doesn't yet know that those are animals that deserve respect at our place. Those are not chicken nuggets or chew toys! I started yelling for him to stay, and quickly got up and got him tied outside while I got things under control. In the meantime, Cogburn is still playing peck-the-chick. I rushed back in and shooed the big chickens outside. Finally I'd gotten everyone out but Scooter and the chicks. I managed to find some extra pieces of trim from the house, so I used those to block the bottom of the pen. I'll have to get something a little more sturdy to use for the next few weeks. The good thing is that the chicks grow very fast, so soon they will be too big to escape.
Hard to believe that they'll be ready for the freezer in 8 weeks, isn't it?
After we got the chicks settled, we had a photo shoot.
My two handsome boys. Aren't they cute?
*Remember Jeff Foxworthy's pandelerium skit?