Chicks, Fun and Trouble

“Your chicks are here,” the postal worker said.

“Boys, the chicks are here!”

We raced out the door and drove to the post office.  26 chicks in the box pictured above.

We purchased the chicks from Murray McMurray Hatchery in Iowa.  Most people don’t know this, but if you purchase from Murray McMurray this time of year, the chicks are actually hatched in Texas on Monday or Tuesday.  They mail them out, and we received them Thursday morning.

How can the chicks survive for two to three days without food or water?  Chickens are amazing equalizers.  They lay a clutch of eggs over a two-week period.  The embryos wait to start developing until they receive the constant heat of the hen sitting on them.  Then they hatch over a two to three day period in which the first one waits under the hen until she is ready to lead them off the nest.

The reason chicks can spend the first couple of days without food or water is; the chick sucks all the remaining nutrients out of the yolk, right before it hatches.   People take advantage of this, and ship chicks across the country with very little loss.

The boys picked which breeds they wanted.  This is what we received:

2 Red Star pullets

3 Rhode Island Red pullets

3 Barred Rock pullets

2 Black Australorp pullets

2 Silver Wyandotte pullets

5 Araucana pullets

2 White Rock pullets

4 Ancona pullets

2 Buff Minorca pullets

1 Free rare exotic chick

One chick was weak, and died within an hour.  The remaining 25 are healthy and happy.  We are all spending a lot of time in the brooder house.  So cute!

Update on the chicks.  Something dug a hole and reached under the house and ate 10 chicks in one night.  I shored up the building with lumber, and set a live trap to try and catch the varmint.  The boys took the loss of the chicks pretty well.  They built their own trap out of cardboard and lumber.

Pictured below is the hole under the brooder house.

2 Responses to Chicks, Fun and Trouble

  1. Jane Powers says:

    So much new life and death in 24 hours: but a great education for the boys on how things really are. I hope you catch the critter. Here in urban Ireland, our tiny chicken flock is plagued by foxes.

  2. wsb says:

    Thanks for the pics. Hope we get more when they are full grown..

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