Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Well here we go! After many months of pining and whining, BHF now has livestock. Poultry livestock, that is!!

Our chicks arrived from Meyer Hatchery in Ohio today, Oct 2. We thought they were being shipped today. But that must have been yesterday, because at around 3pm, RG received a phone call from our postmaster, Jim. "You have some chickens here."

Then RG called me at work, and when I answered, all I heard was "Peep peep peep peep!"

So I left work and came home. I hadn't completely set up the brooder yet. I made it out of a 30 gallon tote several weeks ago, and I had tested the heat lamp control awhile ago, but it wasn't ready with bedding, food & water yet.

When I got home, I put in 1-2" of shavings, covered that with paper towels. I filled the 1-qt waterer and added 1/8 C of sugar. Just a little nip for the first drink. I mixed together some medicated chick starter crumbles and some pidgeon grit. Pidgeon grit is all they had at the St Albans Creamery Coop.. So that's what I got. I have the feeling that the exact details of all the info I have read about starting chicks is not too exact. Websites and blogs will tell you not to use the calcium grit but to use the granite grit for chicks. Well the farmers around here aren't too particular apparently. Otherwise, I'd bet the Coop would have more choices.

I hope T's grip isn't as tight as it looks!
After I got the brooder all ready, T got home from his buddy Ike's house. [ He went over there after school to take a shower.. we haven't had hot water since last Thursday...] He was just in time to help introduce the chicks to their new home. They were peeping up a storm all this time.

So we all took turns, RG, T, and I all took turns taking chicks out of the box one at a time. We stuck their little beaks in the water and then set them down. They got busy with the feed and the water right away. So far so good.

Ready for more pictures? Here you go.

The first few chickies settling in.

Oh, by the way, these are Buff Orpingtons, 12 females and 6 males. And they seem to fit in the brooder just fine, for now at least. I was worried they'd be more crowded.

Our brooder box.
Uh oh...


Sue Ernst said...

Good luck with the chicks! Sounds like you are well informed of all you need to do. Keep more pictures coming!

FarmersToBe1Day said...

Suz, you are living the life I have only dreamed of. Thanks so much for documenting your farm experience. Your blog has answers many of my questions and has also inspired many more. I am checking out the Meyer website now...why did you go with Buff Orpington (and why females & males - is there a benefit to fert. eggs)?

The vacation pix are great. It reminds me that I miss you. Can't wait for the next post on the peeps. Eileen & Anthony (aka FarmersToBe1Day)

Suz said...

*Blush* You know, the only difference between now and two weeks ago is that I started calling us a farm. :) The addition of chicks helps, but it was there all along.

I picked Buff Orps because of their supposed winter-hardiness, good laying, good brooding, docile nature, and dual-purpose (meat & eggs). There's a cool little chicken-chooser quiz you can take at www.mypetchicken.com that helps.

I was going to go with a "straight-run", where you just get a bunch of chicks and you wait and see what the genders are. But I didn't want to take any chances. I will only have room for 10 birds total, and I want 1 roo so as to make more little chickies in the future. I got 18 in case I lost some of the babies. I have a friend who is interested in adding a couple of hens to her flock, so she will get 2 or 3 of these, assuming they were sexed correctly, and then we are going to have an adventure in sending the extra roos to camp Frigidaire 6-8 weeks from now.

That will sound gruesome to some folks.. but these roos will have a much better life at BHF than in some agri-business poultry shed. And I will know exactly what they were fed, how they were cared for, and how they were processed. And we will give them our gratitude for nourishing us.