Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cute Baby Chick Alert!

Buff Orpington and Brown Leghorn Chicks
Son and I had quite an adventure today which turned out great but quite different than we had imagined! The intended goal of our early morning adventure was to drive to Tabor City, find a so-called "tailgate chicken swap", and hopefully purchased some young hens. Well, two out of three ain't bad! The chickens at the swap turned out to be either roosters, old hens, or young fighting breed chickens. I saw some that looked like their beaks had been trimmed like they do in commercial chicken productions. That was enough to send us running!

From there, we journeyed to the Tractor Supply Company in Whiteville to pick up supplies. On the way, we discussed the merits and problems of getting chicks. Son talked me into the idea and even agreed to share his room with the little peepers.

Brown Leghorn Chicks
But, TSC only had generic production layers at their 'Chick Days'. We discussed the idea of ordering through them for specific breeds. The deciding factor not too was the minimum order of 25 required and the fact that we'd fall in love with them ALL before we figured out which ones were supposed to be sent to freezer camp. Luckily, a couple shopping at TSC told us about a feed store that also had chicks. They thought they would have "Americaunas" -- more correctly called "Easter Eggers". So, off we went. A few wrong turns later -- and some derogatory statements about Blondes driving -- and we found the feed store.

No Easter Eggers.

But, they did have a bunch of cute chicks! and geese (breed not indicated) and ducks (mallards most likely). We finally decided to buy two each of four breeds: Brown Leghorns, Black Sex Linked, Buff Orpington, and Barred Plymouth Rock. You may notice that the pictures included in this blog do not include the sex linked nor the barried rocks. That is because they are camera shy.

Chick Huddle!
Upon arriving home, we had some fast work to do. We had not intended to come home with such young chickens so we did not have a brooder set up. While I prepared the feeder and water, Son went to fetch the galvanized tub I had purchased at a yard sale last year and never put to use. Then, he quickly fashioned a "lamp stand" to hold the heat lamp over the tub. Soon enough we had the chicks deposited in their new home. We made sure to show each one where the food and water was -- they were hungry and thirsty already! Then, it was nap time -- for them, not for us!

Son is enjoying a much deserved "play day" with a friend while I review my stack of literature for info on raising chicks. I'd skipped over that thinking I was going to miss that stage of their development. Silly me. Silly silly me.

Oh, and I would be remiss if I did not feature a picture of the completed chicken tractor! Son did good! Worked hard, hammered a few fingers, but managed not to cut off any of them. He earned his fun day!

Finished Chicken Tractor!

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