Chickens Are Like Potato Chips

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OK, so… I picked up 4 new cheep cheeps on Monday.  Since one cheep passed away from our first set, I of course had to resupply myself with an additional 4, right?!  Chicken math!  Read about my first set of chicks here.  If the Olive Egger had been available I’d have added that as well.  DON’T YOU JUDGE ME.

Goal 1: Become a crazy chicken lady – CHECK.

We ended up ordering a replacement Blue Ameracauna, a Silver Laced Polish, Gold Laced Polish, and Salmon Favorelle.  We went with Meyer Hatchery again.  I thought they handled our deceased chick well, they have a smaller order minimum, they’re local, and they’ve got some breeds that I didn’t see on other hatchery sites.  Even though I was given free shipping because of the replacement chick, I chose to pick them up at the hatchery.  I didn’t want the chicks to have to deal with the stress of shipping again.  It’s only about 1.5 hours away from my house.  I drive to Cincinnati to get my hair done, so why not drive to Polk, Ohio and pick up my cheepers!  My friend Kelly graciously took the day off work and made the drive.  I really had to twist her arm to get her to take off work and hang with baby chickens all day.

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The drive was pretty easy.  I actually loved getting to see the hatchery itself.  It was a fairly large farm with a store full of chicken and farm items, decorations, and of course baby cheeps.  We looked around a bit, moo’d at some of the cows we saw, and then picked up our chick order at the register.  The hatchery gal popped the top off the box to show us the cheeps.  They all looked healthy, active, and SO tiny.  I’m convinced my other chicks were at least a week old.  There’s no way they were ever this small, right?  RIGHT?!  They’re the size of fluffy golf balls!

We put the cheeps on the floor of the passenger seat so they wouldn’t get jostled around or blasted with the AC.  As soon as I turned onto the road I realized my phone had no service, which meant no GPS directions!  Lord help us.

We had a rough idea of how to get back to the highway.  There were few turns, but long stretches, and we couldn’t remember the names of the roads!  After a wrong turn, we started remembering physical land marks we could remember for directions – a sign with a list of vegetables that reminded me of the #YouNameIt challenge…

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A dump truck in someone’s driveway, a horse and buggy sign, a blinking stop sign… and finally we made our way back.  We were actually pretty tickled to come up on someone driving a horse and buggy down the road.  We’d been talking about it since we saw the sign!  It’s the little things, right?!

When we got home I started placing the noobs into the current flock.  They’re only 2 weeks apart, so I figured it’d be okay to just stick them in there.  I’m sure it was all completely normal, but I felt like a mom sending her kid into kindergarten.  The older girls pecked at the noobs a little, chased them a bit, and it all calmed down.  Even if it’s normal, I was still doing the helicopter mom dance on the outside of the brooder, and Kelly refused to put her Salmon in the brooder for an extra 10 minutes until everyone calmed down!

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Can I just say that, my 2 week olds look enormous!  I can’t believe how fast they grow.  They’re definitely coming into their awkward teenage phase nicely!

I went ahead and filled up a gallon jug with water the Sav-A-Chick mix I originally used and filled their water dispenser.  I refilled the food prior to leaving to get the cheeps.  When placing them in the brooder I made sure to dunk their beaks in the water, although I’m pretty confident if I had forgotten the older girls would have taught them.  No scrambled egg this time.  I figured the 2 weekers would gobble it up and I didn’t want anything to cause any fighting this early on.  I also lowered the heat plate back down to the lowest height.  The older chicks don’t really do under it much anymore, and they don’t sleep under it at night.  I figured they’d be fine, and if needed they could still fit. 

All the new cheeps were active, running in and out of the heat, eating, and drinking.  I was glad to see them all acting the same versus the previously deceased chick was a bit more lethargic and hung out under the heater the whole time.  The 2 weekers actually started pouting shortly after I added the new cheeps.  They all jumped on top of the heat plate and crowded together while the littles ran around enjoying the brooder.  It was pretty funny to see a real life chicken temper tantrum!  The downside of them hanging out on the heater is that it’s covered in poop now.  It really wasn’t too big of an issue prior to adding the noobs to the brooder.  Now the top is nearly covered by the end of each day.  I’ll be getting the coned cover for the plate so keep them off of it, and I’ll be looking into how I can add to the baby pool to give them a bit more brooder room. 

Overall, the chicks all get along fine.  I’ve added meal worms, cucumber slices, red peppers, and a chick block treat.  They all get a bit and don’t fight, although they’re all apparently too good for red bell peppers.  Whatever.  They all sleep together in a little pile under the roosts with the noobs buried under the 2 weekers.  It’s adorable.  Hopefully it will be warm and sunny so we can try to take the ladies out for a field trip in the backyard.  Fingers crossed. 

Until next time!

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