Chicks

My cell phone rang at 5:52 am.  I slept through it.  At 8:00 am I checked my phones and saw the voice mail symbol, so I did the obvious and called to listen.  The chicks were waiting at the post office.

I did my usual morning routine, minus making coffee, so I could get to the post office as soon as they opened.  I arrived 5 mins early, but they let people into the lobby so they don’t freeze to death and people can access their post office box.

3 minutes before the counter opened, my cell phone rang.  The woman in front of me gave me a very strange look. My tone is a Dalek threatening to exterminate me if I don’t answer my mobile.  Yes, I’m a Doctor Who fan.  It was the post office again.  I didn’t have to listen to my phone, because I could hear the caller through the lobby wall.   When she discovered I was in the lobby, she laughed and said she’d bring them right out.

The woman who gave me a strange look was saying, “Awww, baby chicks!” as I turned to leave.  I couldn’t resist, and said, “Yes, I’m sure my cat will love them.”  Her look turned to one of horror.  I said, “Don’t worry. I don’t plan on letting him eat them. ”   She gave me another strange look as I left the building.  The guy at the end of the line was laughing.

One day I will lose this urge to mess with people.  Maybe.

On the way home, a song by the Newsboys started playing and the chicks got really loud.  The next song, they were quiet.  Breaking Benjamin began and they got loud again.  I’m not sure if they were partying or yelling for me to change the song.

Entering the house, I set them on the kitchen island while I removed my coat and boots.  The Boxer was reaching his head as high as possible without actually touching the island.  He knows getting on the counters is a big no-no.  His enthusiastic sniffing of the box concerned me slightly, so I brought them down to the basement to transfer them to the brooder.

The minute I opened the box, a Barred Plymouth Rock chick immediately jumped up on the edge.  I snagged her before she became cat food and put her into the brooder.  She was obviously going to be a troublemaker.  One-by-one I took them out, looked them over to make sure everything was okay, and set them under the heat lamp.    I ordered 5 Rhode Island Reds, 5 Barred Plymouth Rocks, and 5 “surprise” ones.  I couldn’t decide what else I wanted so I ordered their “assorted” lot.  One looks like a Rock, another one looks like a RIR or a New Hampshire Red, and I have no idea what the yellow ones are.

Day 1 Just Arrived 362013 They’re all huddled up and their eyes are barely open.

Day 1 Warming Up and Starting to Move 362013

Warmed up and starting to investigate.

They are much quieter than I thought they would be.   Once everyone was safe, I called the dog down and let him check everything out.  After excitedly sniffing, he turned to me and it was obvious he wanted to play with them.   Once he realized he couldn’t, he lost interest and went back upstairs.

Then the cat noticed them.   At first I chased him away, but realized I need to know if he can get to them, so I backed off and watched.  So, far our methods of blocking him from the table seem to be working.   At one point, he just sat on the floor staring up at the brooder.  I’m fairly certain he was swearing at me in his head.

By now my head was pounding, and I realized I had no coffee yet.  Oops.  Off I went to make coffee and realized I couldn’t hear them upstairs even with an air intake vent for a wood stove right above them.

It’s been over 6 hours, and they are very active but quiet still.     They ate all the grit within the first 2 hours which tells me I put nowhere near enough in the bowl, so I filled it up even more.   Their food container was half-full and it will definitely need to be refilled before I go to bed.  Hungry little suckers.

Within an hour, DD3 named one Rock “Boss”.  She seemed to be bossing everyone around.  We’re really hoping she’s not a rooster.  They’re supposed to be all pullets (female) but mistakes happen. A yellow one with reddish stripes (a surprise one – not sure of the breed), started running around the brooder so fast DD3 swore flames and dirt were coming from her feet.  Her name is now “Road Runner”.  DS2 named the only two pure yellow ones (part of the surprise lot) “Thing 1” and “Thing 2”.

Next is building a portable coop for them to be safe in once they’re old enough to go outside during the day.  Oh, and I don’t remember who told me they would do fine in this container, but obviously that person did not have this many chicks.  I estimate in a week or two I will have to divide them into two of them.

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