The chicks have arrived!

Sadie as Mama ChickenThere are nearly 50 of them, peeping in a children’s wading pool under a heat lamp in our front room. There’s energy-boosted water (Gatorade for 2-day-old chicks!), and food, and a draft shield around them (a $5 piece of cardboard!) to help keep them warmer.Gimpy in her Hospital Box 16 Gimpy (a Rhode Island Red) is in her own box learning to use her bum leg, under her own heat lamp — she got wet and chilled earlier, and we weren’t sure she’d survive, but she’s looking pretty good right now. The dog (who has nearly 6 years of experience with parrots) has sniffed them, and likes to rest her head on the side of the pool and watch them; she won’t be allowed in here unsupervised, but she knows that birds are not toys. She does come to check out what’s happening whenever there are chick distress calls, which pretty much means if we hold one too long. The kids are at school but they know the chicks are coming today — can’t wait to see their faces when they get home!

I keep calling them “he” in my head, but they’re all “she”s!

I can tell some of them apart, but others will be a mystery until they mature and we can find out what their adult plumage looks like. We ordered a group called “Rainbow Layers” and you never quite know what you’re going to get. You can see pictures on this page. (The pictures are from McMurray Hatchery, from whom we ordered the chicks. I figured that if I gave them credit they might not mind the public exposure.)

We know we have:

  • Silver-laced Wyandottes
  • Aracaunas (which lay pastel-colored eggs)
  • Anconas
  • Rhode Island Reds
  • Red Stars

We have some beautiful and striking brown-backed chicks, but I haven’t been able to figure out what they are yet.

They ran around drinking and eating, drinking and eating for a few hours. Now they’re settling in for naps, self-regulating their warmth by lying down closer to the heat lamp or farther away. (It’s about 110 degrees directly beneath the lamp, and about 80 at the perimeter; they set themselves where it’s about 90 degrees and are happy.)

Wish us well! Shabbat Shalom to all.