Saturday, June 1, 2013

Chicken adventures: Welcome home babies!

Well, we finally have our chicks!  Its been a long, long time, but we finally have them again.  I hope to continue to have chickens forever!  We moved to the great state of Iowa a month ago (as many of you might know).  Murray McMurray is who we have bought our last few batches of chicks through, so we were super excited to find out that their facility was only 3 hours away from where we live.  So, when we ordered our chicks we decided that we were going to pick them up instead of have them mailed to us.  That's right, I know it sounds weird but they mail the chickens through the US postal service.  When we got our batch last time they called us at like 7 am to let us know that our chicks were at the post office.  We knocked on the door and they brought out the little cheepy box.  

Sooo...TODAY.. we got up really early and left at 6:15 this morning, drove for about 3 hours and got to the Murray McMurray Hatchery office around 9.  Here is a picture of me standing in front of their front door holding our little bundles of joy.  Naturally, they are in that little box on the left with the holes in it.  On the right is a little tin egg bucket that I thought was really cool and underneath in the long flat box are some other egg/chicken related tin pictures that I really wanted.  :)
Can you see the excitement in my face (thats me, btw)?  Today was a really good day!

Here are some highlights of the trip.  The one on the upper left is a free rare chick that they threw in, its a white crested black polish.  They are the ones with the huge poufs on the top of their heads....they're not really my type of chicken, so this one might be the first one we sell (among many of the roosters that we might have).  We think it might be a girl, so her name will be marsha, because it looks like she has a marshmallow on her head.  I'm sorry, but I just think its so ugly.  :(  Please don't be offended anyone....
Can you believe there are 23 chicks in here?

How can you resist that?  (cute little wings popping out of one of the holes)

Here they are in their new home!  Yay!!!
We put down a whole bunch of newspaper, that will stay there probably for the first week.  Some reasons why I think we do that is because: 1) I think it helps their feet form properly because they can walk on stable ground when they are first learning; 2) It keeps them from eating the shavings that we use as bedding; and that 3) Keeps their digestive system safe while they are still learning what is food and what is not.  We also put some electrolytes and extra minerals meant for chicks in their water, just to help them out a little bit and give them as much nourishment and encouragement to grow and be healthy.  (I'll take better pictures as time goes on, I just didn't want to stress them out their first day-even though I think they hatched yesterday or maybe the day before)

And here is the finished brooder with the light hooked up and the chicks and everything are inside it.  They are in our garage right outside our back door.  

You  have no idea how excited I am about this whole thing.  I never ever ever thought that I would like having chickens, but I'm just so into it and so happy!  Well, here is a list of the chickens that we (hopefully) got:  

These are all bantams, the smaller breed of chicken - full grown the females are only 28 ounces and the males are only 32 ounces.  There is an exception.  I think most of these will lay teeny tiny brown eggs (with research, I hear they are 45 calories each where the average large egg is 75!)  These come in a straight run, which means we don't know if we have girls or boys, but we will find out later.  We have a slight method for guessing, so this will be an adventure to figure things out.  
4 Partridge Cochins
3 Red Cochins
3 Blue Cochins
4 Golden Laced Cochins
2 Buff Brahmas (full grown the males are 38 ounces and females are 34 ounces)

Here is a list of our full sized chickens that we got.  These will lay regular sized white eggs, except for the red star sex link, she lays a jumbo brown egg (seriously...JUMBO).  We figured we should get some regular sized chickens just so we have regular sized eggs too.  Except for Marsha, we were able to order females only of these breeds.  There is an exception, but full grown the males will be 6 lbs and females 4.5 lbs (-ish of course, this is what the catalog says, its kind of an estimate I think).  
4 Single Comb Brown Leghorns
2 Red Star Sex Links (full grown the males will be 8 lbs and females 6 lbs)
1 White Crested Black Polish (the free rare exotic chick - Marsha)

For at grand total of 23 chickens!  Maybe I'll cut out pictures of them from our old catalogs and see if I can scan it in here so you all have some images to go with the names of the breeds.  Its been a wonderful day, welcome home babies!  I am one happy happy happy chicken mother! :)

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