So much happiness and tragedy in one box

The baby chicks arrived today!

Greer and I obsessively checked the tracking number until we found that they were ready for us at the Post Office. We went to our local Post Office (three blocks away) in a hurry to learn that they don’t sort the mail at that facility. We anxiously drove to one a few miles away, and had to wait in a long line. Finally the box of peeps was handed over to us!

We discreetly went over to the side and opened the box (there were kids around), and saw an awful sight. I won’t post the picture. We rushed the fluffs home and I gently dipped each living beak in the water until they drank.

Those babies were shivering! They all piled on each other under the heat lamp. We increased the heat for them until they started drinking on their own. I also started giving them their mix of organic chick feed and chick starter.

After getting the new ones settled, we braced ourselves for the count. Nine chicks were already gone, all Buff Orpingtons. We ordered 11 Barred Rocks and 14 Buffs, and they sent an extra Buff. I held it together until after I called Customer Service from Meyer Hatchery. Then I grieved our little ones. There are a few more that we’re pulling for. The lady at the Hatchery (who called me “hon” a lot) said that we should wait 48 hours and then call them. They will “make it right,” she said. So, so sad.

You might be wondering how they can send baby chicks through the mail? Read here for more info: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Homesteading/Raising-Chicks.aspx.I know it seems weird, but people have been doing it for years. I suspect we had such a high loss because it was the first hatch of the year, and maybe too cold on their journey.

Our remaining healthy fluffs are chirping contentedly. Some are resting, some are eating or drinking, and some are pecking each other as they are already establishing their pecking order. And I can’t tear myself away from the brooder box! :)

–Crystal

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