Farm Farm

New Chicks

My favorite kind of mail arrived yesterday. While I was anticipating a call in the morning that my chick order had arrived at the post office, the call actually came at 9:30 PM from the next town’s post office, which I guess is a central processing center. Rather than let them sit all night after a hot day of traveling, I decided to run down and get them.

Bullet was SO excited to have new chicks. He loves to inspect them when they arrive and takes his care-taking responsibility very seriously. Somehow he drools and licks his lips, but has never ever hurt a chick, or chicken for that matter. Such a good boy.

Thankfully there was only one dead chick in the box. The last shipment I got there were more, and I had a lot of loss in the first 24 hours as well, so given how hot it had been yesterday I thought that was pretty good, but I was glad I’d gone down to Stamford to pick them up. Obviously I took the dead one out of the box before I took the picture. Poor thing.

I hadn’t really planned on having more chicks this summer, but I’ve experienced so much predator loss that I figured if I didn’t supplement with some new chicks come winter I’d have a pretty thin flock. was having a great offer about a month ago – 25 all female chicks with free shipping for $50.00. That’s a pretty good deal, so I took it.

When you first put them into their pen, you have to dip their beaks into the water dish so they get a drink and know where the water is. It’s amazing to me every time how such a simple thing really does get everything off on the right foot. Soon they were all drinking and eating (they seem to find the food OK once they get the water thing figured out) and warming themselves under the heat lamp.

Now this is the first time IN TEN YEARS I have ever gotten a shipment of chickens in the warmth of summer. Because of that, I have always had a basement full of chicks for a month or so until they are sufficiently feathered out and can safely move to an outside coop. This time was going to be different. I was going to take advantage of the summer warmth and have a chicken free basement! I did put them into a temporary pen last night in the basement simply because I did not feel like working outside at 10:00 last night to get them settled. This morning though I moved them into the small brooder coop. By the end of the day though I had made the decision to move them into my now-empty old chicken coop. So after dinner Evan and I gathered them all up and switched them over. They seem quite happy out there now and when they are ready to go outside this coop will make it easier for them to do.

I have this buff cochin chicken that has been broody in the goat house for about a week now. It’s an odd situation though because she has no eggs under her. Normally when a chicken goes broody she’s not only busy laying her own eggs every day, but she’ll take any of her friends eggs that are willing to donate to the clutch as well. So this oddball has sat out in the goat house for days on nothing. She doesn’t come out to eat, and if you pick her up and bring her outside she gets very upset and goes right back into the goat house. I gave up a few nights ago and just let her sleep in there with Melina and Kate. They don’t seem to mind.

My friend Sue has had some luck in hatching chicks and sticking the just-hatched chicks right under a broody chicken. The chicken accepts the chicks as her own and everyone is happy. I thought I might try it with this chicken and see what happens.

Evan and I each grabbed 3 chicks and we tucked 3 under each wing. At first things seemed to be going pretty good. She kind of adjusted her wings a bit and seemed to be tucking them under her better. We sat quietly watching and waiting.

Then after a few minutes she reached under her wing, grabbed one by the leg with her beak and pulled it out from under her.

Who the heck are you?

and what are you doing under my wing?

Things went downhill from there. She pecked her a bit and we scooped her up to safety. Then she dragged another one out and did the same thing to her.

At first we thought perhaps 6 was too many, as she seemed to settle down a bit with just 4 under her. Then after a bit she did the same thing. Grabbed two more and threw them out.

Where are you all coming from?

And once again, after she got 4 out she seemed to settle down with just 2 under her. No luck. A few minutes later she yanked the last 2 out.


Oh well. It was worth a try.

While I was delighted to find 3 eggs in the new nesting boxes today, the chickens are still completely infatuated with the goat house. The majority of daily eggs can be found in there. This one was in the corner of Grace and Kiki’s stall.

It’s like having an Easter egg hunt every day here at the farm! You just never know where you are going to find one.

I’ll leave you with a shot of the ladies enjoying some free ranging around the yard.


  1. Those darn chickens!!


  1. Settling In says:

    […] in the goat’s pen has finally given up and returned to the flock. Perhaps her experience with having the chicks under her cured her […]

Speak Your Mind