On Monday I ended my post with a picture of a package I picked up at the Post Office, and because most of you who are reading this right now are probably my Facebook friend, you already knew what was in it. Chicks in a box!
So last year the hubby and I started talking about getting some chicks for the kids to raise (Pippa has been practicing carrying water in buckets) and to increase the amount of farm fresh eggs we have access to. Currently his brother has chickens that love to roam into our backyard and wait on the back steps for Cheerios. (Not a plug for Cheerios, the ladies are very specific in their tastes. Do not try to pass off stale Raisin Bran at 7 AM because they will call your bullshit.)
Before we even moved I had started talking about getting some chickens, to which the hubby’s response was always “No. They are dirty.” Fast forward 3 years and he is enamored with the squatter chickens and their antics. We had been debating on when would be a good time, and then we had a friend over for brunch and Bloody Marys. She was getting some chicks, which sealed the deal for us. I did let the vodka wear off before I acted on our impulse, but two weeks later this still happened:
So we got some peeps! I had ordered the Guinea Hens for tick control, but then after doing some research POST-purchase, I decided against it and switched them out for a Polish Buff and a something that sounds like it should on the menu at Oktoberfest. We are the type of people that are painting the nursery the night before the baby comes, so as expected, the night before the chicks arrived we had to construct our brooder. Frantic Pinterest searching and list making led to the hubby taking the 7 year old out Tractor Supply at 7 o’clock at night (it was a busy week). Somehow he not only came home with $120 worth of brooder materials and chick supplies, but also $20 worth of fuzzy ducklings. If you ask him, he was “just kidding” about the ducklings. I don’t understand how you send a text message like that as a “joke”.
I am not going to lie, this could be worst idea ever. It seems like I have had a run on those lately. Also, do not be fooled by the mind-numbing cuteness of these little faces, they have the same effect tequila does on the decision making process. They “get grown”, and they “get grown” fast. Cute, fluffy Easter basket stuffers become big, loud fowl who need space and poop everywhere. And rather than just start with a “few” we somehow ended up with a brooder of 10 babies and 5 more on the way in May. I will share in my next post the materials we used to construct the brooder, in case you get any grand ideas. Remember though, if you fall for the fluff, your of walk of shame the next morning will include an audience of ducks waddling after you. Pooping everywhere. Friday morning I got the call from our local post office (which interestingly is NOT the closest post office to our house) that the chicks had landed! Finding the post office was the first obstacle because it did not look like a post office; it looked like a house. Once I turned around (twice) and parked outside I actually had to sit for a minute and pull myself together because I was so excited. The excitement was legit though because as soon as I opened the door I could hear the peeping! And not only did they have my chicks; they had my mail-order coffee. When I told the hubby about the BEST POST OFFICE PICK-UP EVER, his response was “huh..those ladies probably think you are something else…”. (Since moving I bought a coffee subscription from my favorite Harrisburg coffee shop, Little Amps. It makes me a feel little less Harrisburg-sick every month.) After the pick up I rushed home and had minor panic attacks the whole way that one or two may be dead. Even the most reputable hatcheries cannot guarantee that all chicks will arrive alive. http://lancasterfancyfowl.com/policy#guarantees Luckily when I opened the box they were all living and breathing balls of feathers and fuzz. I checked the little bottoms for “pasty butt” and dipped their beaks into the water the brooder per these directions. The ducklings had been in the brooder since the night before and it took a little while for them to adjust and stop hiding behind the feeder. So what are we brooding (is that even a word)? Here is what we have:
- 4 Pekin ducklings-unsexed
- 2 Easter Eggers-unsexed
- 2 Buff Orpingtons-unsexed
- 1 Silver Spangled Spitzhauben-unsexed
- 1 Buff Laced Polish-unsexed
All chickens came from Lancaster Fancy Fowl, rather than have to orchestrate a pick-up with our crazy schedules, we paid about $30 to have them mailed to us. They were sent out around 5 PM Thursday and arrived at the post office around 7 AM Friday. Let me know if you are current flock master or thinking about getting starting one. Any advice for new babies would be greatly appreciated. Also, you may still be looking at that list above, thinking, so you have 10 feathered fowl in that brooder, all who could be male? Yes. Yes we do. But let’s not worry about that now. Let’s just focus on the cuteness. Also, if you read this far, tell me this skit from SNL did not pop into your head when you read my post title. Source: http://s3.amazonaws.com/rapgenius/justin_timberlake_dick_box.jpg