Sunday, April 12, 2009

101 Chicks!

It is a good thing we bought that kiddie swimming pool Friday. We were expecting Cadence's chicks to arrive at 5 a.m. Monday morning, but Saturday the post office called to say they were here -come and get them! Cadence was relieved to get the call; she was very worried about the chicks spending the whole weekend in a box in transit. And it is a remarkably small box that holds 100 chicks.

Sara and Cadence gave each chick a sip of water spiked with electrolytes and vitamins before releasing them in the 5-foot diameter plastic pool that will be their home until they are big enough for the chicken tractors (large movable pens for pastured poultry). There are two white lights for daytime and two infrared lights for night to keep them warm and a layer of pine shavings on the floor of the pool. The pine bedding is covered by newspaper for a few days so the babies learn to eat the chick feed, not the bedding. When they run across the newspaper it makes a pattering sound - almost sounding like rain when 100 chicks scamper around!
The chicks are assorted large broilers, meaning they are all roosters intended for meat. The chicks are yellow, buff, reddish brown, gray fuzzy, black with white spots, and brown and black striped. Sara and Cadence have identified all the breeds of chicks we got except for the "bonus exotic chick," which is reddish with two light stripes down his back.
It is fun to see Cadence fretting over her chicks like a mother hen. She asked, "Is this what being a parent is like?" So far, everyone seems healthy and active and hungry. They eat constantly. I guess that is what they have to do if they are going to actually reach 8 pounds in 8 weeks. Hard to believe these baby chicks will be that big so soon! We will probably be able to see them grow from day to day. Better get a second kiddie pool tomorrow!

No comments: