Monday, June 15, 2015

Of Feathers and Other Such Matters

Due to a number of factors* the chicken population declined alarmingly in my absence. When I returned from school, our original ten ladies had declined to a stalwart four elderly hens who lay eggs unreliably but still eat a lot.** To solve the problem we have acquired some new house guests.

Say hello to the newest members of the Counts' Family Hobby Farm!


I didn't know this until recently, but you can order day old chicks from the internet. You order them in bunches by breed and hatching date and a hatchery somewhere incubates the eggs, vaccinates your teeny tiny damp chickens, and sticks them in first class mail.

About a day after the hatchery tells you your chickens are hatched, you get a call from the post office.

Post office lady:  . . . . We have . . . uh . . . Your baby chickens. Could you come . . . uh . . . pick them up maybe?

Later in the day our postal carrier stopped in our driveway to ask if my chicks were doing alright since she'd heard them cheeping in the post office that morning. Small towns <3

cold chicks huddling for warmth
Looking all cold and pathetic upon arrival. Poor babies.

chicks driniking water
Getting settled

chick being held
Such a cuddly little lady

brahama chick feather feet
You can't see it in this picture, but this chicken has feathery chicken socks.

polish chick sleeping on feeder
They sleep everywhere. That's the feeder.

No doubt I'll post more pictures as they continue to develop adorable little wing feathers. Also, since chick mortality seems to be so high, I would like to add that I've had them for a week and nobody is dead.*** Yippee!


* Mostly creature incursions, old age, and general poultry stupidity.

** They also enjoy escaping from their pasture and eating the cat food. Our cats are scared of them. They run away when they see the chickens bearing down on them with fire in their eyes. We have to time the feedings so that I let the chickens out of their coop well after the cats have finished their breakfast. Otherwise the cats will go hungry and all our eggs will taste alarmingly of stale fish.

*** Not for lack of them trying, however. I've had to fill up their water dish with aquarium stones so they don't fling themselves in and drown tragically like Ophelia.