Friday, March 7, 2014

Peep!













It's a girl! And a girl! And another girl!

We brought our baby chicks home on Tuesday afternoon. The feed store received chicks from an area hatchery that morning. I had already arranged with them to purchase three chicks from their supply, and we were waiting (quite impatiently) to hear that they'd arrived at the store. We had everything ready for them at home; they are currently living in a corner of the kitchen, in a large box with a heat lamp over it (we're using an infrared reptile basking bulb). The wise Bear put a little sensor inside the box to measure the temperature, and adjusted the lamp on a pole with a clamp until the sensor registered a steady 92 degrees inside the box. He's good with babies of all species. He grew up with chickens - showed them in 4-H, even - so he has a lot of good chicken ideas (chick tricks?).

We couldn't decide on just one type of chicken, so we have one from each of three breeds. All three will lay brown eggs. I made a little tag for their box to help the small Bears remember who's who. The yellow chick is a Buff Orpington, she looks like the classic Easter chick to me. The reddish-brown one is a Rhode Island Red. And the black-and-yellow one is a Barred Rock. She's my favorite so far (shh...I know, but trust me, she's really sweet). She's a bit skittish and it's hard to photograph her because she likes to burrow her head into your hand; when she sleeps, she puts her face beak-down into the aspen shavings we're using inside the box. All three seem very healthy and active, and they're eating and drinking plenty. We're using a small dish for their water because the hen-waterer is too big for our nursery box, but they're doing great with the regular feeder bottle. They're getting starter feed right now; they were inoculated at the hatchery, so we decided not to use the medicated starter. The feed-store people were so helpful. I'd love to recommend them if you're local and you have a hankering for chicken-ownership.

We're making a list of name suggestions; I'd be happy to add yours if you want to contribute to the pool. I love these little ladies so much already. The small Bears are having a ball with them! They have to sit down on the floor, Indian-style, to hold them (I have to give lots of reminders because they get really excited) and we're all washing our hands constantly, but it's worth it. They're really wonderful little creatures. They're noisy! We were relieved when they finally settled down to sleep on the first night. They fight and peck at each other, but they also snuggle close when they sleep. Sometimes one sleeps right on top of another's head. It's really funny. I'm so glad we did this. We've been pet-free for nearly two years and we missed having an animal. We're excited to have eggs too. In about a month, they'll be ready for the coop. I can't wait to see how they interact as hens. In the meantime, I'm washing my hands like Lady Macbeth and checking on our peepers every few minutes throughout the day, my sweet little kitchen companions.

45 comments:

  1. They really are cute! I bet you'll soon have eggs galore. :)

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  2. AWWWWWWWWW! They are soooo cute. Making me want to have some, but as my friend at little welsh house will confirm, when they get big I just want to eat them! Sounds bad I know but it is like a cartoon, I see them all cooked up and steaming. These little guys are so cute though that I am not liking myself very much for my past hungry thoughts... I now want some little chicks and fresh eggs xxxx

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  3. My first thought when I saw your pictures was "You got them!" Exciting times are ahead! I can still picture the day my son Kellen, now 29 years old, came running in from the newly constructed chicken coop yelling "There's an egg! There's an egg!"

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  4. Jennifer, this is exciting news! So happy you got your chicks. -Your children look very happy. I think this will be great experience for your family. When I was little, my mother had a friend who had a few chicks and would give us fresh eggs. My mother really enjoyed visiting with her and seeing her chicken coop. -This lady also had a goat, along with a few other animals.) How lovely! Enjoy your little chicks. :)

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  5. How wonderful and what a great experience for your children seeing how they grow from chicks. I'd love chickens myself but not right now, so I'm looking forward to hearing all the chicken stories to come.

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  6. Oh, they are darling! I know you all are enjoying them so much. My daughter would love this!

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  7. Baby chicks are just so darn cute. We had a chicken ranch for awhile way back when I was young, and we sold eggs. We had a huge brood house filled with very noisy chickens. All I remember about it (aside from the chicks being cute) was all the hard work and stink. I think you are wise to only have three!

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  8. How lovely, they are so cute! :)

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  9. That has brought back so many happy memories of when my children had tiny,tiny chicks. Adorable x

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  10. Oh wow! So exciting and such a wonderful experience for your children to watch them grow. Good luck with it - my friend has taken some eggs in to school to watch hatch so hopefully we'll be seeing some chicks soon too! Enjoy them! J9 x

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  11. They're adorable! How sweet they look and what lucky children to grow up with them around. I'll bet it's going to be very exciting watching them grow!
    Jess xx

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  12. Your little chicks are just so sweet. I would love to have some chickens but Hubby says nope. He lets me have just about anything else I want, so I can't be too upset.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  13. Ooooohhh!! Massive cuteness right there. I'm jealous, I want chickens but I don't think our garden is big enough. Yours are adorable! You could give them old lady names - Edith, Agatha and Doris. Or floral - Rose, Iris and Lily. Or name them after your favourite female writers? X

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  14. I'm so excited for you! We named our Buff Orpington "Buffy". I highly recommend the Ameracauna if you ever want to add one.. they lay the aqua eggs and have been our best layers. You could name the Rhode Island Red - Ruby. You're going to love those girls! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  15. Hen-keeping is on my wish-list for our future dream house and these are so sweet! I do like Ophelia and Scarlet as names...
    Happy future baking with all those eggs coming your way.
    Sarah x

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  16. Oh Jennifer - CHICKS! We had some Rhode Islands many years ago and they were a right bunch of characters - really good fun -but I must say I always hankered after a Buff Orpington! Your children are going to love watching them grow - and as for the eggs - mmmmmmmm x Jane

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  17. Aww they've arrived at last you must be thrilled I like ophelia and Rosa as names
    Clare xx

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  18. How wonderful. I hope you have lots of fun this weekend with them. x

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  19. They are adorable, I bet the little bears are having the time of their lives with these new additions to your family.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  20. They are so gorgeous! Looks like everyone is enjoying having them already. I really want chickens now after seeing this post!
    Marianne x

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  21. Oh and a good friend of mine has chickens and they are named after the Golden Girls!
    Marianne x

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  22. I can quite see why you are so eggcited!! (sorry, couldn't resist!). xx

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  23. I'm so very envious! Me and my eldest are desperate for chickens, but no space (or the budget) at the moment. We don't give up that easily though! I hope they settle in well. No doubt the children will absolutely love them.

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  24. This is so exciting! I can only imagine how your kids feel. It will be so awesome to see these baby chicks change and grow over the next few weeks. I can't wait to see all the changes and news that you'll, I'm sure be sharing with us. Enjoy!

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  25. How awesome is this friend!!! And you know what I like about it.... You are organized and have a plan for these sweet girls!!! They are lucky to be a part of your family! And how wonderful for your kiddos!!! Keep the pics coming friend and happy weekend to you!!! Nicole xoxo

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  26. They are so very cute, I bet you love them all. It will be fun seeing them grow.

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  27. Oh aren't they adorable your children look so sweet with them too being extra gentle. My mum keeps chickens and they seem to be such rewarding pets. Will be really lovely seeing how they get on x

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  28. They're so sweet! We are planning on getting some chickens when we make our move to New Mexico. It's something I'm looking forward to. Enjoy!

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  30. I would love chickens but our title deeds for some reasons state that we are not allowed to keep pigeons and chickens. I wonder if I should ignore this, the deeds are from 1929.... This little chicks are sooooo cute. My two youngest will get a clutch of eggs at school soon and will be lucky to witness their hatching. Cx

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  31. Enjoy, those chicks are very cute and will grow quickly, good fun times ahead xo

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  32. Hey Jennifer,
    Oooh I am so chick broody now! I have promised myself more chickens when we move (we will have more space). Some different breeds. Maybe some Quails too...
    They will give you such pleasure Jennifer. And the children will adore them. Olly loves Beryl and Jean. Be warned - they are terrific time wasters! I love old fashioned names for chickens. They suit them somehow with their eccentric ways.
    Leanne xx

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  33. Ooh! I have chick envy. We can't keep hens because of the dogs and much as I love my hounds that is a real disappointment to me. Your new arrivals are just too cute. Happy days :)

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  34. Such cute chicks-what a great addition to your household:)

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  35. Ahhh! How wonderful. We took my granddaughter to the farm shop and cafe last year around this time where they had some eggs hatching out and the children could hold the chicks. She loved it and it was so cute.

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  36. Oh how fun, they're wonderful! The cnildren must be as enamored as you are. Looking forward to hearing about the hens and eggs later on.

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  37. How sweet. I hope they prove happy layers and you get lots of scrummy fresh eggs for your breakfast.

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  38. Those chicks look so cute! The children must love them. Hope they produce lots of eggs. Sarah x

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  39. As a child, my first home was on Flying Feather Chicken Farm in Andover, MA. My school years were spent on a research poultry farm south of Kansas City, MO. I never had pet chickens, but seeing your children with their new fuzzy friends, I better understand the importance of handling them frequently so that they can learn to be gentle with you. I hope I can have some hens one day, too, but thanks for sharing yours with me. I hope you have many happy days with them, Jennifer :) xx

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  40. So sweet! We kept chickens but bought them as point-of-lay adolescents, rather than baby chicks. Your children must be entranced. :-)

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