They have arrived! Last week actually, (sleepless nights with the little Miss has done a number on my early morning writing time) 100 little chicks came chirping in the mail. The special listed in the catalogue gave the option of 3 free ducks or 5 free exotic chicks. Of course, I picked the ducks, what I didn’t do was specify to send the order when the ducks were available. Instead I just said “Please ship when available.” We ended up with the chicks rather than duck. I must say I am rather disappointed. I refuse to call and complain or even mention to the hatchery that I wanted the ducks. You don’t complain about something that is a free bonus. That’s just stupid (and greedy). We will see how spring plays out, maybe we will pick up a few ducks any way. (Not that we need them.)
The night they arrived Mike had a space in the coop all ready for them and made sure I counted the birds as they went in. 111 little chicks were sent (another reason I won’t call to complain). Since their arrival we have lost 9 so far. A few were brought in to the house in an attempt to save them. It didn’t help this time. I am running out of little chick burial grounds though. We might have to do a shoe box mass grave here pretty soon. They are about a week old now, so hopefully we are almost in the clear for losing them. I’m not going to get my hopes up just yet.
The birds we received in the this order are all cockerels (males) of heavy heritage breeds. This means they will take twice as long to reach their full size butcher size. We won’t be butchering until late fall again this year. Just fine by me! I like to watch the chickens run around and the commercial meat birds (although tasty) just aren’t capable of such entertainment.
The second bird order will arrive at the end of April. This will contain a variety of laying hens that I am particularly excited about, a straight run of Cochins that will be for butcher and laying as well as a couple different breeds of turkeys. As long as we can keep the turkeys alive for the first little while they should make it this year beings the coop is done and we shouldn’t have to worry about the fox (dogs and raccoons too). I sure hope they make it anyways; not only are they expensive chicks but they are really fun to watch too!
We have yet to get guineas ordered for the year. I know we had planned to try again with those too this year but they might be another year off yet. I want to be able to let those “free range” all the time and unless they are full grown I know they don’t stand a chance. If Lucifer couldn’t make it last year no one will until they are adults. I will nurse along the turkeys this year and next year might be the guineas and peacocks.