I ordered my chicks on 2/26/2022, rainbow layers from Cackle Hatchery. I don’t really know too much about the different breeds, so I choice to get a variety of layers. I know that I want different colored eggs. Not for any special reason, other than I think they are pretty.
I was so excited! I set a count down on my phone, posted to social media and talked about them constantly. I am sure my family is sick of me talking about chickens, but I really don’t care.
I went to the local Orscheln Farm and Home store to pick up the essentials. I bought a waterer, feeder and heating lamp. The excitement was building up so much and I just couldn’t wait for my little chicks to arrive.
Well, the day finally came and I got the call from the post office that my chicks were ready to be picked up. We hopped in the truck and went to the local feed store. Which is only like 5 minutes down the road from us, which is so convenient. I picked up a bag of chick starter and bedding for my new chicks.
Then we drove to the post office and the handed me this tiny little box. I heard my little chicks peeping and I thought to myself “There is no way there are 15 chicks in there”. I was so worried I was going to open the box and I would be missing chicks. To my surprise, I opened the box and the cutest, most adorable chicks were inside. They were all different and I loved them already!
As soon as we got home, I got to work setting up their brooder. I laid out some bedding, filled their water and feeder. I placed the little chicks in one by one as I petted them gently. I had done some research that you are not supposed to really handle them for the first couple of days so they could get acclimated to their new surroundings, so I was very brief in my cuddles. I then set up the heat lamp and stared at them for a little while.
Later that day I heard a lot of loud peeping so I went over and a group of “mean chicks” were pecking at one little chick and it was crying out for help. I had to get Rocky out of there. I named her Rocky because she is a fighter. I put her back in the original box after putting fresh bedding in there. I gave her a small dish of food and water. That is when I noticed that she could not walk. She was falling over and didn’t look like she was in good shape.
I kept checking on her throughout the night and Rocky was not eating or drinking. I thought for sure she was not going to make it through the night. However, the next day she was still alive! I couldn’t believe it. She was eating a little and drinking a little, but I still didn’t think she was going to make it through the night again.
I again checked on her all day, picked her up a few times, and petted her. She chirps loud and I just feel terrible for her. My daughter came home from school and checked on the chick, she too picked her up and loved her. She had Rocky in her lap for a few minutes before she had to go to work.
I went about my day and my daughter and I checked on her before we went to bed. Poor little Rocky as in the corner behind her food hiding. I felt terrible; I didn’t have her under the heat lamp because the it is attached to the “mean chicks” brooder. Rylee decided she was going to bring Rocky into the house. Rocky is now her chicken. She carried her around in her pocket until we went back into the house. She set up Rocky’s brooder in her bathroom, which is quite warm, so that Rocky would be comfortable.
I didn’t want Rylee to get too close to Rocky knowing that she may not live. I told Rylee that Rocky was likely not going to live very long and if she did live, we would not be able to keep her with the other chickens. I could be wrong about the other chickens bullying her if we put her back in there. However, I think in nature the strong survive. They know who the weakest link is and they try to eliminate the sick and the weak. I hope I am wrong and Rocky can eventually join the flock again, if she survives. I am not sure how likely that is though. Rylee said she didn’t care that if Rocky survived she could live in her room.
It has only been two days with my chicks and I am so smitten with these little ladies. I look forward to them growing up and providing my family with a beautiful array of rainbow eggs!