We’ve been here before…this farming thing! I honestly thought we’d long past the time when we would think of growing our food, but then I never thought we’d have a pandemic either! Does it count as a life lesson 102 if you do it again? Yes!
This is a story of the little chicks first day at Willow Creek with a video below. I wrote it for my great nieces and nephews to ‘Meet the Chicks’, so I hope you enjoy!
The Chicks are born in the hatchery and get shipped to us the very next day. They arrive via UPS in a solid brown card board box with tiny little air holes along the sides. We drive to Winfield to pick up the chicks, first thing in the morning. The truck sits just outside the Feed Store main door as the doors open for business. Its still running, so its nice and warm for the new babies. It has to be toasty warm inside because these one day old chicks are super sensitive to any cold weather. They look all fuzzy and warm with their yellow fluffy cuteness but until they get their feathers they are very sensitive to the cold.
Once we loaded the cardboard box into the truck, we drove directly to their new home. The chicken house was all set up waiting for the new arrivals. The walls inside are temporarily shrunken in a bit. The chicks are so small and don’t need a lot of room. The wood floor is thinly covered with a brand new layer of sawdust. Hanging in the middle of the wooden pen is a red heat lamp hanging down from a rope attached to the ceiling. In addition to keeping them nice and warm it casts a hue of red all over the chicks and ground. The whole building has to stay pretty warm for the next few weeks. Cat (that’s his name) is going to love this, since he also lives inside this chicken house. He has no interest in the new fluffy yellow neighbors. He’s pretty old and likes to curl up in his chair and sleep most of the day and pays no attention to his noisy little neighbours.
Once the little chicks got carried inside the house, that box full of 25 little chirping chicks was placed under the heat lamp. Slowly and one at a time each baby chick was carefully lifted out of the box and carried to the waterer. As gently as you can you need to dip their tiny little beaks into the water so they can get their first drink. This is important so the new chicks always remember where the water is from this point. You can see how when they drink on their own they take a little sip and their little heads go back. Its so cute to watch.
With all of the 25 chicks now out of the deliver box and after their first drink, they get a chance to stretch their little legs as they run across the new wood chip floor. And they sure do run around a whole lot. They are pretty happy to be able to stretch their legs after being inside that little box all day. You have to buy a special blend of chicken food for baby chicks. Their food is served on top of paper plates that get placed throughout the new pen. They instinctively know right away that is theirs to eat…and eat they do…a lot!
They will stay inside their new house until they get much bigger and will get to run around inside the full house in a few weeks. The red heat lamp will stay on and as the chicks grow it gets lifted a bit so its not too hot on them. Now that they’re in their new home, we have to make sure they have lots of fresh water, heat and a safe place to live. Still a lot of chores every day for these little ones. In a few short days they will start to get their feathers and will look more like grown chickens. For now, they are just super cute and adorable and we’ll enjoy the sounds of their happy chirps.