Monday, March 30, 2009

The Peep Show has begun!

I got a message on our answering machine on Friday afternoon from the Feed Store saying that the chicks were in a week early. GAH! I was like a pregnant woman going into early labor without packing my hospital bag or finishing the nursery! I'm the poster child for poor planning sometimes. We decided to pick up the girls on Saturday after we bought all the necessary chick gear in a mad dash earlier that morning.

The very authentic rural Feed Store employee who went out to the brooder with me to get the chicks was quite annoyed that I wanted to pick out my own chicks. The other equally-authentic, but older, rural Feed Store employee noticed we were at the brooder for longer than the normal 5 seconds that it must usually take them to bung three chicks in a box.

She shuffled over to us from her perch out front. "Don't you know how to tell them chicks apart yet?" the older Feed Store lady said to the younger Feed Store lady (aka Ms. Personality), who was helping me out. "Course I do," she growls back "but this 'un wants to pick out her own chicks." Insert huge eye roll here from Ms. Personality and a snort of disgust from the old one. Nice duo working at that Feed Store.

I wasn't swayed by their animosity and took my time to pick out three beautiful little chicks. The boys were vibrating with excitement as we drove home with the PEEP! PEEP! PEEP! entertaining them from the front seat.

To make the brooder, we bought a large Tupperware container and filled it with pine shavings. On top we put 2 layers of paper towel because young chicks sometimes eat the pine shavings, thinking its food, and it gums up their digestive systems. We put in a feeder full of medicated feed and a one-gallon waterer, and I suspended our old red heat lamp from an expensive camera tripod above the entire contraption.

And chicken experts out there, I do realize that with only three chicks I don't need medicated food, but Ms. Personality at the Feed Store begged to differ with that line of thought. "We don't sell unmedicated feed 'round here," she scoffed when I questioned her. "Chicks only get medicated feed 'till their feathers come in." Whatever. Medicated it is.

So here are our three little peeps.

Cutest things I've seen in a long time. Don't you agree?

This one is our Buff Orpington. She's going by the name "yellow guy" right now. We hope to change that.

This one is our Barred Rock. She's going by the name "black one" right now. Again, not the name we are hoping will stick.

Finally we have our Americauna, that I am 99% sure is a generic Easter Egger. She is going by the name "Chipmunk" right now because she looks like she's wearing a chipmunk pelt on her back.

They're settling in nice to life in our house and we're handling them every few hours in the hopes of creating friendly hens who want to be near us. The boys are amused by them, the cats are scared of them and the dog can't believe another forbidden "thing" has entered the house.


Daphne said...

Your cats are afraid of them? My mother raised birds (but never chickens for some reason) when I was growing up. Our cat always tried stalking the chicks. My dad stuck them out in the greenhouse and kept the door closed. The cat would sit there watching and hoping.

Carole said...

The chicks are soooooo cute. Let us know when you have names for them. Knowing you they will be interesting names to say the least.

engineeredgarden said...

Peep! I can hear them now...Love the shirt your little one is wearing! Ha! We used to say that all the time when I was a kid....
Oh!!BTW, I know why your gracie died an early death....The pointy part of the potato goes into the water....Sorry!


whiterice said...

Oh, so happy for you guys! Your boys are no doubt so excited, thinking - We've got the coolest Mom in the world! Can't wait to follow their progress.

badgerpendous said...

Congratulations on the peepers!

Our "local" pet/feed store also recommends and sells medicated feed for chicks, and we also only got three when we got ours.

Can't wait to read all about the new additions!

Dani said...

Kate, they are ADORABLE! I'm so happy for you!!

Peggy said...

Looks like a lot of fun. My youngest daughter is waiting for Tractor Supply to get their chicks in next week so she can go oogle over them. We have always wanted to have chicks, but at this point, still have no coop. Someday...

Christa said...

oh what cute little chicks! have fun!

Sue said...

Good for you for picking your chicks out even though the employees weren't nice about it. You did a great job!

You should start a farm animal photography business. You could print and frame those pics!

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