We got our baby chicks on April 7. They were hatched on that Wednesday, so they are almost two weeks old. They grow SO fast. It seems every day they sprout new feathers and get a little taller. They’re still soft and fluffy, but that won’t last much longer. Soon, they’ll be covered in feathers and trying to fly out of the brooder. Here they are the day we got them home. (Don’t ask me what’s on J’s head. No idea.)
We ordered from Cackle Hatchery. There was a minimum of 15 chickens per order or they charged you $20. So, of course, the 12 chickens we had planned on became 15 chickens. And the hatchery threw in two extra Rhode Island Reds. So, we are the proud owners of 17 baby chicks. In t-minus 6 months we will have fresh eggs every morning.
What have I learned so far?
1. Chicks are dirty and gross. Poo. Lots of poo and lots of stink. And they are always stepping in it.
2. They have attitude! There are a few little chicks that are too big for their britches. I googled “Chicks trying to attack me”, because the google knows everything, and followed the advice of a sage chicken keeper. Yes, I totally “pecked” the chicks back (gently!) with my finger. It definitely got my point across. They’ve been much sweeter ever since.
3. Pasty butt is a thing. You thought wiping toddler butts was fun, wiping chicken butts is even better. Fortunately, the four that had it got over it quickly.
4. The kids love the chickys. E is so bold with the way she handles them. I plot out which one I want to pick up, where as she just shoots her hand out and grabs whatever is there. She’s such a pro.
5. Automatic feeders and waterers are essential. Changing poopy water gets really really old.
6. The website backyardchickens has everything you could ever want to know about these feathery little things.