I was ready when the post office clerk called me at 7:37am. Hillery Gunther already left her house, driving to pick me up at my house. We both went to pick up our peeping box of new babies; she’s the future chick mom & I’m the foster mom for the next six weeks.
A little after 8am, still on the post office parking lot, we opened the box: a mass of mahogany brown & black wriggling, loudly complaining baby chicks and sadly, one dead chick. It was the Free Rare Exotic chick that McMurray Hatchery include in every order. I think it was a white Polish chicken with a top hat.
We drove back to my homestead in about 15 minutes. The weather was overcast so I didn’t worry about the heat in the greenhouse. We dipped each chick’s beak in the sugar water and boy, some of the little ones were dehydrated. I scooted them under the warm brooder until we finished dipping all the chicks.
Ruthie, my mother-in-law, buried the dead chick in our compost yard. Om namah shivaya.
Hillery noticed that all of the chicks were quite active. I noticed the Black Australorps already found the organic chick starter crumbles. I need to keep my eye on one of the Australorp. She was stumbling around; her left leg didn’t extend the same length as her right leg. The Partridge cochins seemed a little shy.
I tapped the 1-gallon waterer rapidly to attract the chick’s attention. I was showing them were the water source is. They learn quite fast. Some cochins stepped into the watering lip, so I use my fingers to shoo their lil’ bums out of the water. I don’t want them chilled.
We watched them for quite some time. Both Hillery & I took a lot of photos. The chicks let us know how happy they are by their contented soft peeps. My friend, Nancy Wu, in Vancouver, BC, noted that the chick peeps resembled human baby babble. Some moments there were no peeping at all but the scampering of lil’ bitty feet across the litter floor.
I’ll remove the paper towels in a couple of days. Tonight, I’ll switch to plain water for the chicks; the sugar water will attract the ants.
The little darlings!
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