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What’s up Wednesday – 3/12

The chicks came yesterday afternoon!! I don’t have any good pictures yet. Only a few taken with my phone and I’m not sure they are even in sharp focus. The chicks arrived happy and healthy! We did have one little problem… one of our chicks was wrong. We ordered 4 female easter eggers and 1 male and that is what we got (as far as we know… it is still possible the chicks were sexed wrong). We also ordered 3 male buff orpingtons as filler to make our order reach the required minimum. We received these chickens and they will be used as meat bird.  The issue came with our black copper marans. We ordered 7 females and 1 male and we only got 7 total marans. In it’s place was an additional buff orpington. We are hoping that the missing maran was not our rooster. If he is missing we will not be able to breed more pure bred marans as we had planned. We don’t plan to do it as a business, just for ourselves and friends who might show interest in this rare breed. So, it won’t be a huge hit if we don’t end up with a rooster, just a disappointment. I called the hatchery and they refunded me for the mistake and were very helpful.

This doesn’t compare to the drama that was involved with our last chicken order almost two years ago. Breckin was two and a half and Bryce was about a month old. I went to pick them up from the post office and was told that there was problem with my birds… that the box really stunk. So I put the box in the back of the SUV, put the kids in their car seats, rolled all of the windows down, and drove home trying to figure out how to handle this situations. I knew I had at least one dead bird. The only thing that could account for that smell was death. When I got home I put the chick box on the porch, gave Breckin a snack and put him in front of the TV, and tried to get Bryce comfortable in her chair. I brought the box into the dinning room where I had the brooder set up and opened it up. At the bottom of the box was a poor dead chick that had been squished (I will spare you the details) and another that was injured. I started to pull the live birds out of the box, dipping their beaks in water to encourage them to drink, and then putting them into the brooder. That is when I encountered our next issue. I had made the brooder out of an old dog kennel. It seemed like a good size, would be easy to clean, and would protect the baby chicks… if it could keep them from escaping. Come to find out that the spaces between the bars were too wide. I would put the chicks in and they would just squeeze right out. So here I was with a dead chick, an injured chick, healthy chicks that I couldn’t leave in the box with the other two, a brooder that the chicks could easily escape, a 2.5 year old, and a one month old. What was I going to do? Well, I called my amazing friend Ginni who happened to be off that day and begged her to come help me. She was at the house within minutes. We wrapped the outside of the lower half of the kennel with chicken wire, got the healthy chicks comfortable, and then started to tend to the injured chick. It wouldn’t move it’s legs. Ginni wasn’t sure the chick was going to make it, but showed me what I could do to help her and answered dozens of questions over the next 24 hours as I tried to nurse it back to health. The injured chick past away after a day. Our other girls grew up to be healthy beautiful chickens, but it wasn’t the best way to start off. I will take getting a wrong chick over that mess any day!

Hillary is now 6 days away from her due date and Tina is exactly a week. Hillary has been close to labor for days now. Her ligaments are almost gone and she has spent the last two days moaning none stop. She seems so incredibly uncomfortable. We put the intercom up in the barn so I could constantly monitor her. I think she will go into labor in the next few days!

Hopefully next week’s “What’s up Wednesday” includes pictures and stories about our new goat kids! It’s all so exciting! I love this time of year!

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