My First Flock of Chicks

kaylee gee

9 Years
Jul 5, 2012
Day 1
Nov 11 2012

I have been wanting Rhode Island Reds for years, and back in the summer last year I thought I was having my wish granted.

We lived in Slocomb Alabama at the time. I found a man who was selling them about an hour and a half away. I drove over and he loaded 3 adult chickens into my kennel in my van (2 hens and a roo) I paid $10 each for them. I get home, and I look at them... They are New Hampshire Reds... I should have looked at them first, but I did not. I called him back and asked if he had any RIR, and he said his buddy did, but they would be $9 each. I drove all the way back to his place, and got 8 RIR pullets (they were about 3 months old).

I had the coop built and ready, along with a run. Sadly, just a few months later, my husband lost his job and we had to move to Louisiana, where he was able to get another job. I ended up having to sell my 8 RIR pullets, as we could not ship them 6+ hours to the new house. While we were in Louisiana, in the process of moving, one of the NHR hens and the roo were killed by a dog. So I was left with one NHR Hen and my cochins (2 hens and a bantam roo).

I bought 9 more biddies, maybe 6 weeks old. I had them for 3 days and then they were killed by what we think was a fox.

So now it is November, and I know that people do not generally hatch out eggs now, but I had to try. I found out about a Chicken Swap that was happening on November 11th. I went, and within 15 minutes found the only man who was selling RIR chicks. He had 10 chicks, 3 larger than the rest. I asked how much and he said "$4 for the big ones, $3 for the little ones, but this gentleman showed an interest in the chicks first."

My heart sank. I was sure he would buy them all and I would have no chicks. The older man looked at the chicks, then said "I'll take those three big ones."

I was so thrilled! I said I'd buy the rest, and paid for them. My kids were in the car eating their McDonald's breakfast. When I got back to the car, I lifted one chick out of the box to show my 2 year old daughter. She immediately stuck her hand out and said:
"Pet um mommy! Pet um! Pet um chickie in a box!"

We came home and got the chicks set up in their brooder, and my kids were climbing up onto the side of it to look in. They are so thrilled to have a bunch of little peepers in the livingroom! So am I. I am excited to raise up my first flock of young ones! My best guess is they are 3 weeks old or so. We are hoping to get a lot of pullets in there of course!

I will update whenever I can.


Day 2
Nov 12 2012

There is one chick who I am almost positive is a roo, if behavior is any teller. He is always chest bumping the other chicks and bouncing around flapping his wings. He is also slightly larger than the rest.

They all love to play King of the Mountain with the cardboard box I have in there. They also love to eat any seeds they find clinging to the hay I use as bedding. They scratch at the ground for food, and one even gave herself a "dust bath" on the hay. As I am watching them now, they have all settled in for a nap under the heat lamp.

I am already head over heals for these little guys! I have designed an awesome coop for them, and I have a while to build it before they are old enough to go out. I have winter working in my favor, as I refuse to put them out while its cold and wet.

They are so adorable! They are about the size of an adult Mockingbird.

Its a dreary rainy day outside today, so they wont be going out for their supervised play. They did enjoy it yesterday before the weather turned though. My older chickens saw them and were *very* curious!

I made the mistake of using a white light for the heat lamp. They were up and rowdy until 11pm last night! I am going today to buy a red bulb, so hopefully they will get a better sleep tonight. I think I will also pick them up some meal worms.
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Well I went and bought what I thought was a red bulb for the heater. Turns out it was a very dark purple bulb, and was not warm hardly at all. I switched back to the white light, and just have it dimmed down. Its supposed to be really cold tonight, and my house is drafty, so I don't want to turn it down too much. Judging by the chicks' behavior, the temp is just about right in there.

My kids named a few of the chicks today! My 3 year old son named two of them, and he named them "Three" and "Rock." My 2 year old little girl named one "Yellow." Creative little minds, huh?

So we are bunking down for a cold night. The mare has a blanket, outside and inside chickens have heaters and the dog is in the house. Good night all, and stay warm!
Day 5
Nov 15 2012

Well this morning has been a busy one! I woke up at 6am to the power being out. It was very cold last night, near freezing (and our house is cold and drafty at best), so I jumped up and ran to check the chicks. They were all jammed under where the heat lamp should be shining, and they were all trembling and cold to the touch. I gathered them up and called my mom to tell her I'd be at her house in 15 minutes to get them warm again. My husband called the electric company and they told him that "Your area is experiencing an outage. We do not know why." Helpful. So he told her to scoot us up the priority list because we have baby animals whose lives depend on the heat.

Well I was in the van with the chicks, driving down the driveway to leave, when my husband runs out and says the power is back on! So back in I go and get the biddies all set up again. As soon as I turned on the heater they were all jammed under it. I watched them for a while to make sure they were all getting warm, and now they are walking around cheeping softly. I filled their water tower with warm water to help them warm from the inside.

So all is well that ends well. I should be able to pick up the remaining 5 chicks later today. I'll post pics when I know.

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