The e-mail from Murray McMurray Hatchery came on Saturday. The chicks are in the mail!
They arrived this morning, as a 7:00 AM call from the local post office informed me. I lined the brooder, filled the waterer, switched on the heat lamp, and was out the door inside five minutes.
“Turn the seat heater on for them,” Kevin called as I drove off. Good idea.
The post office wasn’t open for business, so I had to ring the buzzer. The nice post office lady opened the door, and smiled when she saw me. Baby chicks make everyone’s day.
There were 29 when I got them home, but one of the Araucanas was wobbly and died in the first hour. The remaining 28 seem robust and active, so I’m hoping our casualty count will be limited to just the one.
They’re not all for us. We’re taking ten, and the rest of them go to three of our friends, two of whom are new to chickens.
It was a mere two years ago that we were the ones who were new to chickens, and I remember worrying. I worried that the brooder wasn’t warm enough, or was too warm. I worried that they weren’t eating, or weren’t drinking. Every time one of them took a rest, I worried that she was dead. I worried that we wouldn’t have the coop done in time.
This year, I am blithely unconcerned. Chicken-raising is an activity with a very steep learning curve. You learn way more going from no chickens to some chickens than you ever will going from some chickens to some more chickens.
Having done it once makes doing it again a whole lot easier, but there’s still plenty we don’t know. No matter how much you read, you only learn about diseases and problems when you encounter them. Each flock has its own idiosyncrasies, and your chicken know-how expands accordingly. We won’t make the mistakes we made the first time, but I’m sure we’ll find new mistakes to make.
Lucky for me. If I ever start getting good at what we do, I’ll have nothing to write about.