Mrs.Terry and I have been planning our spring and summer farm needs. We’re going to be selling our eggs at the Greeneville Farmer’s Market and a few others around here possibly. So exciting! Problem is our little hens are only laying enough eggs for us and a few others. Enter the chicks! This week Mrs. Terry was busy preparing for chicks. Spring chickens, we’ll have sweet little busy spring chickens.

Stock tank with pine shavings for chicks

Once we decided we wanted more, Mrs. Terry got on the ball researching hatcheries and trying to locate some chicks. We had debated about getting an incubator and hatching our own. We may later this year, but for now we decided we were ready for instant gratification. Today 28 little Barred Rock babies arrived at the post office.

The box the chicks came in

They came out cheeping as loud as they could. They’re REALLY loud. True little babies for sure. They Just holler away like my little one, communicating in their own little way. They’re so stinking cute! Did I mention that? They are one day old.

Opening the box of chicks

I have been schooled this week on these chicks. I learned that they have an egg sack that protects/sustains from birth to about three days old, so they get shipped out from the hatchery the same day they’re born. I also learned you can’t order less than 25 at a time because they have to keep each other warm and they come in a very small box to do so. Like shockingly small.

The first week they will be very fragile and we’ll have to check to make sure their temperature in their pen is at 95 degrees (F). Each week you decrease the temperature by 5 degrees until you reach 70 and by then they should be big enough and strong enough to regulate their own temps.

Sometimes they even throw in a free chick. This time they did as well, but our little free chick didn’t make it all the way home. That made me sad. I guess that is how things go on a farm though.

At the beginning of the week when they ordered the chicks the plan was to build a little house for them to spend the next few weeks under heat lamps. Resourceful people my in-laws are, they decided to use a stock tank that was not being used. It was the perfect size to let them run around as needed with heat lamps over the top of it. They brought the stock tank into the garage, lined it with a thick layer of pine shavings and clamped three heat lamps on poles across the top.

Today we picked up those little babies at the post office and my babies LOVE them. It was the best little surprise for my boys. My one year old who says one word, “mama” said, “chickens!” Can you believe that? He’s a total farm boy.

This should be exciting.

Here’s some supplies used to prepare for their arrival:

•heat lamps

•pine shavings

•chick starter

1 quart poultry waterer base

baby chick feeders

brooder thermometer

 

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