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Monday, May 4, 2009

The Chicks have arrived!

The chicks arrived in Thursday mornings post, so Will, Duncan and I drove to the burg of Germfask to pick them up... Curtis only has a post office for those who choose to have a post office box. So, even though we live two miles out of the "town" of Curtis we have a Germfask mailing address. To complicate matters further, Curtis (and our house) is in Mackinac County; Germfask is in Schoolcraft County. Changing out drivers license's at the Secretary of State was a bit of a hassle, because in Michigan you register to vote at the same our driver's licenses say Curtis (with a different zip code than Germfask) to reflect more accurately that we live in Mackinac County and Portage Township so we can vote. This is different than what our checks say, but I haven't yet in the four years we have lived here have anyone notice, or anyone really care about it anyway. I'm not sure wether or not that should make me feel good! But I digress.

The brooder was put together over the weekend using some big cardboard boxes that I got at the appliance store in Newberry. They are duct taped together (I found out that duct tape doesn't work all that great in 30-40 degree temps), and placed on top of a layer of thick foamy foam. There are a few inches of pine shavings inside, and the box is divided in half by a bale of straw to conserve heat for the first couple of weeks. As the chicks get older, the bale will be removed and they can use the rest of the box without being so crowded. Will put some more strips of foamy foam over the top to conserve heat. Add heating lamp with red bulb and voila! A rather ugly, but cheap and functional brooder. It is in the garage, of course. I was contemplating what would happen in a power outage this morning...I guess we'd bring them all inside to cozy up with us.

This is the tiny box all 28 (three extra) arrived in...

They weren't too crowded, and they need each others body heat to keep warm enough for the travel from Iowa to Michigan. The bottom had a nice piece of honeycombed cardboard so they weren't sitting in their poop all the way here.

Lila decided she wants to make one of the buff orpingtons a pet. Sam wants a barred rock, and Duncan wants "one of the all black ones" (Black australorp). His chick is black all over the back and yellow on the tummy and face.

So, for the record, the chicken collective includes: 3 Buff Orpingtons, 6 Rhode Island Reds, 5 Barred Rocks, 4 Black Australorps and 3 Silver Laced Wyandottes. Nope, that doesn't equal 28 or even 25...Four have been promised to a friend and sadly three of the smallest ones didn't make it past the first couple of days.

Here is their cozy brooder. Five days later and they are starting to look more sharply like chickens and not peeps!

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