We picked up our ladies, hatched just this morning, from Abendroth’s Hatchery in Waterloo, WI.
We purchased 2 Buff Orpingtons (now named Buffy and Willow, respectively); 2 Silver-laced Wyandottes (named Laverne and Shirley); and 1 Ameraucana (named Prissy, because she is going to grow up to be the weirdest-looking one of the bunch).
They are kind of jammed in there, for warmth and to help keep them steady during transport. They peeped rather adorably the whole way back.
We made a table-top brooder out of a Sterilite tub (Tony cut the top out and made a chicken wire frame for ventilation) and the ladies are currently ensconced on top of the filing cabinet in the living room, with their red heat lamp on at a comfy 94.8 degrees. At Tractor Supply about a month ago, we picked up a book aptly titled Chickens: Tending a Small-Scale Flock for Pleasure and Profit by Sue Weaver and it’s just chock-full of helpful ideas. Tony and I are going to build a coop together (and yes, pics and blog entries will follow), but for the first 6 weeks, the ladies will be living large in our living room. [The cats are locked in the basement. They are not amused.]
The kids are enjoying a front-row seat to the Girly Show…complete with a red light (for warmth, and to minimize the picking that leads to cannibalism. Yes. Apparently they’ll peck each other to death at the littlest drop of blood, so we have to watch them closely).
I grew up on a hobby farm (horses) but my mom would never let us have chickens. Now that I’m a grown-up, I can finally try my hand at raising them–for eggs, for now. Down the road, when we’re able to build on our land, I’d like a goat or two (for the lawn-mowing), and a pony for the kids (I had one–best $50 my mother ever spent. I named her Cocoa and rode her everywhere with only a rope halter).
The ladies are peeping contentedly in their clear plastic box–they’ve had their electrolytes and have begun to pick their chick starter crumbles off the floor of the brooder. Personalities are emerging. Buffy is the larger of the two Buffs, and Laverne is the bigger Wyandotte. All five seem healthy and happy, and that’s as good a start as I can ask for, really.