Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Logistics for our new chicks!

We've never picked up our chicks from the airport before.  Normally our chicks have come via US mail.  However, since we ordered so many chicks it was better to ship them via Delta Airlines.  The chicks were less than a day old by the time I got them back to our farm.  They were so healthy and active that it was hard to walk around in the brooders -- they just kept running up to our feet or to the sound of our voices! 

Check out our new chick videos at

We were planning on having our new laying chicks outside before the 1040 broilers showed up yesterday.  Last year at this time there was green grass and the farmers had planted most of the corn!  This year it is snowing and sleeting, so we thought it might have been less than a good idea to move them outside in the cold wet weather.

Instead we decided to move the older chicks across the barn into the horse stalls that had previously been occupied by the laying hens.  The idea of picking up 300 some chicks and putting them into boxes only to carry them 40 feet across the barn into a temporary space wasn't too appealing.  After some brainstorming, we decided to have a 'running of the chicks event' Monday night.

Megan made a plywood alley that mostly restricted the laying chicks from running all over the barn -- The plywood almost looked like the buildings in Pamplona! (Not really so much).  We opened the doors to the laying chick brooders and expected them to rush out just like a pack of 300 bulls...  Instead they looked up at us and then went back to eating, scratching and pecking at the ground. 

After some coaxing we shooed them in batches down the alley with the cats perched above on the hay bales curiously watching the festivities.  I had planned on taking a video of the running of the chicks to post, but then there were the escapees!  I ran around catching chicks and plugging holes in the plywood that had been so small you'd have to be a chick to even see it -- much less go through it! 

All in all there were only about a dozen chicks that had escaped into the grater barn area.  Finding the escapee chicks was easy enough because they were chirping -- We managed to quickly get them all rounded up... well except for the one that we noticed peeping outside of the new home the following morning!  She sure was excited to run in and re-join her flock!

After a long night of herding chicks, moving laying hens and preparing the brooders for the new 1,040 broiler chicks, we finally and gratefully hit our pillows around midnight. 

The new chicks are doing really well.  It was fun to have baby chicks again, one forgets how small they are when they first hatch.  Hope you'll come visit them soon!

Our next round of chicks will be hatched on the farm -- that should make some fun video too!

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