Our herd increases
Our herd of chickens, of course. Some people have a flock–we have a herd.
The easy way to get more chickens is to go online and order them. Chicks are shipped US Priority mail. They don’t need to eat for the first 48 hours after they hatch, so the chicken factory takes brand new babies, boxes them up and trots them down to the Post Office.
When they arrive in Lafayette, the postmaster gives us a call and we go get them.
We prep the coop with fresh bedding, food, water and a heat lamp–babies need to be kept very warm for the first couple of weeks, and they don’t have a momma to hide under.
Then it’s time to lift them out and move them to their new home.
With the 12 new babies, we now have 18 in the herd. The chicks will live in the coop for 7 weeks, unless they get adopted by one of the older birds who is hoping for chicks. That happens occasionally, but we can’t count on it. Sometime a “broody” hen, who is sitting on eggs (which won’t hatch since we have no rooster), see chicks and thinks they must be hers, so she adopts them.
After their time in the coop, they just run free in the yard, eating bugs and seeds. We go out and feed them cracked corn, but it’s only for a treat–they don’t need anything from us. They imprint on the garage as “home” and go back inside to sleep every night in the rafters, high and safe from racoons and skunks. If they can avoid coyotes and hawks, they could theoretically live 10 years. Stay tuned.