We got the call from Canada Post around 0715, in the middle of feeding pigs and letting out hens, so headed out right away. We got the chicks home by about 0745. By 0815, they were all in the brooder, checking out their new surroundings and figuring out food and water. We always dip their beaks in water when we’re transferring them from the shipping box to the brooder, and it’s also the last time I count them for quite a while. You’re not supposed to count your chickens before they hatch, but let me tell you, they’re pretty hard to count once they’re running around.
We received a total of 78 chicks; our eldest daughter wanted to start her own laying flock, so she ordered 25 random assortment (the hatchery chooses pullets from five different breeds – it’s probably a way to make use of odd numbers left over after large orders), and I ordered 50 Rhode Island Reds. This hatchery usually includes a few extra in case of mortalities, and so that makes our 78. Guessing from the colour of the chicks, my daughter thinks she got about 12 Red Rock Cross (the black chicks) and about 15 Columbian Rock (the big white chicks). There are at least 2 we’re not sure about – one is a milk chocolate colour and one is kind of multi coloured. I guess the chance of at least one rooster should be considered as well.
Looking at these little balls of fluff scooting around, it’s hard to believe they’ll be egg laying pullets in 5 months. Christmas. That’ll be interesting, seeing how they come into lay during the short daylight hours of winter, when hens usually lay very few eggs. That’s something I didn’t really consider when I was ordering them, so we’ll just be back on the learning curve again. Like we’re every really NOT on it.