Our chicks have arrived! This morning we drove to the local post office where we picked up a cardboard box full of 60 cheep-cheeping chicks. These day-old chicks were mailed yesterday from Miller Hatcheries near Edmonton. Chicks hatch with enough energy from the egg to survive their first 48 hours without food and water. This is what enables hatcheries to mail then out to farms like us. We have to go to such lengths to order chickens from afar because of organic certification standards and because of our own desire to raise more rare and dual purpose breeds. That said, I imagine it’s still an arduous journey for the little gals and it sure felt nice to put these chicks into our warm brood set-up with food and water.
It’s been two years since we had new chickens. Of the original flock, four remain (recall the terrible event last fall when a dog got into our chicken run). The old hens are doing fine, but this new flock will become our main laying hens for the next couple years. Of the 60 chicks: 25 are Isa Browns (a good solid laying hen); 25 are Red Rock Cross (a “dual purpose” bird that is generally hardier on pasture, a descent layer and a good meat bird); as well as 10 Red Rock cockerels (for our freezer!). Keep an eye out for our farm fresh eggs come June!