We’ve been preparing brooders for the last week now. Cleaning out the old bedding with a front-end loader, shoveling in the new. Putting out green mouse bait, which Emmie promptly ate. (Iron gut, that dog has.) Washing chick feeders and sanitizing mason-jar waterers. Replacing burned-out 250 watt heat lamps with bright new ones.
This morning, between sunbursts and rainstorms, 310 little Cornish-Cross broiler chicks arrived on the late-delivery truck at the Philomath Post Office. Their approach was much anticipated. I’d been waiting all morning for word on the whereabouts of my little babies, and they had been missing in transit for a few hours. That’s never a desirable event, especially on a cold April morning. So, when my phone rang, I headed straight for the Post Office to pick up three big boxes of chirping chicks.
The first thing they did when they were unloaded into their new home, was huddle under the heat lamps to warm up. 630 miles on a USPS plane is a rough journey when you’re only 24 hours old!
There’s absolutely nothing more heart-warming than a flock of yellow puff-balls drifting off to sleep under a toasty heat lamp.
The more adventurous chicks soon found the food and water sources. They are hungry little guys, as this is the first time they’ve ever eaten. For such little babies, they are amazingly adept at learning how to eat and drink.
I think they’re going to be just fine. Right now, they’re all tucked into bed, well-insulated in their little brooder houses. It’s going to be a cold night (snow showers, what?!?) but that’s the name of the game when your broiler season starts in April. And so Farm Season 2011 begins…it’s bound to be a fun year!