I lost 10 chicks in the first 24 hours. It took the postal service four days to get them here from Ohio. It is a miracle I didn't lose more. The Buckeyes seem to have been the hardest hit. I think these chickens are a bit fragile, at least compared to Campines. Considering how well the Campines made it through the winter, foraging in snow and running through drifts that were almost to their heads, I would have expected them to react poorly to the heat. But they didn't. I lost three Buckeyes while they were still in the greenhouse, which is why they are now residing in my house, while the Campines all made it through. And the Campines were raised in the greenhouse last summer - no wimping out and coming to the house for them.
The company said they would replace those first 10 chicks, and they are shipping express. While I think part of the problem was that the first shipment came during a holiday week when mail gets backed up, still, the hatchery and I both think that the post office is not to be trusted. I should have the new chicks this morning.
Why am I crazy, you might ask? I could have gotten credit for 10 chicks. Instead I opted to get replacement - replacements that are three weeks behind the others. That means they will need to be raised separately, at least for a few weeks. Chickens are mean. The big ones will kill the little ones, and so they must be kept apart. We have such romanticized ideas about animals - how pure they are, how innately smart they are. Hah! Not so!! Especially chickens. I am fascinated by them and repelled by them at the same time. They cannot be trusted, they cannot be trained. It is every chicken for itself. Dogs can be taught manners. Even cats can be lifted above their baser instincts with enough attention. Cows are very trainable, of course. But not chickens.
So I am sitting here this morning wondering why I didn't take the credit, why I wasn't content with ONE box of chickens in my atrium instead of two, why I didn't get a bigger box for the new little ones, why -- why -- why???
Yup, I'm crazy . . .
This year's chicks, three weeks old. The dark ones are Golden Campines, the light ones Buckeyes.