04 April 2008 |

The Chicks in the Mail

Written by Jason

 Our new baby chicks have arrived! We ordered 100 baby chicks from Privett Hatchery in New Mexico. They were shipped on a Monday and arrived the following Wednesday. Our order arrived in two days and all 100 were alive and chirping when I opened the box. We are not keeping all 100, we split the order with a couple friends in order to meet the minimum order requirements.
The minimum order for chickens from Privett is 25 which fills one corner of the shipping box seen here. With 25 baby chicks packed into the corner they generate enough heat to keep each other warm during shipping. When we checked around for someone to split the order with, three other families wanted to order, so we ended up with a full box of 100 baby chicks. I could hear the chicks chirping in the background when the post office called to tell me.....

they had arrived. They shipped on Monday, so we were a little concerned when they didn't arrive on Tuesday, so my wife called Privett Hatchery shipping department and they assured her the chicks would be ok in the box for up to three days. The box arrived the next day around noon. Shipping Crate holds groups of baby chicks in each corner.
When we ordered our chicks from Mcmurray Hatchery they marked each type of bird with a colored dot so it was easy to sort them out. Privett was able to mark only the single cockerel (rooster) we ordered, but not the rest of the birds (hens). They were divided in the box in four compartments and we had color prints of the different breeds, so it wasn't too difficult to get them sorted. The little cockerel was marked with blue on the feathers at the top of his beak.
We put the chicks in larger boxes as soon as I got them home and gave them some water. They are all doing fine. They are eating and drinking well and their little wing feathers are beginning to show. We are keeping them in a large cardboard box with a waterer and feed dish inside and a clip on light at the top to make sure they stay warm.
I have posted many more pictures in the forum and I will be posting more with updates as they grow. We will be introducing them to our 11 adult chickens in a few weeks. We usually put the chicks inside a small cage in the pen with the adult chickens for a week or so, to get used to the environment, then open the door on the cage so they can go in and out. This seems to work well to prevent too much pecking and bullying because the young chickens can retreat back inside their cage when threatened. When the young chickens are almost as big as the adults, we remove the cage. They usually fall right in at the bottom of the pecking order and move up as they get bigger. We have had good success with this method in the past and the chickens get adjusted with very little stress. Check the forum frequently for updates and post a question if you would like more information.

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