The chicks are eating, drinking, pooping, sleeping and seem to be very happy with their life in our brooder.
The brooder is set up with a screen on top because we've learned in the past that very quickly the little peepers can jump higher than you'd ever think possible and too often seem intent on making an escape to check out parts of the garage that aren't included in their little world.
Our chicks came from Sand Hill Preservation Center in Iowa where we've orered chicks for several years and, as usual, seem to be very healthy. Our order this year was for Black Australorps, Icelandics, Dominiques and Golden Laced Cochin bantams. Because of hatching difficulties at the hatchery, we ended up with Black Australorps, Icelandics and Barred Hollands. No banties, sad to say. We've always had very good luck with bantams because they go broody for us, make excellent mothers and also give a fair amount of eggs for a longer period of time than standard sized hens.
The hatchery offered to give us a partial refund because they couldn't supply the varieties we wanted, but we told them that wasn't necessary. Maybe next year we'll give another try at the two breeds we didn't get this year. We've always enjoyed dealing with Sand Hill as they're a family business that does right by their customers.
Because we didn't get these chicks until so late in the season, they won't start laying until close to the first of the new year. Right now our current seven laying hens are giving us five or six eggs a day. If they can hang in there with good production until these new chicks come on board, we'll be all set.
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