Okay - This may seem a little crazy to some people, and if I really stop and think about it myself, this seems a little crazy to me, but here goes.
I had a call from the Post Office in our little town at 6:15 am on Friday. Yes, it was very early but I am sure of the time. When I got there I really couldn't believe what I saw. You have to have a look at this box for yourself.
It may be hard to tell, but if you look closely, the lid is only attached by the yellow strap. There is no tape or flaps that are folded down, just the strap. You can actually lift up either end of the lid and look inside the box. That doesn't really seem very secure to me, I mean anyone can look inside this box. This box was in transit from Tuesday morning to Friday morning, and traveled from Iowa to Texas, and of all the hands that touched it, anyone could look inside if they wanted to, and this is what they would have seen...
These little babies were dehydrated and hungry. They were shipped on the same day that they were hatched, and they actually eat the yolk of the egg when they are hatched and that gives them the nutrition they need for the first few days. That was a little chicken factoid that I did not know before this adventure. Then they were vaccinated against two diseases, put in this box and they began their journey.
Originally I had ordered 25 chicks, which is the minimum quantity that can be ordered at one time. I was able to get an assortment of brown egg layers, and this would guarantee me at least 5 different breeds from the long list of breeds that lay brown eggs. Which five breeds was left to the discretion of the hatchery and to some extent, the luck of the draw, and what would be up next to hatch. The packing slip stated that they had also shipped an additional free "exotic" chick. So what all of this really means is that you have these cute fluffy chicks that are slowly going to become awful looking teenagers and then they will grow up and get their real feathers and we will be able to figure out the breeds then.
I was very disappointed when I first looked in the box because we actually had one loss. When I say disappointed, I really mean sad because one didn't make it. My disappointment was not because of the financial side of things, they really weren't that expensive at this stage of the game because the real investment comes now, but just sad. I did bury her in the flower bed. There were no words spoken, and there were no tears shed, but the alternative was to throw her away, and that just seemed rude. After this, I then went back inside and counted the rest, and there were actually 29 still in the box.
Within the first 12 hours they ate about 3 cups of food, and they drank 1/2 gallon of water. I added sugar and a vitamin/electrolyte mix to the water to give them a boost, and they really seemed a lot more alive by that evening. I will end with some individual pictures, and there will be more to come. Please know that it is not easy to take pictures of baby chicks at all. I hope to be able to upload video soon.