If you've never raised chickens before, you might be surprised to learn they come in the mail. The moment the box arrives the postmaster calls to let you know.
These hatched yesterday morning at 10 a.m. and are very cute!
One of the Cuckoo Marans didn't make it, and one of the Faverolles has a badly swollen eye that we are treating. She/he kind of looks like Festus on Gunsmoke, and is the only chicken I've ever seen run backwards, so I hope this isn't an indication something more is wrong.
I am disappointed the hatchery shorted us the two White Crested Black Polish, as I was hoping to breed Ruzina and greatly miss our rooster Apollo. It also appears we did not get three of our other Polish (we aren't sure which ones yet) and that more Brabanters, or possibly something else were substituted.
The only substitution I agreed in advance to was Feather Legged Cuckoo Marans instead of Clean Legged ones. The Feather Legged were the original breed from the Island of Marans in France. They were later imported by the English who bred the feathers off of the legs.
Overall the peeps are very healthy and energetic. I am feeding them Quick Chick and GroGel in addition to chick starter feed and I'm beginning to suspect one of them is loaded with caffeine, as they are racing around and leaping over each other! By comparison, our previous peeps slept a lot.
They have since been transferred to the guest bathtub with an infrared heat lamp above them because they need to stay around 90-95 degrees the first week. We use beach towels instead of litter at this point, because it gives the chicks better traction (so they don't end up with spraddled legs), and they don't have any wood chips or newspaper to mistakenly ingest. Towels are also washable and reusable around the farm.
I'll be taking some close-ups of the different breeds so you can follow them as they grow.