Homecoming!

One of our chicks checks out the house, while Cora checks out the chick ... from a safe distance.

One of our chicks checks out the house, while Cora checks out the chick … from a safe distance.

The babies are home!

Jilli, just before picking up the chicks.

Jilli, just before picking up the chicks.

After spending the weekend in Cleveland (most of it holed up in a hotel room because poor Matt is awfully sick) we got up early this morning to pick up the chicks. While we were finishing breakfast at the hotel, I received a cheerful call that the chicks were ready and waiting for us.

We drove an hour away to Polk, Ohio, where Meyer Hatchery is located. When we walked into the shop, a sound wall of peeps greeted us.

We got three chicks: a Black French Copper Marans, a Dominique and an Olive Egger. I think I’ve figured out the Olive Egger, but the others look too similar to figure them out right now. When we lifted the lid, they were huddled on top of a warming pad, a ball of fluff.

The ride home went quick for me, since I had chirping music to listen to. Matt held the chicks on his lap, occasionally lifting the lid to take a peek.

“We’ve got chicks!” I would exclaim randomly, as Matt would nod and blow his nose.

Our first look at the chicks.

Our first look at the chicks.

Once we got home, I ran downstairs to turn on the EcoGlow heater, and to set up the water. I needed to add a dose of electrolytes and vitamins, then scatter marbles in the water tray so the chicks wouldn’t fall asleep in the water and drown. I also made this green pile of goop called Grogel that will provide nutrients to the chicks as well.

Before we took them downstairs, I wanted to take a photo, and the most curious of all was our cat Cora. We made sure the chicks were secure, and let her check them out from a distance. Once we picked up our dog Charlie, he made a beeline for the basement. He shoved his nose against the wire mesh to sniff the chicks’ soft fuzz, then he howled. “What’s this all about?” he seemed to ask us.

Charlie looks in on the chicks.

Charlie looks in on the chicks.

The chicks took to the brooder well, but huddled together. Even though I put them under the EcoGlow, they scooted out in front of it, huddling and cheeping. So Matt hooked up the heat lamp for additional heat on this first day. We are both home, and will keep a close eye on it. Once the temperature in the brooder rose to the high 80s (the basement is about 56 degrees) the chicks started exploring. They walked over the Grogel pile, and even checked out the waterer.

I have to say, teaching a chick to drink is wild. I took each chick to the waterer, and dipped her beak in the water. I did this several times, and I’m hoping they caught on.

All settled in.

All settled in.

Apparently, when chicks are tired they just drop where they are at and hit the floor. They look, well, dead. I knew about this beforehand, but it’s still startling to see.

The runt of the group (I’m not sure if it’s the Marans or the Dominique yet) seems to sleep much more than the other two. Of course, this causes me worry. But really, the poor thing just busted out of a shell this morning. She deserves some shut-eye.

Speaking of shut-eye, Matt is snoring away. I’m wondering if the poor guy will ever get over this cold.

As for me, I think I’ll have trouble sleeping tonight. I have three little babies to check in on.

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9 Comments on “Homecoming!

  1. Super cute! I just got 6 chicks on the 16th of March. I am a little nervous about the dogs, they go in there and bark, they can’t get to them because they are in a cage but I am wondering if you have any tips to acclimate the dogs? My other challenge is keeping the water clean! I am going to order some of those poultry nipples and make a waterer like those on some diy sites. Hope it all goes well for you and yours!

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    • Hi Anne! We are having a similar issue with our dog, Charlie. The chicks are safe in their brooder, but Charlie goes down and just howls. He doesn’t know what to make of it. We did give him a chance to sniff one of the chicks, but I would advise against it (especially while the chicks are so young!). From what I’ve read, I think it will be much safer to introduce them once the birds are bigger. I think the exposure for now is good, though. Charlie can sniff away, and not harm them.

      As for the water nipple, I am curious about those, as well. I read something on the Chicken Chick’s website about how to install your own. The babies seem fine with the water set up I have, but I’m seriously considering a nipple. Let me know how it works out for you!!

      And best of luck with your babies!

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  2. Pingback: The Life of Ferndale Chickens #1 | Oakland County One~Fifteen

  3. Pingback: The Life of Ferndale Chickens #1 – The Babies Are Home | Oakland County One~Fifteen

  4. Reblogged this on Our Furever Family and commented:
    We’ve been busy in the last few months preparing to expand Our Furever Family. I’m happy to announce two weeks ago we welcomed three chicks! Here’s a blog post about our latest adventure. Join us as the babies grow into chickens. Eggs are just around the corner!

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  5. Pingback: The Life of Ferndale Chickens #2 – Field Trip! (video) | Oakland County One~Fifteen

  6. Pingback: The Life of Ferndale Chickens #3 – Chicken Acrobatics | Oakland County One~Fifteen

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