So You Ordered Chicks…

I know MANY people who order chicks from hatcheries or breeders, and they come in the mail alive and happy. Not me. I NEVER have good luck ordering chicks. I think our post office hates me.

Every time I have gotten chicks through the mail they have all either been dead already, or barely clinging to life. Small and large orders alike. Last February we ordered nearly 50 chicks but when I opened the box, it appeared as though they were all dead. I quickly sifted through the chicks to try to locate any that might still be alive. As I found live chicks, I handed them over to a friend and between us we soon were holding 7 barely-live 5 day old chicks. Yes, 5 days old. That’s how long it took the PO to get them to us. The question was, could we save them?

beauty-6daysoldI set up the heat lamp and we started giving the gasping babies water through an eye dropper. Two quickly gave up. The rest started to come around, then another one passed. Soon we were left with three. An Austra White, a Buff Orpington, and a Cherry Egger. The BO kept having these seizure like fits, and we knew she probably wouldn’t make it. We fed all three some watered down egg yolks through the dropper. The Buff baby had one more seizure and died. The other two soon after perked up, though the Austra White couldn’t really stand or walk, and her wings were limp.

Throughout the day, the chicks were given water with the dropper and egg yolk. The Cherry Egger, who my 4 year old named “Beauty” started to get up, walk around, and drink from the chick waterer of her own accord. The AW, who my 2.5 year old named “My Bella” wasn’t faring as well. I suspected she wouldn’t make it through the night. After the boys were in bed, my suspicions were confirmed, and she died.

Little Beauty slept in my room so I could monitor her throughout the night (after all, I would already have one very sad little boy in the morning). She pulled through the night with flying colors, and started acting like a normal, active little chick (albeit a little lonely), eating chick crumbles and drinking water from her waterer.

So while we didn’t get many chicks from this order, I don’t think you should write off chicks, as sometimes with a little work, they can pull through. This means she’s bound to be a good producer for us, right? 😉 We got some chicks from a small local feed store the following Sunday to give her some company. And I promised my 2.5 year old he could pick out his own special chick 🙂 ~ Nichelle

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