The chicks arrival and the time since they got here has been a bit hectic. My daughter went from excited protector to a distracted child. It happens. Then she shifted again to mother hen and now back to distracted caretaker. Seems like progress to me.
Let's continue the journey.
Hatched on a Wednesday, the chicks were shipped out almost immediately and arrived at our local post office (a town over from us) on Friday morning. At 8 AM I got the call to come pick the little yellow balls of fluff up. Local carriers won't deliver live chicks. Don't say that I blame them because those little chicks were quiet when we were handed the box. Then a chaotic song of chirps started as soon as the car started up. My little girl loved it.
At home we carefully opened the box. It was just a few snips of tape. My daughter wanted to be the first face they saw once the lid was removed. So we stepped back and let her take the lead. "There's five!"
The hatchery had sent "extras" in case one or more of our order didn't make the shipping. A gentle explanation to my daughter came out, but she was thrilled.
The brooding box was ready, the feed was there and she was ready to care for her little charges.
We only ordered three chicks. After hearing the price tag for them in the first article, I'm sure you're about to have a heart attack. I nearly did. Anyway, the spare chicks in the box had my little girl grinning ear to ear. She was ready, but within a few hours it was clear one chick wasn't doing so well.
My daughter saw it was extra tired. I saw it was weak. Quietly I tried to work with the chick. Keep it a little warmer, make sure it got water and so forth. There really wasn't much I could have done at the time. By hour five, one of the "extras" had passed.
This lead to a lot of guilt for my girl. She had gotten distracted and hadn't spotted the signs. She should have paid more attention. While that was true, I had to remind her that sometimes chicks, like many other living beings, could just be too weak to make that type of journey.
A funeral for the little chick and a handwritten sign ("Don't Touch!!") eased her guilt.
A Week Old
The chicks are a week old and I'm happy to say that all four are still chirping their demands and thanks. All seem to be developing well at this point. Wing feathers are coming in along with tail feathers. They've also developed some personalities. One is really bold and demanding. She'll perch on top of the heating cave and stretch her neck out waiting for some attention. Another is shy. She scampers away, but the thought of food brings her back. The other two seem to follow one or the other.
Changing the bedding, freshening the water and even checking them over once or twice a day is all going well. My daughter has really latched on to this being one of her responsibilities. It's nice seeing her taking on the care of these chicks. My husband and I are doing a lot of the work, but she's doing more. It's a nice thing to see her growing along with these little chicks.
Roughly a week in and I'm happy my little girl made this deal. She and her father are working out the coop. It'll be a while yet before the chicks are old enough to move out of the brooding box. The cats have yet to stage an attack, so that makes me feel better.
I'll be doing another update in a few weeks once they hit a few more milestones.