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The Peeps Have Landed

Our barn is full of little peeps and I love the sound of them when I open the door.  They are just the cutest little things when they’re this age.

chix come via USPS

Our day began with a call from our Post Office.

  As you may have guessed from my writing about the chickens, I really do enjoy them no matter what their age but the little balls of fluff running around on those tiny legs are just so much fun.  Angela, from the Carpenter’s Boatshop, came by yesterday to pick up 7 dozen eggs (they feed 15 hungry apprentices and staff there) and we found ourselves standing in front of the brooder for wa-a-a-ay too long.  They’re fascinating and the effect of watching them is very calming.

the chicks huddle to stay warm

Once the boxes are opened, we move quickly to get them under the warm lights in the brooder.

 The meat birds we bought this year are new and different.  In the past, we’ve raised the white Cornish birds that are most common…and notoriously fragile ie they fall over dead at the drop of a hat.  We’ve always had very good luck with them and have lost very few… I think because we’ve pastured them and maybe the combination of more exercise, fresh greens & bugs and less processed feed was a good combination.  But recently, we heard and read about a new kind of bird that comes from French breeding stock.  It’s been bred essentially for meat but its behavior hasn’t been squelched so they’re still very active foragers…more like a normal chicken.

dipping beak

Each chick's beak is dipped into the warm water so it learns to drink. They learn very quickly!

  They grow a little more slowly than the Cornish birds but we’re not in a big hurry around here so that’s OK by us.  I can’t wait to get them out on the pasture and see them at work picking at those parasite eggs the sheep leave behind…a cleaning crew of 75!

chicks 2010

They begin to explore the brooder...it doesn't take long for them to find the food!

On my way home from Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival — yes, I did go and I’ll post about that soon — I picked up a dozen Welsummer chicks from a gentleman who lives very near the fairgrounds and just happens to be the neighbor of a Coopworth sheep friend.  I read about Will Whitmore and his fabulous chickens on a chicken yahoo group I visit from time to time…so I was thrilled when I realized where his farm is.  I feel very lucky to have some of his chicks here now and look forward to seeing the eggs they produce.

Welsummers 2010

A baker's dozen of Welsummer chicks wearing their baby camo fluff...but wait til you see them in their adult feathers!

  I’m going to try not to count the days til they start laying because it’ll be like the watched pot that never boils.  But when we get that first egg, I’ll be sure to post a photo.

2 comments to The Peeps Have Landed

  • Cathy

    Too Cute for Words!!! …and I know they couldn’t have a better home!
    I love the fact that you enjoy all your critters (great & small) so much Pam!!! Thanks for posting!

  • Jennie

    Awww Pam they are sooo cute!!!!