One reason we needed to be sure to be back from Washington by a certain time on Friday, was that we had something waiting for us at the feed store: chicks! We weren’t planning on getting chicks until later in April, but the way things worked out we were meant to get them a bit sooner. We felt it was a good idea to get some chicks this year to replenish our flock, since we always lose some chickens. But we were at a good number for us- fourteen, so we didn’t really need many more. We ordered three barred rock chicks because of our favorite chicken from before, Bear. The other kind of chicken we wanted to order (that we also really wanted last year) wasn’t available until a ways off. We didn’t want our chicks to be spaced that far apart because we wanted to raise them together and didn’t want to have to separate them. We thought we’d get two more chicks of whatever kind they had available that day, to make a total of five. When we got there, we couldn’t have been more pleased with the news. They had a surprise for us: maran chicks! The kind we had been wanting! The reason we wanted marans so much is that they lay chocolate brown eggs. We’ve seen maran eggs at Deck Family Farm before and they are so beautiful, which is what inspired us to want to raise that kind of chicken. We decided to get three, rather than two, since it was a breed we’ve been wanting so much. The funny thing is, the barred rock chicks and the maran chicks look exactly alike, they’re both black. We aren’t able to tell them apart yet. (So now we’re up to twenty chickens. We’ll need to be building more nesting boxes this year.) Another thing we were really happy about is that Diess Feed and Seed got in Scratch and Peck: Naturally Free Starter, so we are able to feed our chicks the feed we wanted to. (Scratch and Peck also recommends putting apple cider vinegar in their water and adding diatomaceous earth to their food, advice that we are taking.)
When we got home, we set up a little home for them in a cardboard box in our bathroom. Bracken got to experience the joy of holding fuzzy little chicks in his hands, just like last spring. I think he gave each one a kiss on it’s head. There are two slots in the cardboard box, not big enough for them to get out, but big enough for them to poke their heads through and look at us in the room. It’s so cute. I put the camera up to one of the slots to try to get some pictures of them. I love being able to hear peep peep peep in the background while we’re doing other things around the house. We’ll move them out to the coop soon enough (separated from the bigger gals, of course), but in the meantime we’re quite enjoying having them inside with us.