Oh my Goodness, ya’ll! Look what we got in the mail! There’s nothing more exciting than welcoming baby chicks to the homestead! I am just in love! We were so pleased and very pleasantly surprised at how well these baby chicks did after two days in the mail. They are perfect! Every one of them is happy, healthy and adorable! We highly recommend McMurray Hatchery if you are considering ordering chicks through the mail. This was our first time ordering chicks through the mail and I would do it again in a second. Continue reading to learn what breeds we got and how we are caring for them.
We decided on four different breeds of chickens for our homestead:
- Cuckoo Marans- We ordered 5 of these little sweeties, but were sent an extra! They will grow up to be black and white hens that lay chocolate colored eggs. They are the black chicks with the yellow markings.
- Easter Eggers(Auracana/Ameracana mixes)- We ordered 5 little Easter eggers because they lay olive green to turquoise colored eggs. They are super friendly little chicks. They are the brown babies with darker brown to black markings, and will grow up to have fluffy cheeks. I think having the fun colors will add even more appeal for our customers when we start selling our eggs.
- Pearl White Leghorns- We also ordered 5 of these little girls. I have a soft spot for them because every one I’ve ever had has been so sweet and affectionate. They are the yellow chicks. They will be solid white when they grow up. They lay white eggs. They will start laying at about four months or so, which is about a month sooner than most other breeds.
- Buff Orpingtons- These dual purpose babies will be the core of our flock. We ordered 5 pullets and 2 roosters of this breed. They are good mommas, good layers, and also good to raise as meat birds. We don’t have plans to raise meat birds at this time, but I like versatility. We will be able to hatch out Orpington chicks to sell every year. They lay beautiful light brown eggs. They are the reddish yellow chicks and will grow up to be a beautiful golden color.
- Golden Polish- The adorable little helmet head chick in the pictures is our “free rare breed chick” that is sent with every order from McMurray Hatchery. I believe she is a golden polish. She is incredibly sweet!
There is a little preparation involved in welcoming baby chicks to the homestead. Here’s what we are using to care for them:
- We have a very large dog crate to keep them in for the first month. They are in a separate room in the house where our dogs and cats don’t go. This is very important because those little babies are fast, and so are dogs and cats! We don’t take any chances with our babies.
- We are using shaving for bedding and change them out completely when they are soiled.
- We are using a special waterer for baby chicks. This is important because they may drown themselves in a regular waterer.
- We are feeding an organic, non medicated, chick starter. They have food available to them at all times.
- They also get a sprinkling of special grit for chicks on their food every time we fill their feeder.
- They MUST be kept warm. We are using a Brinsea Chick Brooder. I love this brooder. It is much safer than a regular heat lamp! There is a huge risk of fire with heat lamps.
Are you welcoming baby chicks to your homestead this spring? I would love to see pictures! Post them on our Facebook Page.