New Chickens for the New Year

December 12th 2018 our first batch of new chicks hatched.  Hoover Hatchery shipped them out December 15th.  It was an order of 20 hatchery choice egg layers.  These chicks are the first of several orders intended to rebuild our flock following the devastating mink attacks.

No. It is not a good idea to order baby chickens mid December when the holiday season shipping rush has the post office swamped.  The heavy load of Christmas mail (apparently) delayed the delivery of the chicks enough that when they finally did arrive, they were quite stressed from the shipping and the cold weather.  Eleven of 20 have survived.  The rest were either DOA or failed to make it in the first 48 hours.  So no more chick orders before Christmas.

The next order was for 20 Dominique hens.  They hatched on January 30th and shipped on January 31st, 2019.  And the coldest blast of weather came the same day as the chicks were shipped.  Again, the post office delivery was late.  Tracking info on the shipments indicated both shipments routed through Memphis, then to Little Rock.  That was different.  Usually it routes straight through to Little Rock.  Not sure why, but it added an extra day or two to the shipment times.  Only 6 of this batch survived the ordeal.

The survivors are all doing very well, but only 17 additional hens to go along with the one surviving hen from the mink and dog attacks.

Our most recent addition, 25 chicks ordered, this time from Murray McMurray hatchery.  With the 25 ordered, they included two extras.  This time, the shipment, which originated in Iowa the same as from Hoover Hatchery, went straight through to Little Rock and then to our post office as has always happened until the previous two orders.  And they arrived on time, in good health and all are thriving.  This order compromised 10 Golden Wyandottes, 5 Silver Wyandottes, 5 White Wyandottes, 6 Speckled Sussex (1 of the extras) all females, and 1 straight run mystery rare heritage breed chick.

Also ordered from Murray McMurray and due to ship mid April is their Homesteaders’ Delight, package of 10 brown egg layers, 2 geese, 2 ducks, and 2 turkeys.  All are hatchery choice and except the chickens, are straight run.