The new recruits are shipped in the mail in these cool boxes.
I got 27 peeps in a loud box - all were live. And screaming incessantly. I rushed them right home and got them set up in the same big brooder box that we used earlier this year. They immediately started peeping around.
I took them out of the box one by one to do a head count and also dip their beaks in the water. You do this, in effect, to point them in the direction of adventure. The just hatched peeps are immediately put in boxes - the hatcheries don't feed or water them. So you have to show them the ropes. There is usually one peep that gets it right away and the others follow him.
Why did I get 27 if I ordered 25? Remember that attrition is just part of raising meat chicks. Sometimes they don't make it during the shipping process. But mostly they do. If you end up with dead meats don't be overly worked up. Just call the hatchery and tell them what happened. Most places will either reship your order or give you a refund. We've never had a problem worth calling over. Sometimes we'll get one meat that didn't make it but we've had full orders.
My local TSC had this "Chick Starter Kit" on sale for just $5! It was originally about $20. I got a baby sized feeder and waterer, a little bag of food, and a cardboard "corral" to contain the peeps.
How does this work if they are going to be shipped? The last thing that chicks do before they pip out of their shells is to absorb the yolk into their bellies. This gives them enough energy for a couple of days. If you think about it, it makes sense. A momma hen will hatch eggs in her clutch over the course of a couple days so she needs the live babies to sit tight until all of the chicks have emerged from their pods... I mean... shells.
So it's totally safe for them to be shipped in the mail.
The post guys usually call very early because the peeping is annoying. So I always run right down. Plus I like to get them set up and show them the food and water as soon as possible.
You can tell if the chicks are happy by the "musically peeping" they make. If you hear a slightly shrieky peeps then you should figure out what they need. Food? Water? Too hot? Too cold? The babies should have a good "dispersal" pattern in the brooder and not be in the very corners or all in a heap .
These little guys are off to a terrific start. Thanks, Mt. Healthy for a terrific group of peeps and super fast delivery!
Happy Thursday, everyone. Do you have your winter meats?