Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Peeps! They are here already!

Remember yesterday I ordered 25 creepy meats from Mt. Healthy? Guess what?!? The post called me at 7:20 in the AM and told me to come and get them! ONE day delivery? Thank YOU, Mt. Healthy. Wow!

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?


Amanda H. said...

Love getting new peeps. Ours came in March, so they are laying nicely now and a few fatter ones will make some delicious soup this winter. Unfortunately, several have "gotten lost" in the 40-acre cornfield I suspect. My count last night was down 10. Two magically re-appeared this morning, but still down eight.
"Chickens of the Corn" anyone?

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Amanda... we had some missing fatties too! But the lead meat roo found them and brought them home. ha!

Vintage Maison said...

How long before you can call them 'meat'?

Ohiofarmgirl said...

:-) VM.. ha! as soon as they start to feather in and arent cute anymore! i dont think you have our big, old fattyfat meats, do you? the breeds i've seen on my other french-friends pix are more the "real" chickens.

Unknown said...

Just got our meaties today too! Cold and rainy here, so I brought along a quilt. We got ours from Meyer - we've had good luck with them. They are all snuggled in and softly peeping away as I type. Ahhh, the soothing sounds of soon-to-be chicken dinners!

Unknown said...

yay! They are so cute for the first few days... until they just start pooping everywhere... Enjoy!

PJ said...

We haven't tried any meat chickens yet. I want to but not sure about the turning them into meat part of raising them.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

CC we usually order from Meyer but they didnt have any to ship asap. :-/ and yes! i love the soothing sounds of soon-to-be-dinner! yay!

Two days, Liz, they are cute for about two days. ha!

PJ - you might be able to find someone to butcher them. check out "customer butchers" in your local area. Or ask around for an old timer who might be willing to help you. Everyone has their limit for what they want to do - but might as well try at least once? Most folks I know get past the hesitation by concentrating on the finished product. One of my pals said the most surprising thing was how little she was upset. But you know your limits. If you want to give it a try we'll cheer you on!
*gives hugs*

David said...

That was quick! If I were closer I'd try to trade green beans for chicken!

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