The first chicks of the season hatched this week. They wriggled free of their egg shells on Monday morning. We picked them up a few hours later and brought them back to the farm the same day. From now until Thanksgiving it is bird season at Wrong Direction Farm.
The chicks are kept in close quarters inside vented cardboard boxes while we bring them home from the hatchery. It is a loud drive for Zia, as she sits in the car with a chorus of 500 chirping birds! Chicks need to be kept at 90 degrees for their first few days, so crowding for warmth helps keep them comfortable. Once home we place them in our brooder with the heater thermostat cranked all the way up. Here they are as we unload them:
It was a sunny, warm afternoon so I carried a few outside to pose with them:
I didn’t plan it this way, but when I reviewed the pictures Harry was taking, I guess I even wore my special Get Real Chicken shirt for the occasion:
I find it to be a delight to spend time with newly hatched chicks. They alternate between lightning-fast running and passed-out napping. Here’s one that charged up my sleeve and then just perched there, undecided where to go next: