Day 3 – Breaking Even

Yesterday when I changed the bedding in my chick’s tank I took them all out and put them in a box counting as I put them in. I also counted them as I took them out. There were 27. How could there be 27 if I ordered 27 and two had already died? Did this explain the extra polish?? I found they had pasted a receipt to the box cover. On it they had written they’d shipped out my order with an extra polish and an extra Cornish. The mystery chicken was not labelled as anything more than a mystery chick. Having lost the two Polish at least I knew what I had left! And I have my suspicion the mystery chick is either a Dark Brahma, a silver-laced Cochin, or a partridge Cochin. Of those I hope its not the latter as I already have five partridge colored birds. A silver-laced would be beautiful and a dark Brahma might be cool too but we’ll see what she or he is. I’m hoping my one straight run chick (the mystery bird) is not a rooster. What a shame that would be!

Today started out pretty sad. I found two chicks near death. One didn’t surprise me – a buff orpington who wasn’t quite acting right the night before. The partridge rock on the other hand seemed fine, though she was small compared to some of the other chicks. Their water bowl was empty. It couldn’t have been empty for long as they had plenty of water when I went to bed and I got up maybe 6 hours later. I still feel bad it may have been caused by me. They now have two water dishes. Neither chick lived. I did try giving them some electrolytes which works well in mammals, maybe not so much in birds?

The rest seem to be doing well. They are learning to run faster than I can catch them. I thought when I got them I might like the buff orpintons the best. They come in many other colors and the chocolate ones are gorgeous. I had found a farm that would ship me eggs to hatch (who had Barnevelders as well!)  and was actually considering it for next spring. However the orpingtons in this batch seem rather dull and insipid. They eat a lot and once they’re full they just sit, not bothering to explore or play. I don’t think there’s a thought going through their head. Conversely the two Cornish are delightfully insane. One of the two has intense little eyes. I know she’s a smart one and I believe she’s going to be the spitfire that keeps me on my toes! I hope she lives to adulthood as she seems to have such a spark about her.

The barred rocks and light Brahmas seem rather cuddly. Though I don’t believe they’re smart they do appear to be affectionate so that’s a plus. The partridge rocks should be the same as the barred rocks as they are the same breed,  just a different color. However I have found this not to be the case. They’re pretty wild and run from my hand quicker than a flash of lightning. I wonder.

At three days old they have indeed become the little pooping machines I was promised. It’s almost as if they eat and it immediately comes back out. They also eat an astonishing amount of food and water. I found out one of the Brahmas had a missing toe and was hoping one of her peers didn’t bite it off. Upon closer inspection there was a toenail jutting out of the stub. Apparently this was some form of genetic defect. I was wondering if I’d find any of those. Who knows how inbred chickens are!