Thursday, April 11, 2013

By Leaps and Bounds Part 4: Here a Chick...

 It was a peaceful Monday morning.  Outside darkness reigned and only a few optimistic Robins broke the stillness.   The house was silent and all the human occupants were snuggled cozily under flannel sheets and blankets.  Suddenly their well deserved slumbers were interrupted with the abrupt and insistent sound of the telephone.  Faith jumped out of bed making a beeline for the clamorous phone, intent on silencing it as soon as possible.  Sitting up in bed I rubbed my bleary eyes and peered down at the wavering red numbers on our digital clock.   5:20.  With a heavy sigh I strained to listen to Faith's polite but weary voice, even though I already knew of what the unconventional call was token.  Chicks.  That's right, on the other end of the line, so early Monday morning, was someone from our local post office letting us know that a box full of peeping fluff balls was waiting for us to claim them.  10 or so minutes later Faith and I trudged out to the car, half fell in and headed out into the inky black world to fetch our tiny charges.  This was the first time I had gone on such a venture, (Faith had done so on many occasions) and I looked around with interest as we pulled into the gated back parking lot of the post office.  We made our way out of the warm car, into the seemingly hostile and cold air and up to the intimidating back doors and carefully pushed the door bell.  We were ushered inside, and even before the doors fully swung closed behind us, we heard the hopeful yet helpless peeping of the weary travelers.  In no time at all we were settled back in the warm car speeding the chickies  homeward on the last leg of their journey.

 We were welcomed home by a soft red glow emanating from the front porch - the chicks new abode.  We whisked them quickly inside and with the help of Charity divided them up (some of the poor little babies had yet one more trip to make to a friend's home) and settled ours into their cozy brooder box, with fresh water, food, and most importantly a warm light.

You could almost hear the little chicks sigh and then cheep in excitement as some dashed around their new digs, checking everything out, others pecked curiously at the food dish, and some weary little souls just stood directly underneath the light swaying gently back and forth, their eyes closed in bliss, basking in the warm glow.
These tiny little cheepers, though completely reliant on us at the moment, are destined for great things.  They are to help replenish our laying flock and supply us with big beautiful spheres of decadent health, more commonly known as eggs.

After much thought and study, we had decided to begin a mainly Orpington flock.  We discovered that there are many colors of Orpintons, not just the well know Buff.  There are also Black, Blue, Lavender, White, and a few others.  The company we ordered our chicks from only had two different colors available, so the chicks we picked up Monday morning were compromised of 4 Buff Orpington cockerels, so that we can choose a new head Rooster for our girls, as well as 5 adorable Buff girls.

 The only other shade was White Orpington, so three of those variety were added to our bill.  Surprisingly the little babies were beautiful shades of gray, despite the fact that they are going to turn out pure white.
We weren't completely exclusive in our selection of chicks, and two of them were not Orpingtons but rather Silver Laced Wyandottes.  They grow up to be gorgeous birds with beautiful laced feathering, but right now they are just cute little striped and speckled fluffy pullets.
One of our favorite things about ordering from this particular hatchery is that they give you the option of having them send you a free "exotic" chick.  We are always in high anticipation to find out what breed we were given.  This year the sweetest little gray Cochin was our surprise!  We were thrilled, and are desperately hoping that Cochie is a girl, preferable a blue girl; even a white Cochin girl would be simply lovely.  
Our porch is now filled with the sweet sound of soft peeping, and even though they arrived so early, we are very happy that they are here and are looking forward to raising them through chickenhood.