Last year, the box arrived right on time and everyone inside was healthy and happy. (Chicks can live two or sometimes three days nourished by an internal egg sac.) This year we -- and the chicks -- weren't so lucky. They had been shipped on one of the coldest days of this very cold winter and were delayed for a day somewhere along the way. Some of the chicks were already dead when Erika opened the box and over the next two days, many more of them died in spite of her efforts to get food and water into them and to keep them warm. Out of a shipment of 27, only 7 were alive a week later. When Erika called the hatchery to inform them, she was told there was a least one other similar incident with chicks sent to this area.
The hatchery gave her a full refund, but Erika is, understandably, still a good bit disappointed -- she spent hours over the last few months researching breeds and deciding how to expand her flock.
There's just no way around it -- husbandry of living things is often heartbreaking! But it's also very rewarding. Take a look at these cheepers:
1. Black Giant. (click on the names if you're interested in learning more about the breeds.) Erika let me name her Tallulah.
2. Buff Orpington. Don't you just love that word -- orpington, orpington, orpington, Erika let me name her, too. Meet Ophelia.
4. Golden Laced Wyandotte
5. Golden Campine
6. Easter Egger