It was a cold and breezy May 1st as I ran the final stretch of my morning workout. The wind had chilled my hands to an icy numbness, but I was in site of our mailbox and would soon warm them up. I should have worn gloves, but I didn’t realize how cold it was when I set out.
Just then, my phone began to ring and I willed my stiff fingers to push the “answer” button. As I’d suspected, or hoped, it was the post office. Our baby poultry had arrived. May Day seems a fitting time for chicks and ducklings, even if it was barely above freezing!
We had several large tubs with wood shavings set up in our garage and plenty of heat lamps to keep little birds warm.
We set off for the post office as quickly as possible because we knew the sooner we could get feed and water to the babies, the better.
Chicks are able to be sent through the mail because of the incredible nourishment the egg yolk provides them while they’re still in the shell. After they hatch, they have about 72 hours worth of nutrients to sustain their body. Whether domestic or wild, this gives them several days to get adjusted and learn to eat and drink.
The birds were chirping, loudly, when we entered the post office and the ladies behind the counter said several early morning customers had volunteered to take them home. They were smiling and asking about them as we opened the top to do a quick check, so at least they weren’t bothered by our noisy delivery.
Here’s JR counting the birds before we left.
We got a true variety, mainly because it was “the best deal.”
Because we got a little of everything, I’ll share some quick vocabulary.
Baby chicken = chick
Baby turkey = poult
Baby goose = gosling
Baby duck = duckling
I’m sure you knew most of those, but poult is sometimes a new one.
Even though I might feel a bit unprepared, the birds seem to be settling in well. We’ve been warming up their water (in our microwave) and will add electrolyte powder for the first few days.
They are all little, fuzzy, cute, and stinky. About as I expected. The goslings and ducklings go through way more water because they splash around in it, and the turkeys are definitely the least vigorous.
We have the most chicks, and there are so many different breeds I think we’ll be trying to identify them all summer.
A baby animal post would certainly not be complete without pictures. I haven’t gotten many good ones, mostly because I don’t want to let in too much cold air as I’m trying to snap photos. I’ve tried though. Front top to bottom we have turkey poults, chicks, and then goslings and ducklings together.
First thing this morning we checked on the birds and re-filled waters, and then I went out for a super quick run. When I came back into the garage I figured my husband would still be busy caring for the birds.
He wasn’t there, and when I got upstairs he was busy chopping and mixing in the kitchen. He’d layered some delicious looking eggs, veggies, and cheese in a pie plate, which came out of the oven hot and golden brown.
I’m not sure if it’s more quiche or baked frittata, but I am certain it’s better than anything I’ve made for breakfast lately.
He isn’t even that much of a breakfast person. We didn’t have a lot of supper last night because of the new birds, so he was just hungry and decided to create. Or maybe he just felt like eggs in honor of our new acquisitions. Either way I was happy and impressed.