New Chicks

The phone rang at 6 am. The post office had a peeping package.

The post office isn’t even open at this hour.

But this is a small town and when I knocked on the door, I was greeted with a smiling face and handed a small box.

“Glad you’re here. It’s starting to smell.”

The chicks broke out of their shells Monday at Meyer Hatchery in Ohio. They can survive for two days, living off the yolk, but I was glad to get them home.

They need warmth, and so are shipped crowded 25 in a small box, their body heat doing the job. Unfortunately, two little cream-colored chicks were dead on the bottom of the box. The rest of the chicks were healthy and noisy. I dipped each bird’s beak into the water fountain to get their first drink. One sip and they knew what to do. They also knew what to do with the chick feed.

In the next four months, each chick will eat 10 pounds of chick feed. Which is an amazing number when you realize that right now they weigh about an ounce each.

I’m not keeping all 23 chicks. Ten are going to a neighbor. He already has a backyard flock, but a hawk got a number of his birds, so he’s replenishing his stock. Besides, he couldn’t resist trying out a few new breeds. He ordered Buff Chanteclers and Barnevelders, along with the familiar, like the Speckled Sussex.

Speaking of the Speckled Sussex, it’s obvious which ones they are – they’re striped like chipmunks. But, even if all the chicks had the same markings, I’d know. The Sussex are running roughshod over the other birds. Barging this way and that. Little Lulus.

Do let your friends know about the brooder cam. This oh too ridiculously cute stage won’t last long. Soon the chicks will lose their fluff and feather out.

More later, but right now I have to go to the barn. Just because.


  1. They are adorable! Enjoy! I could sit for hours and just watch that normal? Who cares if it’s not! Let’s do it anyway! Have a great day!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this experience with us, Terry. I’ve got the ChickCam displayed on my school library interactive whiteboard. Student reaction is pure joy!

  3. OH! mine are only 8 or 9 weeks old but I already miss the babies size. They are so active and cute!

  4. and there’ll be more arriving in your honour on 13th May care of Babbs the psychotic broody…. so there’s no escape!

  5. Terry,
    How CUTE ! Wish the web cam were zoomed out a tad so we could see the whole box of chicks at once….
    Thanks for sharing !

  6. Congrats! You must be so excited. Question for you: how do you know that you’ll be raising all hens when the little chicks are at such a young age? Is there a chance you’ll end up with some roosters? Anywho, hope you’re having fun with your little peeps. Thanks to the ChickCam, I know I am!

    • I paid extra for all female chicks – but it’s not a 100% guarantee! The hatcheries have professionals who can tell tell. The rest of us can’t – unless it’s a sex-link breed. Then the boys and girls are hatched with totally different feather colors or patterns.

  7. Ten pound of feed per a chick. I know where most of that will end up in….poop. A shame that two of the chicks were dead, I hope you will get credit or your money back for them.
    I have been thinking quite alot about getting chickens and if I did I would go sex link taking someone along with me who knows chickens very well just I don’t make a mistake on those either.

  8. CONGRATS!! All ten of my chicks from Meyer Hatchery were females (as ordered and promised), so the odds are very good!

    Thanks for letting us watch them grow up!

  9. Mine arrived today from Meyer’s too! They must have been traveling buddies!

  10. What kind are the black ones with the little yellow/white bottoms…I think I have identified everyone else…and they don’t go to bed at night, so we can watch them all the time! I notice that when they doze they just kind of fall over for a while, and then, after a nap they are active again. This is such fun. Thank you for sharing!!

  11. How wonderful. They are charmers all. As a night owl, it’s great to be able to watch them after the girls and boys are in bed for the night.

    It must be fun for you to hear them peep, too.

  12. SO cute! And, oh my goodness, it’s 11 p.m., and they’re still up. I’m having a ball watching the ones who stop, mid-stride, and nod right off to sleep, like the one who zonked out in the feeder a few minutes ago. (Who’s awake again now.) Holy cow, are they precious. Congratulations!