Chick Shopping Spree

I’m not sure who was more excited about the mention of a shopping spree, my daughter or I.  She was not deterred that the shopping spree was to the local Tractor Supply store, in fact, the whole family got in on the action.  Supplies needed to be purchased and a shopping spree like no other was in order.

While I mostly go to this supply store for birdseed, I’ve become quite familiar with it over the years, enjoying walking around and seeing all of the farm supplies, but it’s Chick Days that really excites me.  Each spring,  I look forward to their chick sale, getting antsy and looking more intently at the store as I drive by mid February, waiting.  Once the banner goes up announcing the arrival of the chicks, I can’t drive by without stopping to ooh and ahh over the assortment of chicks for sale and to dream of one day taking some home.  Well, golly, “one day” is coming and it’s coming tomorrow!

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Chicks for sale during Chick Days at Tractor Supply

 

The chicks I ordered in November from mypetchicken.com  will be born today, sexed and shipped out for overnight delivery tomorrow.  Can you stand it?!  Ah!  This time tomorrow, I will be waiting with bated breath on the call from the post office to pick up our one day old chicks- peep!  peep!

Many people purchase their chicks from a feed and supply store like Tractor Supply or our local store Bowman’s. They put out large metal feeding troughs, clip heat lamps onto the sides, spread some bedding, add food and water and fill the troughs with a good variety of chicks to tempt the newbies and established chicken owners alike.   I always thought that would be where I’d purchase mine too when the time was right, proudly carrying my “chick take out container” to the register and carefully shuttling them home.

The thing is, I have had so much time over the years to dream of my chicks and to see them in their glory at friends’ homes, that I had compiled a list of varieties I’d like to have and in order to get them all, I opted to order them from My Pet Chicken to be assured that I’d get what I want.

The feed supply stores have schedules with dates indicating which chicks are arriving when but they don’t all come in at the same time.  Ideally, you want to bring home the brood together and not introduce any later to reduce the risk of pecking and ostracizing so timing can be challenging.  Likewise, the many clerks I’ve talked to over the years have indicated that for preferred breeds, people are lined up before they open and once they’re gone, they’re gone for that shipment.  I didn’t want to take any chances so I ordered what I wanted in November.

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Shopping cart view:  feed storage pail, starter feed, pine shavings for bedding, lamp, red light bulbs and feeder. 

 

Now, as I envisioned this whole process in November, our coop would have been newly finished and readily awaiting its inhabitants.  Alas, things rarely go as planned and life happened in between so the coop is not ready.  Along with a myriad of other commitments, weather too kept us at bay.  In fact, we just had another nasty cold and snowy weekend, rendering warmer days that much more tantalizing.

My husband has been working diligently on their chateau and it should be ready for them within the next couple of weeks.  Until then, their peep palace will be a large orange crate housed in the safety of our garage with a heat lamp to keep them warm, initially at 95 degrees, then lower by five degrees each week until 70 degrees and their feathers come in.

While I was initially disappointed to not be able to move the chicks into their new home upon arrival, I’ve come to see how this will work better for us all.  Chick viewing in the comfort of our garage could not be any more ideal-  folding chairs, coffee and the sweet sound of peeps!

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The lovely copula my husband made was attached yesterday.  Framing of the nesting boxes and feed storage bins can be seen up front.

 

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I received this beautiful piece from my family this week.  It’s intended for the coop, but I don’t think I can bear to expose it to the elements.

 

Next post:  chicks!

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