Thursday, September 12, 2013

The long awaited arrival!

Ok, so the decision to get a small backyard flock was an easy one for me.  I have had chickens before and absolutely loved cooking and baking with my fresh eggs.  I love filling my Grandma Cox's wonderful bowl with beautiful eggs.  BUT...talking my husband into it was another thing entirely.  I guess I can't really blame him.  He is a city boy through and through and truly had no idea what he was getting himself into.  The fact that he agreed to my pleas for a chicken house really showed me how much he must love me.

I ordered 12 started pullets from Murray McMurray Hatchery on June 5th, 2013.  And I chose a delivery date sometime the week of  September 10th.  I discussed it with my husband and he thought we could have the coop built and ready by then.  And I definitely wanted to place my order early because I very much wanted some Ameracauna's and some Cuckoo Marans and I was afraid that waiting to order could mean those breeds were sold out.  I spent lots of time considering whether ordering started pullets was the right thing to do.  After all I want eggs as quickly as possible.  But I also want the new pullets to be tame and docile and I worried that might be harder with older chickens.  

As the time grew closer for the delivery of the pullets I got more and more worried about whether or not our little coop would be ready.  And who knew that the weather on September 7th and 8th, 2013 in Kansas would include high temperatures around 105 degrees!!!!  To make matters worse, my husband got sick with a fever and terrible congestion and cough.  I don't think he has been sick once in the last 4 years! How were we possibly going to get done?  We hadn't even begun to build the run!  I guess sheer determination got us through.  And luckily my daughter's boyfriend came over and helped us construct the poop board and roosts.  Whew!  What a relief.

I definitely stalked the USPS tracking page beginning on September 10th.  I constantly checked for any updates on where my 7 girls were. (The 5 Cuckoo Marans didn't ship with the 5 Ameracauna and 2 Buff Orpingtons.  They will arrive near the end of October)
On both Wednesday and Thursday morning I was up at 5 a.m. with the anticipation of the post office calling to let me know that the pullets arrived.  I finally got a call on September 12th at 8:20.  I raced out to the coop to add water to a flat dish so the new pullets would have something to drink as soon as I unloaded them.  And I was sure to add a little "Quik Chick" to the water.  I know these girls aren't exactly "chicks" but I ordered a packet from Murray McMurray when I ordered the pullets.  I just think it helps them get a good start with some extra vitamins and electrolytes.  Then off to the post office to get the girls and bring them to their new home.

Having never ordered started pullets I had no idea exactly how they would be shipped.  Here is a picture of the box all loaded in my car and ready for the last leg of their long journey.
And finally, a few pictures of the girls in their new home.  They sure dove into the food and water right away!  Poor girls!  What a long time to travel in a tiny box.  
I'm so sorry for the off center iphone picture.  I was so excited and in such a hurry to get the girls out of the boxes.  There were 3 sections in this shipment.  One box contained the 2 Buff Orpingtons.  One box contained 3 Ameracaunas and one box contained the other 2 Ameracaunas.  Of course after spending so much time in such a confined area some of the girls had lost some feathers across their backs and in the tail feather area.  I imagine there was a lot of pecking and standing on each other happening.
And one more terrible quality picture.  I am so happy to have the girls in their new home.  And they seem to be settling in very well.  I am excited for all of our adventures to come and VERY excited for the first egg to be laid.

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