I made a passing reference to my baby meat birds arriving on Friday. You didn’t think I’d let that slip without details, right? They had quite an adventure.
It started at 9am wednesday morning which, according to the hatchery shipping bill, is when they hatched. Their next 52 hours are a mystery. I expected them thursday morning – priority overnight shipping of a box making as much noise as a pet store and labeled like this:
Is pretty reliable after all.
But when they didn’t show up I tried not to panic. After all the hatchery says it can take 48 hours. When the power went out, I only panicked a little. It’d probably come back on overnight, before the babies arrived. Right? (wrong)
When they didn’t show up Friday morning, I panicked some more. Then I called the hatchery and asked for a tracking number. All the USPS website said was that the package had been “missent” and they were attempting to deliver it as promptly as possible.
No mention of where it had been missent to, or why, or where it was at that moment. I got a little angry. After all, if the box arrived on time it was a bundle of noisy joy. If it arrived late it would be a box of dead baby chicks. No one wants that. And while the hatchery guarantees “live on arrival” and will send more if something like this happens – that’s not really helpful to the “missent” batch of baby chicks, now is it?
By mid-morning I had my local post office in on the search, and they couldn’t get any info on the package either. I was starting to hope that where ever it was some kind postal worker would look at the hatching date and just take them to the nearest farm, rather then having them arrive at the right place too late to save any. Somehow, and we never did get any details, they showed up at the post office right at 1pm. Even the guy driving the truck didn’t know where the package had come from… But I didn’t mind since they were alive (and NOISY cranky baby chicks are noisy) and in my hands. Too bad I still didn’t have power, because baby chicks need to be kept warm – about 95F. My solution?
I unloaded them into the footwell of the truck (not even my car, but a borrowed truck!) and cranked the heat. Within 10 minutes they were all eating (furiously) and drinking and taking little naps under the seat of the car (that was fun to clean up later)
So! That’s my solution for heating baby chickens with no power. Another option would be the woodstove – but since it was 65 and MUGGY I didn’t really want to start a fire in the house. The babies are a week old today, and they’re still 100% alive. I think that says something good about the vitality of these freedom rangers compared to the standard cornish cross chicks.