Peep! Peep! Peep! is all you hear on the other end of the phone before the Postmaster says in a very excited voice, “I have a box of chicks for you. You can come anytime. Just knock on the back door.” After rushing to town, the chicks are brought home.
There are at least 25 because the hatchery will not ship less than twenty-five chicks. A heat lamp is hooked up and a jar of water with antibiotic is fixed so the chicks can drink. There is dirt put in the bottom of the box with some chick start feed. The chicks must eat dirt, so their craw and digestive system works correctly.
Each little chick is taken from the box and their little beak is dipped in the water a couple of times so they each have a drink. They are each set in the box of dirt and feed to eat. After an hour, they are put back in the box to sleep. This is repeated two more times the first day. If there is a sick chick, the chick is removed, wrapped in a blanket and put under the heat lamp by itself. If a chick gets sick it usually dies. It is live or die with them.
A setting hen is brought from the chicken house and put in the coup with two little chicks at night. If the two chicks are alive in the morning, the hen has accepted them. She is given the rest of the brood. A big hen can take care of 25 chicks. The heat from her body will keep the chicks warm. The chicks are darling when they sit on top of the hen. They think they are so wise when they manage to hop up on the hens back and perch there.
When they get old enough and the weather permits, you can let them out of the coup. When the coup door is opened, the chicks dart out flapping their wings. The old hen puffs up and starts clucking in hopes she can keep them under control.
From RealRancher Jonita Sommers – Daniel, Wyo.