Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Peeps Arrive at Cairnwood!

Ameraucana pullet--Miss Chubby Cheeks

Gold Sex-link pullet

First meal--Wellsummers, Speckled Sussex, Ameraucanas, and Gold Sex-links

Peeps have arrived at Cairnwood Cottage! I placed my order with Welp Hatchery in Iowa in early March for 30 peeps: 6 Welsummer pullets, 6 Welsummer straight run, 6 Speckled Sussex pullets, 6 Ameraucana pullets, and 6 Ameraucana straight run. All arrived in good shape, are lively and healthy looking, with the exception of one...

I got the phone call from the post office at 8:30 a.m. while I was still at work (at UPS). I was getting off work in about 15 minutes, and couldn't wait to get to the post office. Upon arrival at the post office, I was handed a fiercely cheeping box about 10" x 12", stuffed with peeps. I opened it in front of the postal worker so there would be confirmation of any losses, but thankfully that hadn't occured.

Our local Tractor Supply was getting an order of peeps in today as well, and I stopped by there to see what they had available. I stopped last week, but was too late that day...I was told they'd received 150 chicks that a.m., and by the time I got there in the evening, every single one had been sold! Today they had Gold Sex-links, one of the varieties I'd wanted to get, so I bought 6 to join the already peeping masses in my car. Both boxes were placed on the floor and the heater turned on to keep the little guys warm, and off we went to their new home.

I had their little brooder all set up and ready...heat lamp on for 24 hours to get things warmed up to approximately 95 degrees, sugar water set out for them and warmed to room temp. Crushed corncob bedding in place. Sugar water is recommended by the hatchery for the first 24 hours....1/4 cup sugar to one gallon of water. Let the peeps drink this for one hour prior to giving them any food.

So far my future slug slayers all seem to be doing well with the exception of one little Welsummer pullet. She's very lethargic and her breathing is labored...not sure if this is due to shipping stress or what, but I fear the worst for her. I'm not really sure what to do at this point. I realize some losses happen when dealing with peeps, especially ones that get shipped like this, but that doesn't make dealing with their demise any easier.

All morbid thoughts aside, I could spend hours sitting there beside the brooder watching these little critters run about, fall asleep mid-stride, fall asleep with their heads inside the little food trough, run over the tops of each other, stretch their legs, etc. Go you little beetle-munchers! Grow strong!

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