Matt and I talked about getting chickens for a couple years, but we finally took the plunge when he started building a chicken coop last year for my birthday! I love that man. I told him everything I wanted in a coop and he made my coop-dreams come true. Check out this post to see our coop.
We ordered our chicks from Meyer Hatchery as day old baby chicks, and have been so happy with them! Picking them up from the post office and hearing their little peeps through the box was just about the cutest thing ever. Then once we got home and opened the box I died of cuteness overload. They were so little, and SO fluffy!!! After talking about them for so long, the girls were over the moon to finally have them home. I was a little nervous about getting baby chicks because I heard they were pretty fragile, but I really wanted our chickens to be friendly and the best way to ensure that is to handle them a lot since day one. Meyer Hatchery not only vaccinated and sexed them, but they gave us a free hen called a “Meyer Meal Maker” so we can use the eggs from that one to donate. How cool is that?! They also sent a bag of electrolytes to add to the chicks’ water to help keep them hydrated.
To set up our brooder, we just used a large plastic container, a heat lamp, pine shavings, chick food and water. I didn’t purchase any special food and water containers because they only use them for such a short time. Luckily my grandma had the glass water containers and the heat lamp she let us borrow, as I just used a round plastic lid for the food. To keep the mess down, I wrapped the lid with four rubber bands to create little pie-slivers to eat from. I also placed an upside-down baby jar filled with water on top of the food dish to help prevent them from standing on top of the food and pooping in it. It worked well!
Once the chicks got a little bigger, we upgraded to a large dog crate. We zip-tied thin wood pieces all around the bottom to prevent them from wiggling out and to help keep the pine shavings in. We are so in love with our sweet chickies! Check out my next post to see them explore the outdoors and settle in to their coop.