We’re restocking our flock of layers this year, and the baby chicks arrived in the mail this morning. They were hatched on Friday in Iowa, packed into a cardboard box on Saturday morning, and arrived at the post office at 8 AM today, happy and cheeping loudly.

My mother, who was raised by chicken farmers, is the resident chicken guru. She helped the kids set up the brooder on the screen porch, where the chicks will stay until they’re closer to pullet-size and we can move them into the pullet pen.

Here’s the reason why the brooder is on the screen porch: the intensely interested shepherd and border collie.

Even more than kittens, baby chicks morph from adorable into hideous into a remarkably short time. But for the time being, adorable dominates.

The one yellow chick is our bonus chick, supposed to be an exotic rooster. (I don’t know what that means. We’ll see.) The black chicks are bred to be good layers; the brown and blacks are Araucanas, which lay naturally colored eggs: turquoise, blue, green, olive. We’ve been wanting to experiment with these for a while.

Theoretically, the eggs turn out something like this:

Will be sure to post pictures of the first eggs they lay.

Showing 10 comments
  • Lisa

    We have six Auraucanas and we love them! They are so friendly. Our eggs do indeed look like those except for the flesh-toned one in the back.

  • e

    The eggs will be beautiful–I’ve been getting them from my CSA, and they are a sight to be seen soft-boiled on the breakfast table.

  • Carrie

    Wow, those are beautiful chicks and I’m sure their eggs will be lovely as well. Wish we could have some chickens 🙂 (Well, without the mess 🙂

  • Kathy

    Adorable chicks. We have ducks that laid eggs for us for a good while. Next year, perhaps we’ll get some chickens.

  • Sarah Park

    ooh, so pretty!

  • Melissa in Australia

    For some strange reason all the photos you have posted are stretched on my computer, they are so stretched that each photo goes over four screens long.

  • Sharon Wheeless

    I’m fascinated on so many levels. I had no idea farm animals could come by mail, or that chicken eggs come in colors other than white and brown. I think I know how your dogs feel.

  • Laurie

    To the person who asked about distorted pictures, if you download the pictures, they appear normal when you open them. Just right click on the image and select “save picture as.” Make sure you know where you saved it, or search for the name. My kids really wanted to see the pictures, so I gave it a try. Thanks for the great history books. I never learned history in public school becasue it was so dry, so I’m learning with my children as we go through the Story of the World. I’m looking to buy the History of the World soon. Thanks!

  • Ellen

    An exotic rooster, hmmm? That’s an intriguing concept. And I’m with you on the kitten-morph observation!

  • Courtney Roberts

    Our chicks are living in my bathroom right now. This has become an annual rite of passage for us, and I am thankful that this year is limited to only 6 chicks (3 barred rocks, 3 golden buffs, 0 roosters . . . . . whoo-hoo!) Since our venture into the world of poultry, I have come to the following conclusion: If there is any feasible way that something can be messed up, a chick(en) will find it. They start out as cute puff balls of fluff (who sometimes need their bottoms cleaned); but within a week, they are instruments of destruction and chaos.
    It is a good thing that I enjoy quiche!

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