I received a call from the Iowa poultry breeder on Tuesday evening while I was milking goats. Unfortunately, my order of Icelandic chicks wasn’t able to be filled – his hatch only provided five chicks – so a shipment had been made that day which contained chicks from two different breeds as well as the five Icelandics. I really didn’t want any other breeds, but a minimum number of chicks have to be shipped in order to keep the chicks warm enough. The US Postal Service came through with flying colors again — not necessarily great about delivering letters timely, but live chicks are always delivered quickly — and I got a call on Thursday at 6:06 am from the post office stating my chicks were ready to be picked up. While in past years I would have been out the door in 5 minutes, I’ve learned that the chicks can really handle another 30 minutes in their box so I took the time to have a cup of coffee before heading out. When I got back home and took the new chicks out to the brooder, I opened the box to find . . .
12 Range Sussex chicks. These are not a true breed but an experimental cross between Sussex and Dorkings first made by this poultry breeder in the mid-1990s to determine if the cross was less susceptible to certain poultry diseases. These were sent as “filler” chicks.
The remaining ten chicks included five Partridge Barnvelders and five (one dead) Icelandics. The black(ish) chick is an Icelandic and the brown chick behind it is a Barnvelder.
Given how my year has gone to date I guess I not surprised that the one chick that didn’t survive shipping was one of my much anticipated Icelandics.
I’ll have an update on the (lack of) progress after the fire in a few days. I’m too depressed to want to think about it right now.