On Friday, May 2, my 5 year old granddaughter, Charlotte, joined me and friends Terri and Beth at the Danvers Agway to pick out our 3 new chicks. The chicks were the promised rewards for beginning retirement in January. “No retirement - No chicks” was the mantra I’d heard for the past couple of years and I was now ready to collect on my end of the bargain and Charlotte was thrilled to help me.
I gave Charlotte, all wonder and joy, free range on picking the chicks, the only requirement being they had to look different so naming and identifying would be easier. And no Rhode Island Reds as I never found Gertrude to be much of a warm and fuzzy type hen.
In no time Charlotte had chosen our 3 new girls – a multi-colored ‘Easter Egg’ chick, a white Columbian Rock Cross (yes, it’s still part RI Red), and a light brown Golden Comet. Together we named them Lottie, Millie, and Nellie, respectively. I’m not sure Charlotte realized ‘Lottie’ could be a nickname for Charlotte… I think that’s a compliment myself!
|Nellie Day 3|
|Lottie Day 3|
|Millie Day 3|
In addition to the chicks I finally bought an official heat lamp (rather than use the clip on light I had before) plus I got medicated starter feed and some chick scratch. Charlotte carefully balanced the ‘box of chicks’ on her lap for the ride home. They chirped and she smiled, a perfect combination.
Our kitchen chick coop was a redeployed clear plastic bin, an upgrade from prior years using the city recycling bin which was blue and allowed no visual stimulation for the chicks. We settled them in their new home, the lamp positioned to give them the needed 95 degrees of warmth. We also added a hardware cloth cover to keep the chicks in and the cats out. Pepper and Nutmeg stalked the bin and we were quite worried Pepper would get in as he’s a great and mighty hunter. But even his paws could not get through the small metal grid.