Today I picked up my 3 new chickens from the local post office. They all came in one small box. They were clucking away on the bench at the Post Office.
They are pullets (females, hens 18-22 weeks old). All are about the size of a large pigeon. I think they'll grow quite a bit more. One of the breeds I got grows to 10 lbs and I can't imagine she's much more than 3 or 4 lbs right now. They are supposed to start laying in a week or two.
When I brought them home, I opened their box in their new coop. They immediately began to explore, scratch and eat what they could. I had scattered feed pellets and some chicken treats. They found their waterer. One of the chickens dug up a nice worm! Slirp. They seemed very comfy in their new home.
Only Ginger, the Auracana, went up the ramp and into the hen house at dusk. Bertha the big white Brahma and Penny the black Australorp, settled down to sleep in the run. So I picked them up and put them inside. Ahh - they noticed the feed bucket inside and the roosting bar and the reading lamp. How nice, they seemed to say.
I was worried about the young birds in the cold weather. Emily wrote that they are fine and don't need special chicken comforters or heated blankets. I called McMurray Hatchery and they repeated what Emily said. They are fully feathered out and don't need special attention, no matter how cold. As long as the hen house has no drafts. I said what if it's 10*F - she said they are OK. I said what if it's 0*, she said they are OK .... (She said I could check and see if they are huddling together and look cold and if so, plug in a heat lamp.)
Right now its, 31*F inside the hen house, and 27* outside. Brrr. I trust the 3 young hens are happy and sleeping soundly. (I know I'll be sleeping under a warm comforter!)