Sunday, April 3, 2011

Up All Night With The Girls

Power outages are not good for new chicks.  New chicks need to be kept warm - very warm.  Their first week they need to be kept in a temperature of 95 degrees.  This is easily done with a 250 watt warming lamp.  Not so easy when the power is out on a stormy snowy night!! 
Heating Lamp

Last night as the power went out, my birds were left without the warming lamp.  Luckily I woke up shortly after the power outage about 2:00 am.  As I checked in on the girls, they were huddled together benefiting from each others warmth.  The smallest (we have named her Marilyn) was wiggling her way to the middle of the flock.  I was grateful they were in the house and not in the garage.  I turned on the fireplace and was able to warm the room up enough so they weren't to cold. 

As I was up all night with these chicks, I recalled a similar time when I was on my mission and stayed up all night with chicks. 

I had recently been transferred to Zona 5 in Guatemala City.  My companion was Hermana Leininger.  Our zone leaders came by one day with a gift for us.  They gave us two incubated eggs, and told us if we kept the eggs warm they would hatch. That night I removed the shade from a lamp and set the lamp on it's side.  I put the eggs as close to the light bulb as I dared - I didn't want to cook them!  This was my sad attempt to protect and incubate these eggs.  Well it seemed that I couldn't warm the eggs.  So, I took the eggs to bed with me.  I thought maybe my body heat would warm them.  I put them under my neck, in my arm pit, the back of my knee.  Nothing I did could warm those eggs.  I spent a sleepless night trying to warm those eggs.  In the morning it dawned on me that these eggs were regular breakfast eggs, and that the Elders were pranking us. 

I couldn't let it end there. 

A couple of days went by.  The Elders would call and ask us about the eggs.  We would tell them how much care we were giving those eggs.  They seemed very pleased.  We knew that we would be seeing the Elders soon, so we needed to be prepared.  In Guatemala, back in the early eighties, you could buy chicks at the grocery store.  On our way home one evening, we stopped at the store and purchased two baby chicks.  The next day when the Elders came by, we ran out to them with exciting news - that the eggs they had given us had hatched!!  They were speachless!!  What could they say??  We bested them and we all knew it, but they couldn't acknowledge it.  HaHaHa!  I'm still laughing to this day!!

We even named the chicks.  David and Eric.  Those were of course the Elders names.

I am posting a photo of myself and my companion with our chicks.  It is against my better judgement that I am posting it.  When you see my hairdo you'll know why I hesitate to show the world this photo.  Just don't laugh at me!  And if you do... don't tell me you did.

Me with David and Eric

Kris with David and Eric

What Came First? The Chicken or The Coop??

We have about five weeks before we need a coop, for the babies we just brought home.  I'm so excited to have little chicks.  This is something I've wanted to do for the past few years.

These chicks are so CUTE!!  They are so comical to watch.  They run as fast as their little legs can go then suddenly stop and fall asleep - literally - falling beak first into the pine shavings.  The first time we witnessed one of the girls do this we thought she had died of exhaustion. 

They seem to have endless energy, then suddenly they're asleep.  They fall asleep standing up, all wobbly like a two year old, not wanting to give into sleep.  After five minutes of a good deep sleep they are up and running again.

Right now my girls are staying in the house.  Shocking I know!  For anyone who doesn't know me, I don't like animals in the house.  They'll grow fast, they'll live in a tub for the next 5 weeks (Most of which will be spent in the garage).  Once they have pin feathers they can be put out in the coop. 

Oh, wait!  I don't have a coop! 
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