Got a call from the post office at 8AM this morning that they had arrived, airmail from the Murray McMurray Hatchery in Webster City, Iowa. All bantams: 30 Golden Seabrights, 10 Auracanas, 2 Partridge Rocks, 4 Rhode Island Reds. 4 Japanese Bantams, 1 “free rare exotic chick.”
I picked them up and we put them in a box under a warm infrared light and dipped their beaks into water for their first drink. The Seabrights are quite tiny, quite beautiful, and fragile. 6 have died so far — par for the course. They can’t sex bantams, so we order twice as many as we want in in order to get the right # of hens. We’ll keep one Seabright rooster to eventually hatch more of them. Excess roosters will be offed for barbecue. We’ll use the Rhode Islands as setters (the full-size Rhode Islands never set, but the bantams retain the setting instinct).
I spent the weekend building a separate yard for the babies; otherwise they would be attacked by the grown-ups when small.