Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spring Arrives with a Splash and a Peep

My biggest fear since moving into my current home finally happened, but it was minor. It rained so much in such a short time that the creek came out of the banks and flooded around the house. It left everything in a big mess but it did not destroy anything or wash anything away, amazingly enough. It is only a matter of time until a big flood happens here. I need to set my focus toward getting a new home built on higher ground. Daunting.

Another cat has disappeared. Sweet Cassiopeia disappeared two days after the flood. She was here when I left for work and gone forever by the time I got home that evening. That is the last time I will try to have a cat here. Their life expectancy is only about six months. She was a very sweet cat and I feel terrible, including guilty.

I owe the good Dukester an apology for casting suspicion on his sterling character. I am sorry for labeling him as a chicken murderer. I have allowed Evil Rooster to roam at will day and night, (hoping he will meet his demise), but Duke has no interest in him except to eat the chicken food I scatter. It is clear it was not Duke that killed Amidala. He and Cassie were friends so I know he did not kill her or cause her to disappear. Sadly, whatever is causing my cats to disappear apparently does not have a taste for evil roosters...

Almost two months ago I ordered chicks from My Pet Chicken, a hatchery located in Connecticut. They are the only hatchery in the USA that will sex bantam breed peeps. That means I can buy all hens and not have to worry about unwanted roosters. They also have found a way to mail peeps in small numbers, as few as one chick! They have a formula. The further you live from their hatchery, the more chicks you have to purchase in order to insure they can maintain their body heat during the journey. Once peeps get too cold, they are doomed. I had to purchase eight chicks in order to get the four I wanted, but they all arrived in excellent health yesterday morning at the Gage post office in Topeka. So cute!

Of the eight Silver Sebright peeps, two are impossibly small and their fluff is distinctly colored. I hope I am wrong, but those two characteristics meant I had chosen rooster chicks last year. Since I paid TEN DOLLARS APIECE for these tiny little creatures specifically to avoid roosters, I hope those people in Connecticut were not hung over the day they sexed these eight peeps! Time will tell.

Only one chick had baby wing feathers yesterday, but this morning they all have them - in less than 24 hours! It is most amazing how quickly chicks grow up. There are too many of them for me to give them all names but I am sure there will be one or two who distinguishes herself in this tiny flock.

Once again I have to express my appreciation of the United States Post Office. Affordable, efficient, reliable and willing to deliver just about anything you can get into a box. The chicks came in a little cardboard pyramid designed to not tip over. It contained nesting material and two heat packs, and eight healthy little peeps! I felt sorry for those little guys. They hatched, but before their fluff was hardly dry, they were packed up and shipped to far off tornado country. I do not know how many United States Postal Service employees handled that little box of chicks, but they did a fine job.

This is what the chicks will look like when they are grown. From the day I saw photos of these chickens, I wanted a few. Their feathering is so unusual! They are poor egg layers and not very hardy so it is likely another bad idea in a lifetime of bad ideas. Who is keeping score?

A Silver Sebright hen above. Left, the eight Silver Sebright chicks I ordered from Connecticut. Poor tiny peeps traveled so far to arrive in Kansas....


Me Plus Three said...

They are actually very cute for a chicken!! Hope we can come down and see them all sometime soon!

cyberkit said...

I hope you and your peeps stay safe and dry!