I Could Have Worse Problems

Red tulips blooming

The tulips opened up yesterday. They are very late this year. But why fret about them blooming so late? I could have worse problems.

Bielefelder chicks

I ordered some Bielefelder chicks which arrived here on Wednesday, April 12. What a relief. They only took 2 days to arrive. They hatched on the 10th, went out the door in Iowa that afternoon, got to St. Paul, MN, that night, were in Kent, WA, on the 11th at night, and were at the Bow Post Office on the 12th. When baby chicks arrive in two days they are in great health. If it takes 3 days, some are weak, and some may be dead. if it takes 4 days, very few survive. So, yeah, I could have worse problems.

I think if you would have told settlers crossing the Rockies in covered wagons that some day in the future, chicks born in Iowa will be in rural Washington State in two days, they would have had you committed for being insane.

This year, I tried a heat plate instead of a heat lamp. The thing in the back with the yellow legs is the heat plate. The underside of it is around 102ºF (39ºC), plenty warm for the chicks to huddle underneath when they get cold. It’s much better than the heat lamps I used before which bathe the chicks in light 24 hours a day.

With a heat plate, they get to sleep in the dark. It’s much more like sleeping underneath a mother.

First dandelion

I prefer to have a hen raise the chicks, but I wanted some more Bielefelder chickens, and when I ordered these chicks last fall, April 10th was the first delivery. Without any broody hens, I have to raise these myself. I could have worse problems than not having a broody hen when I need one.

The first of the dandelions bloomed last week. So did the Japanese pear.

Japanese pear, nashi, flower
Lazy dog

Is a lazy dog a big problem? She’s not really lazy, just tired after hunting much of the night. I never considered dogs to be nocturnal beasts, but our two dogs love to go our hunting at 2 in the morning for an hour or two. Sometimes they are out hunting all night long. I could have bigger problems, though any raccoon, possum, or other night hunter who ventures too close when our two dogs are out at night wishes they had gone another way.

Pecking chick on hand

But I do have this problem. A chick which likes to peck the other chicks too much. She is OK with them late in the evening, through the night, and through the early morning. But once it gets too light, she likes to peck them too aggressively. I’ll spare you the details of where she likes to peck them.

Chick by keyboard

So she likes to hang out with me. She hates being left alone. So I have a box next to me and take her out from time to time. Or I have to hang an arm in the box to keep her company.

Chick on hand as I type

Quite a problem, don’t you think? I’m hoping that once the chicks feather out, she’ll lose her motivation to peck. Whatever happens, she will be the most tame chicken I’ve ever had.