meyer hatchery

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     A season can’t go by in our household without adding something cute and fluffy to our menagerie, and next spring will be no exception.  It became abundantly clear to us that our small flock of layers is slowing down, what with their annual molt and the shortened days of winter, leaving us with virtually NO eggs.  They will undoubtedly pick up laying again in the spring, when feathers are full and the days lengthen, but the hubs and I couldn’t resist going online and ordering a few more peeps.  

     After doing a feature piece on mail order poultry in Chickens magazine this fall, I decided to order from Meyer Hatchery, based out of Ohio.  They ship small numbers and had all but one of the breeds I had my heart set on.  It won’t be many birds, but enough to bump up our egg numbers and give us a chance to try out a few new breeds.  Stay tuned: the week of May 8th is when the fluff and cuteness arrives!  Cheep!

     Photos courtesy: Meyer Hatchery

Somewhere in Polk, OH Today

A slew of chicks are hatching and are being moved out of the incubator, into a box that will be shipping to my house. In the past, I’ve poured over catalogs and hand-picked the breeds I wanted. This year with all the family drama, I thought, fuck it, and ordered two of Meyer Hatchery’s Assortments — Rare Layers (all hens) and LeAnn’s Adopt Me! which can be any type of poultry that they carry, whatever gets left in the incubator…

There’s an anticipation, akin to Christmas, not knowing what you are going to receive. The LeAnn’s Assortment is especially exciting as there may be turkey poults! Ducklings! Also Bantams which I don’t really want. Maybe Marans which would be great. It’s also straight run which means there’s likely to be about half and half - hims and hers. A consideration down the road.

I’ve been moving around my birds to make rooms for the chicks, and as if my current birds are aware of this — suddenly all of the usual suspects are going broody. Typical. I’m hoping to slip some chicks under the dopey Black Cochin in the front pen. It’s SO much easier to let a hen do the work with the little ones. The Cochin never wants to brood full-term so maybe 2 weeks and voila a slew of chicks, will suit her better. Fingers crossed on that one.

And like any kind of new mom, I’m worried about all the things that can go wrong between here and OH, between the packing, shipping, and the Post Office handlers, who are not always big fans of little birds. Sometimes the boxes get crushed, sometimes the heat gets to the little guys, or the cold, or the time…just about anything can go wrong.

Anxious. Also WAYYYYY too many chicks. What the hell was I thinking?