The chicks arrived safe and sound Wednesday. We ordered 10 but received 11. As best I can tell this is standard practise for hatcheries in case of loss during shipping. They all arrived healthy, though one of the gingers was being picked on by the others. We placed them in a Rubbermaid tub with feed and water. A quick dip of the beak and they were drinking with no problems. They figured out the feed pretty quickly too.
We have 2 Barred Plymouth Rocks, 2 Black Sex-Links, 2 New Hampshire x Barred Rocks, 2 Columbian Rock x Reds (white), and 3 Rhode Island Red x Columbian Rocks (ginger). The ginger chicks and the white chicks are the easiest to identify as to breed but the blacks are harder. We think the small blacks are the Sex-Links, the black and yellow are the Barred Rocks, and the larger blacks are the Barred Rock crosses.
We've only had the chicks for three days but they are already getting bigger, almost double their arrival size, and developing more chicken traits. They love to chase earwigs and mosquitos, when we can catch the bugs and drop them in with the chicks. They have started scratching on the floor of their current box, usually slinging feed all over the place. Their wing feathers are starting to really develop and they love to "fly" from one side of their box to the other, using each other as speed bumps of course.
Yesterday was nice and sunny so we placed them in a temporary chicken tractor to let them get used to being outside. They were a little unsure at first but the first bug to venture to close made them very happy to be outside. They chased bugs, scratched around in the grass, and dozed in the sun. After a couple of hours we returned them to their brooder where they settled in for a nap, which lasted all of about 10 minutes, before they returned to scratching and feeding.
I'm delighted with their personalities and their love of eating bugs. A couple of them seem to have really taken a shine to PeterC as they look at him and run to his hand when he reaches into their brooder. Maybe they are simply looking for treats but I don't think so. They look at him when he makes little clucking noises and seem happy to see him. I'm truly looking forward to watching them grow up.