6 June and there was fresh snow on Mt. Lamborn this morning. At least this time I got a picture. Over the last day we’ve gotten almost half an inch of rain and the Grand Mesa got 4 inches of fresh snow. The rains will be really good for establishing our pastures.

Today was also chicken arrival day. We raise some chicks each year. Usually we get both meat broilers and some laying hens but this year we decided to just raise one batch of meat birds. Our hens from last years chicks are doing well and should last through another winter. We buy our chicks from Ideal Hatchery in Texas. The baby chicks are packaged and sent via the post office. We get a call from them early in the morning as soon as the truck arrives with the mail.

We went to town, knock at the post office back door and get our box of chicks. Then home to the already prepared brooder. I now dip each chicks beak in the water as I take them out and count them. We ordered 100 and Ideal shipped 104. That’s to cover any early losses. The chicks are looking bright and alert and doing well. I think waiting until later in the year is a good idea.

I know that all hatcheries say not to use newspaper for baby chicks because it can cause problems with their legs. But their suggestion, burlap, is not available locally. We used to be able to get some feed in burlap sacks but now it’s all in paper bags. So I use newspaper and try to get them off and on to shavings as soon as I am sure they are eating well and know what the food is.

The red broilers we get grow a bit more slowly than commercial white broilers but they are much more active foragers. Their color also makes them less of a target for the hawks and eagles. We expect these birds to be at slaughter size the end of August.