Each year we order more newly hatched chicks so that we always have young hens to lay eggs for market. Our replacement hens are to keep up egg production, not to really "replace" the older gals. We let the older ones just retire on the farm. As hens age they lay fewer & fewer eggs. The eggs from the older hens are also more likely to have flawed shells or otherwise end up as culls. In order to keep all of our customers happy, we need to continually add new layers & this was the day the latest newly hatched pullets arrived.
The post office calls early in the morning to let me know that I can come on to town to retrieve them. I always get there before the post office actually opens for business but if I knock on the door someone peeks out & hands me my birds. I can usually hear them even before the postman opens the door. This time there were supposed to be 150 little ones cheep-cheep-cheeping away in the two large boxes. I loaded them up & they serenaded me all the way home.
I finally pulled my milking stool up between the shipping crate & one of the empty watering troughs so that I could begin to unpack the little gals. This time I had ordered a random assortment of brown egg layers so I was interested in seeing what I might find. From the looks of it, I have a nice mix of birds.
I did have to laugh when I was setting things up. I had walked outside the stable to wash out the waterers. The wagon that I used to haul the bird boxes back to the stable was about fifteen feet from the far door. As I walked in I caught Ralphie, one of our ornerier goats, with his feet up in the wagon. He was pushing it along & did not stop until he got to the far door. I managed to get a quick picture. I think the lambs saw the camera & wanted me to know that they had nothing to do with this stunt.