Thursday, June 20, 2013


My inlaws ordered us some Jersey Giant chicks from our local feed store as a Christmas gift. While it was a lovely idea, the whole experience was a little overwhelming.

Hubs received a phone call on the day the chicks arrived from his mother saying the chicks were in, he had an hour to get there, and he needed to bring a box to put them in. He was still on the water, had to drive 20 minutes to sell his catch, and did not have a box with him. I received a somewhat frantic phone call from him, which I will spare you most of the details but the general theme was "who sells a product and doesn't have a way for you to bring it home??" Understood. When he pulled in to the feed store, EVERYONE was there to pick up their chicks and he just didn't have the time to deal with it, so he asked me to go and pick them up.

I arrive at the feed store and go to the counter and say, "I'm here to pick up my chicks." deadpan response from lady at the counter: "You need to check in in the office over there." Ok.

I check in at the office, give them my husband's name, and the lady with the book says, "Oh. You're here to pick up Jersey Giants." Yes. The woman next to her says, "We're out of those." No emotion, no explanation, matter of fact they are out of Jersey Giant chicks. Except we ordered them. My inlaws paid for them. It's not like I showed up on a whim hoping there might be a couple left. So I said the first thing that came to mind: "No, you're not. We ordered them." That woman walked out of the office, and the woman with book apologized and explained that they did not know what happened, whether someone handing out chicks made mistakes or if the hatchery shorted them, but they should have had 2 extra chicks and instead they did not have enough. While I was standing there, another customer called expecting a Rhode Island Red rooster that they also did not have.

I was not quite sure what to do. No resolution was offered, other people were coming in with boxes of all sorts to pick up their new chicks, and I was left standing there with nothing. Finally I spoke up and said, "So what is going to happen?" The large man in the corner of the office, who seemed to be somewhat in charge (as much as anyone was in charge there) said, "I will give the hatchery a call tomorrow, there are other chicks we're supposed to have that we don't, I just don't know what happened. I'm not sure if they'll send an order that small, but that's all we can really do." Great, finally, someone willing to do something.

I leave the feed store and call my mother in law and give her the news, which surprised her as much as it surprised me. She even offered to call her son for me and give him the bad news since he seemed a little upset over the whole box issue. And she assured me that one way or another we'd get our chicks.

A week goes by and finally our chicks are in! I get a box, put some shavings in it (that's how we brought home our previous chicks), and head to the feed store. I get there and go straight to the office, where I'm told I need to check in at the counter. Ok. I do so, and I'm told I need to wait for the lady with the book to get back. She comes back, never makes eye contact with me, takes my box and goes to get my chicks (after handing a man his chicks in a poptarts box). Halfway to the back room she looks in my box, looks disgusted, and tells me I have too many shavings in my box. I say, "Ok, we can take some out." And she says, "No. Just do it when you get home." totally exasperated with me. Maybe she remembers me from the week before.

She comes back, gives me my chicks, and then tells the lady at the counter to make a note about my box. And you know, I get it know, the chicks I brought home before were older, and knew the difference between food and shavings, but I didn't know that then. I can't be the only first-time chick getter at their store, you would think they would have a teensy bit of patience for folks like me, and would want to educate so we don't make mistakes like that right off. I had prepared in many other ways, read books about brooding and hatching and all the other things I needed, but I missed that part.

If it was so important to make a note about, you would think they would supply boxes.

So that is the adventure of bringing our chicks home. We have had them for about a month now, mostly drama free. I have a few more stories to update you with soon! Here are some pics of them on day one, and a few days after that. Day one is the bottom picture.

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