Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome! Here’s what to expect from our first blog post- An introduction to the humans behind The Chicken Dome, an introduction of the chickens behind The Chicken Dome, and the philosophy behind The Chicken Dome. Allons-y!
Remember the first day of class when you go around in the room and introduce yourself and in three sentences you’re expected to give your life story? Well… let’s get that out of the way…
Hi! Our names are TJ & Timmy Mundell-Patterson, and we’re addicted to Doctor Who and Chickens.
Now that we’ve established that, let’s elaborate. Timmy and I are the owners of Green Lotus Spa in Dallas and Colleyville TX. We had 18 minutes of internet fame with our Doctor Who themed engagement photos (and wedding). We rescue and foster Italian Greyhounds with Texas Italian Greyhound Rescue. We own a Geodesic Dome home (hence the name Chicken Dome), and are avid fans of the genius R. Buckminster Fuller who designed the original geodesic dome homes. And we are the proud relatives of an amazing family on both sides of our weirdness. Two of which are in the animal heath care industry whom we’ll be verifying information throughout the life of this blog.
Okay, that was boring… now the fun part… CHICKENS!!!! We have 7 Chickens- Dixie, Khaleesi, Oswin, Effie, Susan, Berdie Sanders, and Thumper. This blog is from the perspective of first-time chicken owners and suggestions are incredibly welcome.
Mail-order chickens sounds like a horrendous thing… and in the days between your first chicken order and when they arrive are some of the most nerve-wracking days of the whole chicken process. So a few talking points will help your anxiety.
Day-old chicks are still living off their egg sacs for the first 3-4 days of life. Here’s an excerpt from their website-
“The reason this works – and is safe for the chicks – is that baby chicks are designed to be just fine for up to 72 hours without food or water. They ingest the yolks of the eggs from which they hatch before hatching. The yolk provides them with the nutrition they need to survive for a few days.
The boxes that chicks are shipped in are well-ventilated and we can include Gro-Gel Plus if you include it in your order. Obviously, you will need to pick up your chicks as soon as you can so you can give them food and water but you don’t need to worry about their health during shipping.”
That being said… They ship Express- meaning a maximum of 3 days from shipping to delivery.
4 days of shipping and sever phone calls/tweets to the USPS and all 6 chicks arrived perfectly safe and unharmed! USPA actually delivered them to our door and called me beforehand to make sure I was home before delivery. Normally you would pick your chicks up from your local express post office, but Bedford is awesome. (And our Postmaster lives behind us so that helps)
When your chicks come in, immediately read the directions. Just do it. for first time chicken owners, there is no room for “oh I don’t need to read this”… READ EVERYTHING YOU CAN.
All of our chicks were excited to be out of the box and into their brooder which we bought from Purely Poultry as well. The pine shavings were a little difficult for the babies to walk on, so we placed paper towels down (Just as the directions said!) and they began running around!
As the night drew on, one of the chicks (Oswin) began acting differently from the others. She was lethargic and not able to stand. After some extensive research, I force fed her sugar water and electrolytes for about two hours and hoped for the best. I’m happy to report that our Impossible Chick is happy and healthy and mildly dumb. Your chicks will be exhausted after their journey with the USPS, so keep that in mind… Don’t panic, but also be proactive and preventative…. AND READ THE DIRECTIONS.
Above all else- BE PREPARED before your chicks arrive! In the next post, we will cover our coop and brooder… both of which we are extremely proud.
What you should take from this is- Read the directions, be prepared, we’re amazing, and don’t panic!
Feel free to ask questions, and we’ll be happy to answer to the best of our ability!