On July 6 I picked up 25 meat chickens from Highway 20 Feed. We also got 3 buff orpingtons and had 3 chicks at home we hatched that were exactly the same age. We had one duck too, but he died sadly. Everybody was actually born about July 1.
We will chronicle their adventures for the next 100 days. Some may be slaughtered before that. I will evaluate their bodies for future breeding. Some meaties, bred poorly at the factory hatcheries have bodies that make it hard to survive. But others are magnificent animals.
I had planned to feed one group top notch Modesto Milling organic food. Another would recieve grains fermented with Kiefer grains. Another Hunt and Behrens meat bird starter and finisher and a fourth, a diet of fish and vegetable scraps.
I had chicken houses picked out for each group to live in- all free range with no limits. But chickens like to think for themselves more than one might think..
They bonded in some groups. They are living in 4 different houses now but Im having to recount every night and shuffle the feed around. On the night of July 10 I learned that the nest of our beloved buckeye bonnie had failed at our second farm on Greentree. All her eggs were bad. The chicken next to her had hatched a full brood from the same eggs.
The chicks were 9-10 days old when I took them over on July 10. Normally, much too old for bonding with a mother to work These chicks had never seen a mother hen, born in Texas, mailed to Fort Bragg. I picked out 4 that slept together and took them at night. Bonnie was clearly delighted. She spent two days rounding them up and now on July 13 the huge chicks and her are totally bonded. She will take care of them for us for about 4 weeks. I am eager to see how these chickens compare to the other groups. We will weigh regularly and report…