I am starting this Journal already 2 weeks into the project. I will use this post to re-cap the first 2 weeks of the project.
After a great deal of searching I found a small, relatively local, hatchery that really interested me named S and G Poultry. They raise and breed chickens called Dixie Rainbows that are intended to grow at a medium pace. They estimate that you'll have a marketable weight chicken at around 10 to 12 weeks of age. The breed seems very similar to the Colored Rangers or Freedom Rangers that I've seen around other places. They are a breed that is intended to be raised outdoors in a variety of conditions. I read about each of the 5 varieties that they hatch and finally landed on the Dixie Rainbow. I contacted the sales team and ordered 100. The sales team was great. They were very friendly and pleasant. I ordered them and 21 days later the chicks were scheduled to ship.
On day 22, the chicks weren't here. I called S and G to ask if the chicks shipped on time. They had shipped on time and S and G asked that I call them as soon as they arrived. Since S and G are within 3 hours of my house, I would have expected them to arrive the day after hatching. Unfortunately, the chicks didn't arrive on the first day, but they did arrive on the second day. All 103 were happy and healthy. S and G called me to make sure that the chicks arrived. To my surprise, S and G was as concerned about my chicks as I was. I can't say enough S and G. They were wonderful to deal with. As it turns out, the problem was with the post office. I suspect that the chicks had been misrouted.
Before I left for work, I noticed that the chicks were defecating green. After a bit of time on Google, I discovered that this was probably bile and it was normal when the chicks haven't eaten anything in quite a while. When I arrived home, I saw that the chicks were pooping normally. I've never been happy to see chicken poop before. That was definitely a new experience for me.
After the first week, I still had 103 happy healthy chicks. They're growing like weeds. I moved them from their initial brooder box into a new area that I constructed out of hay bales.
That brings us to week 2. I still have 103 happy healthy chicks. No losses at all. I am very surprised how much the chicks have eaten and how active they already are.
Chickens on day 1 - 50 chickens per box.
Chickens at the end of week 1: - All 100 Chickens
The rest of the 100 at week 1 - They were hiding from the camera...