Three days ago I was told to go and collect the new chicks we had been waiting for almost 4 months for.
They are a general purpose bird (I asked but there is no breed name for them) as most of the birds raised here are for commercial egg operations they stop laying at the end of one season. The 2nd day I put a small feeder in the brooder pen with some FF in it. They were checking it out right after I put it in there. Looked this morning and they have been eating it. I will slowly change their feed to all FF. I am fermenting local chick starter with some fine ground corn and will continue to make that combination and change to 50/50 regular feed and cracked corn FF as they grow. The two hens that are laying now are producing great eggs, large, reddish orange standing tall yokes, the whites do not run all over the skillet. Of the 29 chicks left, one passed, we plan to keep one roo and 8 or 10 layers. The cockerels will be raised for eating, I will try and keep track of their growth rate. I will weigh them when they are processed, if I find a scale that will allow me to use a sack to weigh them from a hook/scale then I will weigh them while alive.
This is Momma PJ, a silkie hen that is so good, she was sitting on eggs when I brought the chicks home, they went right for her and she allowed it. She finally left the nest box so more of them could get under her. I toss her some food and the little beggars take the food right out of her mouth. Believe it or not there are 29 chicks trying to get under her. There are two small heat lamps in the brooder area so the ones that cannot get under her can keep warm.
Problems with getting my cursor under the next photo, anyway, this is what they should look like when grown. She is an awesome hen, good weight and lays good, large eggs.