A Delaware Starter Flock Journey

Harp_Acres

In the Brooder
Dec 14, 2020
14
36
46
W. Washington
I'm a little late posting as chicks are 13 wks old now... I will post what I have from beginning to present day, then continue on from then...

I love reading old books and well I got reading old poultry farming books pre 1950's... I found it so fascinating at what was being achieved in these writings that I wanted to try my hand at it... I wanted a great dual purpose type, lots of eggs a year and cockerels get big enough in 12 to 16 weeks to eat... After more reading I landed on the Delaware Chicken and was sold... It fit the time frame I was wanting to work with and was exclusively an American bird for meat n eggs made from 2 of the best breeds... I found birds for sale thru Freedom Ranger Hatchery that sounded like what I was looking for, a good utility type line... They work with the Whitmore line of Delawares... They have raised their line since 2015 on Non-GMO feed... July 2020 I ordered 100 chicks for 1st week of September 2020 delivery... Now its time to build their home... 🤣😂😆
 
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Callender Girl

Crossing the Road
Sep 18, 2018
3,092
17,988
766
North Central Iowa
The old books are fascinating, aren't they? It's generally a much different approach to raising chickens. My "farm boy" dad would be appalled at how I coddle my birds because chickens weren't pets in his world.

But there's a lot of sound old-time advice in those books, and it's great that they led you into the world of chicken-keeping. I've never had Delawares, but they are very handsome birds.

Good luck with building their home. I don't know where you live, but building right now would be a pretty chilly adventure here.

Welcome to BYC! Its members have an incredible range of knowledge they are always willing to pass on.
 

Harp_Acres

In the Brooder
Dec 14, 2020
14
36
46
W. Washington
Here it is September 6th and chicks are due on the 10th and I've gotten started on the chicken building... This design came from this old article from the early 1900's... The scratching shed poultry house... Its 10ft W x 18ft L... 6ft H in rear and 8ft H in front... It has 2 rooms inside... 8ft x 10ft side is for roosting and nest boxes and the 10ft x 10fr side is for scratching and being a chicken... This design utilizes deep litter at about 6" to 12" deep, as a working composting litter... I went with this design as we live in the rainy PNW and they are inside alot because of weather and I wanted them to be comfortable and safe from predators...
 

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3KillerBs

Enabler
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
10,576
27,038
1,066
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
I love Delawares. I was supposed to get some but the hatchery the farm store ordered from substituted a different breed so I couldn't. :(

Do you have pictures of your birds? Did you get straight run?

PS -- Where in the world are you? If you put your general location into your profile people can comment more usefully. I see greener grass than I have here in North Carolina so I'm guessing you're not in the northern part of the northern hemisphere? :)
 

Harp_Acres

In the Brooder
Dec 14, 2020
14
36
46
W. Washington
I love Delawares. I was supposed to get some but the hatchery the farm store ordered from substituted a different breed so I couldn't. :(

Do you have pictures of your birds? Did you get straight run?

PS -- Where in the world are you? If you put your general location into your profile people can comment more usefully. I see greener grass than I have here in North Carolina so I'm guessing you're not in the northern part of the northern hemisphere? :)

I fell for them once I learned their history and how great they were...

We bought 100 straight run chicks...

I live W. Washington...
 
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Harp_Acres

In the Brooder
Dec 14, 2020
14
36
46
W. Washington
Chicks arrived and I wasn't ready for them, so into tubs for their 1st week... About 5 days later they got moved out to the brooder... used a 2ft x 4ft Ohio brooder with 2-3" of wood chips on top for insulation... The floor started out about 4" deep in fir shavings... Also put up a divider to keep chicks close to food n brooder for 7 days or so... They got 20% Bar-Ale Non-GMO crumble all they could eat along with Chick Boost that contains probiotics, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes in their water for first 3 weeks...
 

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3KillerBs

Enabler
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
10,576
27,038
1,066
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
Chicks arrived and I wasn't ready for them, so into tubs for their 1st week... About 5 days later they got moved out to the brooder... used a 2ft x 4ft Ohio brooder with 2-3" of wood chips on top for insulation... The floor started out about 4" deep in fir shavings... Also put up a divider to keep chicks close to food n brooder for 7 days or so... They got 20% Bar-Ale Non-GMO crumble all they could eat along with Chick Boost that contains probiotics, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes in their water for first 3 weeks...

They are adorable!!!!
 

Harp_Acres

In the Brooder
Dec 14, 2020
14
36
46
W. Washington
11 wks old in these photos... 104 chicks delivered and I weighed out 100 chicks on week 6... I was very pleased with the mortality rate... I was able to tell sex at wk 6 with very little problems... At start of wk 3, I started to ferment all their feed and they love it and are gaining nicely and using less feed then normal... our first weigh in @ 6 weeks old (42 days) revealed 5 cockerels weighing over 800 grams (1.75 lbs) and 2 over 900 grams (1.98 lbs) and largest at 1015 grams (2.23 lbs)...
 

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