I'm the guy at the auctions who buys the unopened boxes- love surprises... I might get something worth keeping... I have 27 heavy pullets - 7 Buff Oprs, a bunch of red and white ones, some red ones, some black ones- a white Rock? Some hawk looking things and some aracunas- they have eye tufts- I'll see as they mature. But, it's fun seeing which ones will be best for my "operaion". (Sounds like I know what I'm doing doesn't it? ) Cackle Hatchery has what they call a "Frypan Special" http://www.cacklehatchery.com/page10.html I'm not on the payroll nor do I have a stake with these folks- just heard a lot of good things about them locally. They're close by and 100 chicks for about a quarter apiece doesn't sound too Bad or the "Heavy Breeds" for a dime more - So here's the questions- 1 If I get the cheapies and feed them broiler mix - is this "False Economy"? I realize I won't get the same results as with the special meat birds- but my frugal side says if I can buy 4 or 6 for the price of one of the specialists I should be that much ahead. Since the non-meat breed birds won't just sit and pig out I should save a bit on feed. I realize the expense is the feed but the cost of the bird has to figure in there somewhere... 2 Do I need to use a special broiler mix or can I just add protien to chick starter? 3 If I do feed the chicks broiler grower will it damage the pullets if I leave them on the high protien mix for the first couple of weeks? What is the problem with growing them too fast? 4 Can I take the "fast started" pullets out and raise them to be layers? I supplement the layers with "free protien"- fly traps, crickets, worms, whey and whatever else they catch- They free range - I keep them locked up until they give up the goods then let them out and feed them a hot mash- layer mix - pureed kitchen scraps (peels, sprouts veggies) and milk or water. I realize this drops the overall protien content but, in side by side tests they prefer the veggie mash- and I have 3 layers( they cost fifty cents each) that give me 20 eggs a week and have since early March... They did drop off to 16 @ week over the winter but, were going great guns from Sept till Dec.