In fall of 2014 I decided I wanted to raise some dual-purpose chickens. The main focus was on incubating my own birds to raise as “panfrys”, traditional meat birds frequently used in pan frying. So I need some chickens.
After doing some research, I decided to try 2 breeds, Delaware and Buff Orpington. I was really partial to the Delaware breed as they were initially bread to be a meet bird, but were quickly overshadowed by the current Cornish-X breeds. However, I’d raised some Buff Orpingtons the year before. I liked them so decided to try both.
I purchased 4 hens and 2 roosters of each, along with 2 guinea hens that I also wanted for hatching eggs. That gave me 8 new layers, plus and extra leftover Buff hen from 2014. Having two of each rooster would allow me a chance to choose a well behaved rooster of either breed. By spring I had decided to keep a Delaware rooster based on having local resources to get more Buffs and the desire to really give the Delaware breed a try.
In early spring, the guineas decided to gang up on a hen. Ganging up is apparently typical behavior for guineas, but given my limited number of hens, I was unwilling to risk losing birds so the young guineas became dinner. I local store also started carrying guinea chicks to replace our dwindling free range flock, so I wasn’t too concerned about not having eggs for hatching.
So by the end of spring, I had my established flock, a Delaware rooster with 4 hens and 5 Buff hens. I was ready to hatch some eggs.