BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › when to order new chicks
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

when to order new chicks - Page 2

post #11 of 17

I think late April or early May would be a fine time to get a shipment. It will be warm enough that you can get them out of the brooder during warm days by the time they're a couple of weeks old, which is fun for them and you. I got my last chick order from Meyer in mid-June, partly because that was when I had time to spend with them, but I also wanted warm temps for safer shipping and to get them out (yes, of my family room!) earlier. Also, my current flock was still laying well and I didn't want the new flock to start laying until this winter or next spring. It was great getting these chicks when it was warmer and being able to get them outside, on the grass as babies. Many days it was warm enough that I didn't have to use the brooder light. My first flock, I got in February and the benefit there was getting eggs that summer.

 

Sounds like you have a plan. If you wait, you'll have a fun winter learning about chickens on BYC. This is an amazing resource and community. If you decide you can't stand the wait for mail order this winter, you can always head to your local farm store for chick days. They have them as early as February in my area.  

EEs, BRs, Blue Andalusians, Exchequer Leghorns, Cream Legbar, Dominique, Partridge Penedesenca, Welsumer, Columbian Wyandotte
Reply
EEs, BRs, Blue Andalusians, Exchequer Leghorns, Cream Legbar, Dominique, Partridge Penedesenca, Welsumer, Columbian Wyandotte
Reply
post #12 of 17

Larry, you seem like the sort of fellow who likes to have all his ducks in a row before he begins a serious endeavor. I urge you to read Blooie's essay she wrote about brooding chicks outdoors. Then I urge you to commit to finishing the coop completely and then order your chicks even if it's still winter. When they arrive, install them right in the new coop with the heating pad system of brooding.

 

If you have time, read through Blooie's thread "Mama-heating pad in the Brooder". It's long, but chock full of people's experiences in utilizing this rather revolutionary method of brooding chicks. I was one of them.

 

There are many advantages to brooding outdoors in a chickens' natural environment, the least of which is saving your home and sanity the trials aggravation of chick dander, noise, smell, etc.

 

Chicks raised this way, out in the coop where they'll be living the rest of their lives, are more cold hardy, more self confident, more advanced in their various life stages and development, and are calmer and more easily handled.

 

Chicks raised in the highly confined and artificial environment of a brooder in the house are more dependent on heat, are more skittish and fearful when moved from the brooder confinement to the larger environment of the coop and run, and are more prone to suffering from problems associated with overcrowding.

 

I've raised two groups of chicks since spring outdoors right in my run under the heating pad system. It did not matter in the least what the temperatures were. Blooie had sub-freezing temps and her chicks did splendidly. My first group thrived under night temps in the 30s and day temps in the 50s. They were happy and ran all over the spacious run, ducking into their heating pad cave for brief warm-ups. The second group arrived in mid summer, and they were a breeze to raise, and they're seven weeks old right now. I'll never, ever raise chicks in a brooder in the house again.

 

The chicks will respond to cold temps by feathering out more quickly. They also are ready to roost at a much younger age than indoor chicks. They're self confident because they are being raised in one place without the disruption and trauma of needing to transition to the coop from a brooder box. And you have the advantage of having all the chicken mess confined to the coop and not your home.

 

You can finish the run at your leisure, and have it ready for the chicks to romp in come spring. Please give serious consideration to this alternative to brooding chicks indoors. I guarantee you will not be sorry.

post #13 of 17


   While late spring or early summer would probably give you the greatest number of live chicks, I've found that an advantage of having chicks hatched in January or February is that they usually start  laying much earlier, usually around the 5 month mark, and I've had some lay as early as 4 months five days.

     

post #14 of 17

Thanks, @azygous   Larry, I mentioned this to you briefly and I hope you do get the chance to look at the article on brooding chicks outdoors.  I must correct one thing in azygous' post, though. I only raised one chick outdoors in sub-zero temperatures, and that was our little rooster, Scout.  He was out in a cave in a dog crate with a heating pad when it was 4 below zero and he absolutely thrived.  The other batches of chicks raised out there this year started out when it was in the teens and twenties.  We also had a full scale blizzard with 60+ mph winds and snow blowing sideways. Sometime during the night our power went out, which meant that for an unknown amount of time I had one week old chicks outside in the run in a blizzard with no heat.  But the cave and straw held enough residual heat to sustain them easily until we woke up, realized what had happened, and got the heating pad turned back on.  I almost dreaded going out in the morning, but when I did I saw 8 little butts sticking up in the air while they chowed down on breakfast.  Here is a quick preview of what azygous mentioned.  These are my chicks, outside when it was 20 degrees.

 

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone, 

 

I usually do a ton of research before doing anything, I try to limit my failures as much as possible especially with live animals.  Failure in a garden means not as much crops as I expected ... oh well ... failure with live animals means dead animals and we can't have that };-)

 

I will certainly read through Blooies articles for doing outdoor brooding.  The coop will be close enough to the house that I can reasonably run electricity to it so heat pads are a reasonable solution (as long as the coop doesn't catch on fire)...

post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by larrypeck View Post
 

Thanks everyone, 

 

I usually do a ton of research before doing anything, I try to limit my failures as much as possible especially with live animals.  Failure in a garden means not as much crops as I expected ... oh well ... failure with live animals means dead animals and we can't have that };-)

 

I will certainly read through Blooies articles for doing outdoor brooding.  The coop will be close enough to the house that I can reasonably run electricity to it so heat pads are a reasonable solution (as long as the coop doesn't catch on fire)...

Less risk with a heating pad than a heat lamp.  At least things coming into contact with the heating pad won't suddenly burst into flame as a heat lamp coming into contact with bedding or the brooder box would.....they were designed to come into direct contact with the human body.  Wanna touch a hot heat lamp?  Um, nope, me either!  :lau

post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blooie View Post
 

Less risk with a heating pad than a heat lamp.  At least things coming into contact with the heating pad won't suddenly burst into flame as a heat lamp coming into contact with bedding or the brooder box would.....they were designed to come into direct contact with the human body.  Wanna touch a hot heat lamp?  Um, nope, me either!  :lau


yeah, that's what I figured too.  I have some reptiles that require heat in the cooler months, some use heat lamps the put off UV and others just require tank bottom heat pads that don't get overly hot.  I am definitely looking into coop brooding, seems like the easiest way to go...  

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Raising Baby Chicks
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Raising Baby Chicks › when to order new chicks