is there a best time of the year to start raising chickens?
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Welcome to BYC, while there is no perfect time to start raising chickens the spring and fall are most common. Spring is great because then they can grow up in the warmer months(eating bugs) and they start laying the next spring, some will start laying in the fall but a lot will wait until the next spring to start laying, it is also good because a lot of hens are broody this time of year and so the broody can take care of your chicks. Fall is a great time too because it is on the warmer end but typically hens won't go broody this time of year and so a brooder will have to be used, chicks are fully feathered by the time snow comes so that isn't really a worry, but once spring comes they will be ready to start laying, rather than have to wait all summer you can let them go. Fall is good if you want a head start, but spring is great for extra help in feeding them during the summer because they can free range as they grow.