Advice: Should I get baby chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by augustmomx2, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. augustmomx2

    augustmomx2 Songster

    Aug 31, 2008
    Central Indiana
    Hello Everyone,

    I am a newbie here and have been lurking for the past few days. I live in Indiana, in a suburban area w/about an acre of land. I am seriously considering getting some baby chicks and need some expert advice that I know you all can provide [​IMG] I live in central Indiana and I'm not sure if right now is a good time to get baby chicks and try to raise them due to the cold weather that will be here before you know it. Also, I can only get around 6 chicks due to land constraints and I cannot have a rooster (neighbors too close). I have a fear that I will probably end up w/one or two roosters and I have no idea what to do with them after I decide to get rid of them. If you could give me some tips for a COMPLETE beginner, I will be appreciative for anything! TIA!


    Edited to add: Thanks so much for the info already [​IMG] I am thinking about having my husband build a coop, inside of the double fenced in area that we already have set-up for our garden. Next spring, he is building a polebarn and will have an area for my girls. Another reason, why I should probably wait...I just don't know if I can wait![​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  2. Heather J

    Heather J Songster

    May 29, 2008
    If you can keep them warm until they have their feathers, you should be fine getting them this late in the year. Six is a good number, and yes, there is always a chance you could get some roos too, unless you buy sex-linked chicks (ones that are different colors for boys and girls). Now is actually a really good time of year to get chicks (if you can get them fast) because it's so warm out that they will need less heat. After a couple of weeks my newborn chick will be able to be out all day without extra heat, but will still need extra heat at night until they are six weeks old or so.

    Do you have a building you can use as a coop? A large dog house or small shed works fine. What kind of run are you planning to use? if you haven't built anything, I would try adding a little insulation to it to help with heat loss in winter, and to keep heat out in summer.

    Tell us a little more about your plans and I'm sure you'll get lots of great advice.
  3. wyliefarms

    wyliefarms Songster

    Aug 19, 2008
    If you order from a hatchery then you are a good 90% certain that you wil get girls...they are called pullets.

    You mentioned a small number, I know mypetchicken will do small amount of chicks. Others may know of some more places.

    We have almost 3 week old chicks and we live in mid-michigan. I think that if you could get chicks in the next few weeks you will be fine before winter gets here.

    Another option is to find someone near you and purchase young pullets already started, by 3-4 months you can tell on most breeds in they are pullets or cockerals.

    If you are coming up Michigan way, in our 3 week old chicks we have black austrolorp pullets for sale.

    Good luck!
  4. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I personally would not get them this late in the season for a couple different reasons. It kind of throws off their laying cycle and you could get hens who lay too early if they are close to laying age in the spring summer months and hens who lay too early are subject to prolapse. Read that in backyard poultry magazine...and for another...most people put their chickens out at 6 weeks of age and if you get them now that would bring it to almost the end of October which means cold weather and chicks that are not full grown yet. Just my opinion but I would wait for spring order time [​IMG] That way they have time to get nice and strong and ready for the winter months.
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I'm going to agree with Hangin Wit My Peeps on this one. Since you are just considering chicks and you live in a place with pretty nasty winters, wait until spring.
    Use the time between now and next spring to decide what breed you want and to get a brooder and coop ready.
    Yes, you can get chicks this close to cold weather, but since they will still be pretty young when the cold hits you'll have to be more diligent about protecting them from drafts and maintaining the proper temps.
    If you wait until spring to get them, you'll have a short period of time, about 6 to 8 weeks, when you'll have to control their temps. for them. After that they'll be good to go on their own and be big enough to handle winter without much fuss. Just be sure to pick some winter hardy breeds. Also, the choice breeds is better in the spring as well.
    Good luck!
  6. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    I am in Ohio, and yes you should get day old now. You just need to keep heat with them a little longer. That way by March they are ready to lay.

    Check my post under incubating eggs, test for fun.
    Not sure what breed these are. The eggs should hatch in about 2 weeks. Be glad to ship you some free , just pay cost of shipping. You would need extra and sell or give the rooster away. I can not sex day old chicks.
  7. BawkinOnTheBench

    BawkinOnTheBench Songster

    Jun 13, 2008
    On the roosters issue - we ended up with 3 out of 6 we bought at the feed store. The day the first one crowed, we put an add on the local radio station website. We gave them away. 2 were gone that night, and the last one 2 days later. It was a lot easier to get rid of the roosters than I thought it would be.

    I live in Utah, where it gets cold too, and I have 6 2 week olds, because I couldn't wait till spring either.
  8. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap

    I have a footnote to respond to your statement that your neighbors are too close for roo. Ours are abut 15 feet from us and we went and talked to them today, and they both stated that they find the roosters cal calming and they enjoy the sound. Ask before you assume...
  9. augustmomx2

    augustmomx2 Songster

    Aug 31, 2008
    Central Indiana
    Thanks so much for all the great advice! Me and dh have made a decision and we're just going to wait until Spring. I want to make sure that we have enough time to get the coop ready and since its going to start getting cold soon, I think I would fret all Winter thinking about my girls outside w/out a coop I would feel comfy with.

    Also, I have some renovating to do w/in my own house and I may be stretched a little too thin. I am sure lurking everyday tho, you guys are a fountain of info and you'll see me around, esp in the Spring...Can't wait!!! [​IMG]
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas

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