Best time to start a coop?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by woogiebear, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. woogiebear

    woogiebear New Egg

    May 24, 2011
    Hey all!
    very new to this and I still have some questions. When is the best time to start my coop? Do I need to start with chicks? I am looking for about 6 hens to get some eggs and entertainment. I have a great spot picked out at my new house and am thinking of starting them up in the spring next year or is anytime a good time to start? Should I get chicks or more mature hens? Also, being in North Jersey, how do they fare over the winter? From what i read they look like they will do fine, just want to be sure.
    Thanks for the advice!
  2. pjknust

    pjknust Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2011
    up north I would suggest getting chicks in the spring. Down here in TX I should have waited til fall. I have older hens that are in the hen house and I cant put the young ones in there til I can leave them for a week so they know where to go back to at night. and right now its way too hot to stay in hen house 24/7. So Ive got my work cut out for me the rest of the summer moving my chicks around.

    pam in TX
  3. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2011
    Quote:depends on what you want.. if you want the 'full' experience of raising them.. then go with chicks, or better yet eggs.. if you want more 'sure fire' thing, go with juvenille birds, or even adults. i guess it also depends on how soon you want eggs.

    you can set up and begin any time..

    winter conditions the first year really won't matter, especially if you plan to retain the birds over winter... unless you buy baby hatchlings in Nov., then you'll need somewhere warm and a light.
  4. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    There are so many factors depending on what you are looking to do.

    To answer the subject question, you should have the coop ready before the birds because the chicks grow fast. If you plan on 6, get/build a coop big enough for 9. You can find a lot of design details on this site. Pick and choose what fits your need.

    My birds fare well in NJ winter.
  5. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    Quote:I think your chicken math is off. If you only want 6, build a coup big enough for 12.

    Personally if it were me I would get chicks in the spring. Go for the whole experience, it will be worth it in many ways!
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Getting chicks in late summer, early fall, say Labor Day, also has it's advantages. I got 25 chicks last fall and by the cold of winter, they were hardy and full sized birds. They began laying in January. Winter flock keeping is what it is, whether you got spring chicks or fall chicks.

    What I wouldn't want? I wouldn't want to ship day old chicks in this heat wave gripping the country. Far too hot for chicks to be in boxes being hauled around in hot P.O. trucks.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  7. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    Quote:I think your chicken math is off. If you only want 6, build a coup big enough for 12.

    Personally if it were me I would get chicks in the spring. Go for the whole experience, it will be worth it in many ways!

    i AGREE, WE LOVED RAISING OUR GIRLS FROM march ON AND we got the coop up in May. we love our coop, and we love our 5 chickens. we live in Montana, its cold and wet, so we got it up early and will be working on all kinds of things through the summer. we got the run up but plan on doing a winter run as ours will not support snow. laying will begin soon and we love fresh eggs! thank goodness our coop got up, them birds were big before we had it done. I say get a coop built, add chicks and let the fun begin, but if your doing it lat in the season, get busy LOL>
  8. SueBaby

    SueBaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2011
    Oceanside, CA
    You HAVE to start with chicks! We hatched eggs in April and it's been, and continues to be, an amazing journey. We are watching our girls grow like weeds and are most anxiously awaiting eggs. Before I did this whole "chicken thing" I would have never believed that each chicken has it's own personality. The affection they can show is truly amazing, much more like a dog or cat then I would have ever imagined. The only rough part for me has been that I've fallen in love with a few incredibly sweet roosters and had to give them up because we live in the 'burbs. Good luck! [​IMG]

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