Best time to start a new flock.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DuckWhisperer, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. DuckWhisperer

    DuckWhisperer New Egg

    Jun 29, 2011
    Greetings everyone. My first question on BYC Forum... pretty excited.
    Are there any disadvantages to starting a new flock of chicks in the early fall? I'm in Kansas City, MO and we usually don't get our harshest/coldest temps until January, will the birds be mature enough to tolerate the cold that soon? Or would it be wiser, being new to chickens, to wait until next spring?
  2. mandelyn

    mandelyn Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    I LOVE hatching fall babies because I get Spring eggs. Last time I didn't get them started until October so they hatched in November... and the weather got cold so fast I didn't feel right taking them from 62 degrees in the house to 25 degrees outside. So I waited it out and had "house chickens" in the basement until the temp warmed up just enough to kick them out. Course there were only 5.

    Depending on your set-up, and if you can provide enough warmth in the coop (or a separate shed or garage) it's nice to raise them through the cold months when they wouldn't be laying that well anyways, and having a Spring/Summer full of eggs.
  3. DuckWhisperer

    DuckWhisperer New Egg

    Jun 29, 2011
    Thanks for the input!
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I have incubated and brooded chicks at all times of the year. (And my brooder is outside) As long as you have an area you can keep them warm, it's no problem!

    I too love raising babies in the fall, they are all ready to start laying by spring!

    ETA: if you are ordering eggs, keep in mind that fertility can drop in fall and availability may be limited as most breeders flocks will be molting at that time.
  5. Luke13:34

    Luke13:34 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2010
    The Naugatuck Valley
    We got our first chickens last year in late August. It was warm enough that I could turn off the brooder light during the day for nearly the entire time they were in the brooder. When we put them outside at 5 weeks, it was still warm enough that they were just fine without any outside heat source. Our six survived the winter just fine in our Little Tikes converted coop under three feet of snow. The fist egg laid was the end of January. I stopped buying any store eggs in March. This year we have some April/May chickens. While I know they will be fully feathered and just fine over the winter, I'm curious as to how the egg laying will go, since they will be ready to start laying around the time they would naturally slow down in egg laying.
  6. DuckWhisperer

    DuckWhisperer New Egg

    Jun 29, 2011
    Thanks for the responses. Sounds very encouraging for starting a flock in the fall. I hadn't even considered being able to skip over the normal drop in egg production their first winter. Guess I'd better get busy on the coop and yard.
  7. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

    Sep 4, 2009
    I got my first flock at the end of August. It was great! Then I got my first pullet egg out of one of those beauties in the middle of January when it was -20˚! Silly birds. [​IMG]
  8. hlf1996

    hlf1996 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2011
    I live in Kansas.. About an hour away from Kansas City, KS. And I let my chicks into their coop at about 6 weeks old (almost completely/ if not completely feather by then) So I think you could get them as late as the end of August/beginning of September. You would be fine getting them now. Good luck [​IMG]

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