Chicks delivery question (early spring, late winter)?

nao57

Crowing
Mar 28, 2020
1,490
1,482
288
So I wanted to ask...

I looked at several credible, good reputation hatcheries and they start delivering as early as January and February. In my area its still cold then, and I would guess its still cold there also.

I would like to have a better idea how well the chicks can handle this delivery phase if I ask for some to be sent then?

I would think they wouldn't do this if it couldn't work. But I'm not entirely sure how the effects are. Maybe they still make it but not as many survive? I don't know but thought I'd bring it up.

(Intended project was for some meat broiler chicks, that would go straight to the freezer at 3 or 4 months.)
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,193
17,196
706
USA
It partly depends on where you live.
A hatchery in Texas could certainly send chicks to other parts of Texas with no trouble at that season. But trying to send them to Colorado might be different.

But in general, the chicks tend to do fine.
They tend to pack chicks in certain size boxes, and the chicks do better if the box is full.
There's one size box that holds 100 chicks, with 25 in each quarter.
There are also smaller boxes for 25 chicks and for 15 chicks.
Personally, I would not want to order less than 15 chicks in really cold weather.
And if more than that, I would try to order in multiples of 25 (so 25 or 50, not 35).

The chicks often get shipped by airplane, and the Post Office will often sit the box of chicks inside while waiting for you to pick them up, so they aren't exposed to as much cold as you might think. And the way they are packed in the box allows them to keep each other warm--the hatcheries have figured out how many chicks in how much space for exactly that purpose. (That's the main reason so many hatcheries have minimum orders, and the others either put in heat packs or send extra male chicks for the body heat they give off.)

Since you're specifically talking about meat birds, do think about where you'll raise them, and for how long. You don't want a bunch of Cornish Cross in your living room or basement by the time they're a month or two old! Also, Cornish Cross are often butchered around 8 weeks, which is only 2 months old. Some other kinds of broilers are raised longer.
 

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