Chicks in October: winter edition

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kzas, Oct 6, 2015.

  1. kzas

    kzas Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 6, 2015
    Hey, all! I'm new to the site but have been reading like crazy and have found it to be incredibly helpful already. My husband and I are looking to add a small flock of chickens, but are unsure of the timing. I've searched and read, so hopefully this isn't a duplicate, I've just been reading lots of conflicting things, so I wanted to get one more set of opinions!

    We are wondering if October is too late to start chicks in Wisconsin? We are looking at cold hardy breeds, but still worry about them being so young in the winter. We have space to keep them inside until they are feathered and ready to go to the coop, but wondering since that will put is in November if it will just be too cold for young chickens. The coop is a converted room in our garage, and will be insulated. There's a small door at the bottom that leads to the run as well as 2 windows that will be closed in winter, and a vent at the top. It shouldn't be drafty, but will definitely not be warm.

    I've read everything from "they can make it with proper shelter once they are fully feathered" to "it needs to be 60 degrees at minimum." Thoughts?

    Thanks in advance,
    A hopeful chicken mom
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I like raising chicks in October. It is pushing it a bit in Wisconsin but with a cooler environment, IMO they feather out better in that situation.
    I've raised chicks in an uninsulated, unheated outbuilding in all weather.
    All they need is a hot spot (heat lamp is just like a broody hen) and lots of cool space.

    My only concern in your situation is raising them indoors and putting them out may not give them time to acclimate.
    If you have electricity for heat sources in your outbuilding, you can put them out right away and they will acclimate.

    October chicks will start laying eggs in the spring. Spring chicks won't start laying till Autumn.
  3. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2015
    I'm also from Wisconsin and my birds are kept in a garage room similar to yours but without the attached run. In the past I have lost too many birds to Wisconsin's 20 below weather. I use a good electric space heater and I raise chicks at all times of the year.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  5. FarmerMac

    FarmerMac Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2014
    Last year I had some chicks that hatched late October, here in VA does not get as cold as does in WI. I still used a heat lamp in the coop with a thermocube, it would come on once it was about 32 degrees. The chicks were about a month old when they went coop, they would move under the lamp when they got cold and moved away when they were too hot.
  6. likkatron

    likkatron Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 13, 2015
    Im also from WI and getting my chicks on the 11th! Where are you fellow WI's located?
  7. song of joy

    song of joy Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 22, 2012
    Central Pennsylvania
    Personally, I'd wait until spring. They tend to develop better when they have increasing, rather than decreasing day length. In the spring and summer they also have lots of sunshine, and access to green vegetation which provides an excellent, healthy supplement to their diet as they're growing.
  8. likkatron

    likkatron Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 13, 2015
    There are rare unatrually warm days, (like today for my part of WI, makes me wish I already had them), so there are possibilities of having them outside on those rare nice days, and although I can't solve the issue of real sunlight you can provide artificial light like most do for winter eggs, and still feed chicks fresh greens from the store/farm.
  9. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  10. ihearvoices

    ihearvoices Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 8, 2015

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