Chicks ordered, hope I didn't make a mistake!

NorthChicken

Songster
6 Years
Jul 9, 2013
197
25
106
Caribou, Maine (almost in Canada!)
So I was going to wait until the spring to order my little flock. But, my husband finished the coop this weekend, and told me if I wanted to go ahead and order some chicks, I could. So, little impulsive me, I did!

6 chicks from My Pet Chicken: 2 speckled sussex, 1 light Brahma, 1 welsummer, 1 white cochin, and a barred rock. They will be here the week of Sept. 16.

I live in Northern Maine, and we get cold winters. I plan on keeping them in a brooder in my basement for the first 5 weeks when they arrive, and of course they will be outside on nice days after the first few weeks during the day. That will put us towards the end of October. Will they be feathered enough to keep warm when I boot them to the coop for good? Anything I can do to help make the transition easier?

Here is what my coop looks like, it is not insulated and I plan on wrapping the run with tarp/clear shower curtains to keep the majority of the snow out so they can still get out of the coop for exercise during the winter. I will be using sand in the coop, shavings in the nest boxes. Might keep a layer of shavings over the sand as well for a little extra warmth. I am not comfortable using heat lamps, had a house fire once and I don't want to risk it!!

Oh, and do you think the curtains should come down? I wanted a cute little coop, but not sure if the chickens will peck at the curtains and try to eat them!







 

TXchickmum

Crowing
10 Years
Apr 21, 2012
2,856
389
291
North Texas
-adorable coop! We have curtains in our coop, and the chickens don't pay them any attention. -hope that you enjoy your new little flock when it arrives!! -best of luck!!
 

novicepeeps

In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 9, 2013
29
0
24
I love your coop. did you insulate? if so with what? I'm getting my 1st round of chicks 1st week in october...I'm in CT my coop is half way done so not too far but also dealling with the cold. fingers crossed we both made a good choice.
 

NorthChicken

Songster
6 Years
Jul 9, 2013
197
25
106
Caribou, Maine (almost in Canada!)
We did not insulate. I went back and forth on it but after much reading and researching on this site, decided that we didn't need to. I'm hoping with the size of the coop (not too large), plus the number of birds will create enough body heat not to be an issue. The roosts are not in any drafty areas, I have two vents on the ceiling of the coop, and there is a roof above that, so hopefully it will be nice and cozy in there!

I remember having an 80 degree stretch last October...definitely not the norm, but I hope we get lucky and have warmer weather late into the fall again, it will make it easier to transition the chickens into the coop!
 

whittychick

Songster
8 Years
Jul 28, 2013
558
36
186
Cape cod
I had five babies from my pet chicken and kept them in a brooder for 4 weeks. They've been outside ever since! I live on cape cod so we have chilly nights and they've been fine. They are now 8 weeks old...they love ittttt! Going to move them into the big coop next month! I will use hay instead of shavings for the winter...for extra warmth!
 

whittychick

Songster
8 Years
Jul 28, 2013
558
36
186
Cape cod
Oh and it didn't look like you had extra protection around the coop? With mine we dug 2 feet down and put chicken wire around to keep predators out. Is the coop sturdy?
 

Araucana16

Chirping
6 Years
Jun 18, 2013
485
25
93
Denver, CO
As long as it's draft free, they are fully feathered, and you give them plenty of straw to burrow into, and each other, I don't see why not. I was actually planning on the same thing... but I wisely advised to wait until I knew if high school would be hard (it isn't, so I'm regretting waiting until springtime.)
 

NorthChicken

Songster
6 Years
Jul 9, 2013
197
25
106
Caribou, Maine (almost in Canada!)
Oh and it didn't look like you had extra protection around the coop? With mine we dug 2 feet down and put chicken wire around to keep predators out. Is the coop sturdy?


We trenched down about 18 inches with hardware cloth, so it should be nice and protected!! And the coop is very sturdy, I nicknamed it fort knox! The base is screwed into cement cinder blocks, and we nailed and screwed every inch of that coop, solid as a rock. ;-)

Thanks for the reassurance about them being ok! Part of me wishes I could hold out until spring, but I like the idea of them growing through the winter and being closer to laying eggs in the summer for us. I will pick up some hay and shavings, to give them some extra insulation.
 

lcammack

Chirping
8 Years
Jul 15, 2011
228
6
91
You should be fine, you will be surprised how much faster they will feather then during summer. We had a hen go broody last year in November and successfully hatched and raised 3 chicks. Our temps were hovering right around 32 degrees and momma would bring them outside and everything. They were almost completely feathered in 3 weeks! Our summer chicks take about twice that long!
 

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