Considering getting chicks - should I wait till spring??

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by yankeefan, Aug 7, 2011.

  1. yankeefan

    yankeefan Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2011
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    I'm pretty new to chickens and I have a bit of a dilemma. I have lost 2 of my 4 chickens to a predator recently. I believe that problem is taken care of now.

    I'm considering ordering 6 RIR chicks and setting up a brooder in the basement of our house. I've read that baby chicks can go outside after 5-12 weeks, so, I'm wondering what would be best for the chicks considering that I live in upstate NY and that summer is nearing it's end. I'd like to get them into the coop when the time is right, but with fall right around the corner, I'm not sure at what times (ages) it would be best to do so.

    Temps during Oct. are between 30 and 70 degrees here. November temps range from 20 at night, and as high as 65 during the day.

    Thank you for any input and advice you can lend. If I should wait till spring I can do that too.
     
  2. umanduhbree

    umanduhbree Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 6, 2011
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    CHickens are pretty hardy, even little babies. If they are fully feathered when they go outside, they should be able to regulate their temperature. But you may need to keep a heat lamp outside for those especially cold nights.
     
  3. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Quote:I am also in upstate NY and hatched chicks all winter. It will be fine. I even had chicks in my barn when it was single digits once they were fully feathered at about 6 weeks. Didn't lose a single one. You won't want chicks in your house that are 12 weeks old! [​IMG]
     
  4. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    While I am not a chicken expert I am a ME expert and would like to point out one of the benefits of waiting for spring. If you are like me and will feel the need to check on your babies multiple times during the day both when they are truly babies during those first 4-5 weeks or when they are really no longer babies and have moved out to their coop, nice weather is a plus.

    On the other hand, two chickens may not be a happy as a larger number and if there is room in the coop, more chickens will help keep each other warm so...that wasn't much in the way of advice was it?
     
  5. spiritdance

    spiritdance Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know what your temps are running up there right now, but this time of year lots of chicks suffer and die because of the excessive heat they are exposed to during shipping. This is why, unlike the hatcheries, many individual breeders will not ship chicks this time of year. The little ones go from one hot postal truck to another with no food or water and little ventilation. If you really want chicks before spring, maybe you should try to find them locally or wait for cooler weather and just keep the newbies inside a bit longer. As a previous poster said, even young chickens are pretty hardy in terms of cold weather, but excessive heat is another story...
     
  6. yankeefan

    yankeefan Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2011
    Upstate NY
    So, once they're fully feathered, it's ok to send them to the coop. Ok, sounds good to me.

    Once they go out, can I just let them free-range like the other chickens? It seems like it would be ok to me, I just want to be sure.

    -- featherz,
    I live in Schoharie county, about an hour or so from you. Do you know of anywhere I can buy chicks locally without having to ship them? I'd like RIR's but any good layers would be great.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  7. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Quote:I don't know any 'hatcheries' although there are probably a lot of us BYC'ers that hatch through the winter if you don't mind straight run. I don't have any plans to hatch anything since I have way too many chickens, but if I do I can let you know. [​IMG] I am still looking for chicks to hand to my broody in two weeks but I don't want to hatch any more! There's a meetup in vorheesville coming up at the end of august - might be a good place to find some friends for your chickens. [​IMG]

    As for free ranging, I have snow-phobic chickens. Not one of them would touch snow ALL winter unless I shoveled a path for them. Lazy chickens! I personally don't free range my chickens until about 12 weeks unless they have a broody to watch them, but that's just me. I let them out earlier last year and had problem with the hawks making off with them. [​IMG]

    Anyways, I had chicks in the incubator in November and again at the end of January, and they all did fine. If I might recommend it, having gone through last winter here, get rose or pea combed birds, not RIR. Fewer hassles over the possible frostbite on those big combs! [​IMG]
     
  8. P-Funk

    P-Funk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check out the responses I got from 'Day olds in August?' I just added 3 yesterday, but I can move them to the barn when they get too big.
     
  9. yankeefan

    yankeefan Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2011
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    I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to lend some advice. I really appreciate it.
     

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