Do I order now or in the spring?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by rollinsjen, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. rollinsjen

    rollinsjen New Egg

    Dec 12, 2008
    I have two questions. First, I have the opportunity to either order my chicks now (1st week in Jan) or wait until end of February for some specialty ones that I like the coloring of. However I want to get them laying sooner so if they would be okay I would like to order 12-15 now and another batch in the spring. Does it make a difference if they are going to be inside a storage barn for the first 6 weeks or so, or should I wait until Feb/March?
    Also, can you move a chicken tractor out to a different spot in the yard during the day and bring them back close to your house at night, to protect from predators? We have over three acres, but have a dumpster close to one corner of the property frequented by racoons etc. How close do you want to keep them? Thanks for your help as I begin this- I am excited to start![​IMG]
  2. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    A lot depends on where you live and where the hatchery is. Shipping in extremely cold weather can be hard on the survival of shipped chicks. Also, you need to be able to brood them in a warm place. If you live where it is very cold, you might have to keep them in the house until it warms up or have a well heated out building.
  3. Rhett&SarahsMom

    Rhett&SarahsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2008
    we are waiting for spring here.
    I didnt worry all that much when I ordered the girls last May(shipped in June) And it was easier to keep the brooder the right temp.
  4. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2008
    Scappoose Oregon
    I am ordering mostly banties this spring. The chicks are soooo tiny I am definitely waiting for warm weather to give them the best chance of arriving alive.
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    IMO, springtime is the right time for chicks. You'll have less worry about them surviving the trip and the selection from most of the major hatcheries is much better in the springtime as well.
    If you get a group now and another group in the spring, you'll have to segregate everybody until they are able to get along without the younger ones getting hurt.
    It's hard to be patient I know, but it's really best for the chicks.
  6. estpr13

    estpr13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2008
    Lexington, Ky
    I'd wait unless you have lots of experience with chickens and proper facilities. Just hatched chicks need to be kept around 95 degrees, then drop the temp by about 5 degrees per week.

    You can keep the chicks inside the house in a cardboard box for about 4 to 5 weeks before the smell starts to become noticeable. Then keep them in a coop outside. At about that age they can tolerate down to 70 degrees.

    I have taken chicks out in below freezing weather, and they have done okay for a little while but as soon as they start to bunch up they need to have access to heat appropriate for their age.

    Predators... Buy a trappers license from your state and purchase a couple of live traps. (In case you catch your dog, cat or chickens.)
    Then the live predators can be drowned, and the pets can be let go. I use to take predators out of the county but when you catch as many as I it is cheaper to buy the trappers license.

    Predators will come up to your house, go under your house to live, and will try to come in your house if they think there is easy access to food there. Bringing your chickens up to the house will probably not help much.

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