Getting started questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by newchickwi, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. newchickwi

    newchickwi In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2008
    Butternut, WI
    We recently moved and finally have a place in the country! We will be getting chickens this year and I'm basically wondering how to start. We are in a very cold area (Northwoods of WI) and have had several below zero periods with more coming this week. I'm assuming that I should wait till it warms up quite a bit before getting chicks. Do I wait until it is decent outside (May)? Or start them sooneer (in dh's workshop [​IMG]) in prep for warmer weather? Also, in perusing the catalog and noting that the minimum order is 25, can I mix and match breeds? Minimum numbers of each? I'm going to be ordering pullets for eggs--should I make sure that some are roos for social health or does it matter? Eventually I would like to be able to have a self-sustaining flock--do I wait till I have a better feel for what I'm in for or plan for that from the get-go?

    I know there a lot of questions, but I don't know anybody that has chickens and I hope that you all can help me find some answers!

  2. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    Its a little less stressful to wait till it warms up to get chicks.... and make sure you have a coop ready before you even get them. Brooder too should be set up in advance.

    Some places have a lower minimum - 25 is alot! [​IMG] I started last year with 8 (I now have 14) I purchased my 8 from Ideal hatchery, for arrival in the warm months (mine in August) and they didn't include any extra's for warmth - those extra's will all be roosters!

    Good Luck
  3. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    If you did start them now--youd have to keep them in a heater area. The benefit of that would be youd have eggs in May, rather than waiting until the fall. But shipping might be dangerous this time of year....

    You dont need a roo--but they can help warn you and the girls of trouble lurking. And, if you ever want fertile eggs you will obvioulsy need them.

    Oh-and with a 25 min you can mix and match!
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2008
  4. Hawkster318

    Hawkster318 In the Brooder

    Sep 24, 2007
    North Freedom Wisconsin

    Welcome. We are in the Wis Dells / Baraboo Area, about 45 minutes from Madison.

    Blaine's Farm and Fleet will be selling peeps in April and May, which may be a better time to start your chicks. But, as also stated, you'll be waiting til fall for eggs and your choice would be a bit more limited.

    We have a light in the coop, and on those negative temp days, have left it on for the girls. Ours don't seem to care too much for the snow either, they are fine, just sounds like they are complaining a lot.
  5. JackieK318

    JackieK318 Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    What ever you do, do get a roo! I strongly recommend them. Now that I only have one (grrr to the lady who took my main squeeze!!!), my girls don't stay together like they did with Lambeau and Sicily working the flock. My husband had to go get Lucy from the edge of the woods (in the back) on Saturday when the rest of the flock was in the front yard. She was just oblivious to the world around her. They also look and sound so good!!! I can't wait to see who my "insulation" boys will be this spring.
  6. leecey411

    leecey411 Songster

    May 31, 2007
    Congrats on your move. We also relocated and I have 1 1/2 acres. I am thrilled I have gone crazy hatching eggs, but I am in North Florida. Even here the weather is a bit cool so I have eggs and chicks all over my kitchen! You should enjoy the long winter nights and plan your coop,the when it warms up fill it up!
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2008
  7. newchickwi

    newchickwi In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2008
    Butternut, WI
    (Thanks for all the advice--I can use all I can get!!

    As to why a hatchery with a min of 25, I did check into our local feed store and they only carry "browns" and "blacks" for brown egg-layers; other hatcheries that do sell less than 25 would charge about the same for 10-12 of multiple breeds (one a surcharge of $5 per breed?! plus a less than 25 chick charge of up to $15) as would an order from the first hatchery. I figure as a first-timer that I would lose ([​IMG]) some out of inexperience and predator learning curve (raccoons, skunks, bobcats, coyotes, bears...even wolves?...we got 'em all! Yes, electric fence research is on-going, too).

    I am SO excited to finally be able to seriously get into chickens. This has been a long-time dream of mine--even my daughter is really getting into it and wants to be my partner! Can't wait till spring!

    Thanks again and keep the advice coming-


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