Hi everyone! We are total newbies in the chicken world lol

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by RobinsHens, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. RobinsHens

    RobinsHens Hatching

    Jul 26, 2014
    My husband and I bought a double wide mobile home on three acres in NC recently. Our neighbors have chickens and I love them but now they keep them home because we have planted a large garden and they are being good neighbors. I want to get our own chickens this fall around November when my son is going to visit us to build a new chicken coop. One is on the property but is old and has a zillion holes. We are reading all the information on here that we can so we can be good chicken parents. Can anyone tell us whether November is a doable to start new chicks and also what happens in January when it gets cold (goes down to 20 during January and February). How can we keep the chickens warm enough even when they are adults? I like the speckled black and white chickens. They are beautiful!
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. Feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. November is a tough month to start new chicks in because you will have to keep them in some type of heated facility until they are fully feathered. Once they are fully feathered and have attained near adult size, they will be able to handle your 20 F temperatures as long as their coop is dry and draft free. Hope this helps. Good luck with your flock.
  3. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    People usually start their flocks in the spring so they can get eggs in the late summer. If you raise chicks in november they may be late to start laying. But there is no reason you can't! Just make sure they are kept warm. Don't let them live outside until they are at least 8 weeks. You may have to have a heat source in the coop once they move out too.

    Some great ways to keep chickens warm include: putting straw bales in the coop and using straw as a bedding as this traps the heat. Plastic covering on the outside of a run (if used) can help prevent snow and wind entry. Water heaters are another must. Heat lamps are optional.

    Those black and white speckled birds are probably anconas. They are a beautiful and great laying breed but usually are skittish. They also aren't super cold hardy. Speckled sussex on the other hand are just as pretty but are hardy in the cold and very friendly. Buff orpingtons are another great breed.
    (^Speckled sussex.)

    Good luck with your planning, glad you joined and be sure to check out our learning center.
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Mountain Peeps has given you some good advice. X2 on the Anconas. Good layers and forgers, but flighty, and like other Mediterranean class breeds, they are not real cold hardy. Their combs are particularly susceptible to frostbite. Murray McMurray has an excellent Chick Selector tool at http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/chick_selector.html to help you determine which are the best breeds for you. Cold hardiness is one of the factors in the selector. If you use it, just be sure and click on "show more characteristics." There are also some quick reference charts you can use at http://albc-usa.etapwss.com/images/uploads/docs/pickachicken.pdf, http://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/breed-list.aspx, and http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html.
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Yes, fall is a tough time to start with chicks. I think Mountain Peeps is on the right track in that you might want to keep them indoors longer than you might in the summer time. So about 8 weeks of age they can go out to the coop. And you will probably need supplemental heat for a few weeks until they acclimate to colder temps. You would want to slowly lower the temp in the coop for several weeks after they are outside to the point that they don't need the heat. But it can be done.

    Good luck and if you have any further questions on down the road, feel free to ask. Welcome to our flock!
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  8. Alright [​IMG] well are you finding every thing alright [​IMG]
  9. topdog24

    topdog24 Songster

    Apr 8, 2014
    Jena Louisiana,
    I have been in NC a few times in cold weather, I think the winds will be a concern, just be sure to keep them dry and warm and away from drafts, there are a few breeds that are cold and heat hardie and pretty to look at plus good layers. If patience prevails, wait till spring, most hatcheries don't hatch chicks that late in the year and the ones that do will probably get premium price for them, i would say to wait until march, it will be cool enough to harden them off for cool weather but warm enough for them to stay healthy, you would have eggs by mid summer and the birds would be fully grown before facing the full effects of severely cold weather. Welcome to BYC[​IMG]
  10. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Even more critical factor than cold is moisture. You need to be sure that your coop has no leaks, doesn't seat and that no moisture blows in through the door. I raised Black Australorps where the temperature reached -30 F one winter and with a dry, draft free coop, they did just fine.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: