It really depends on what you are looking for. if you want meat chickens then a warm march or cool april is a good time as well as a cool fall. for meat birds you are looking for 8 weeks of cool but not cold weather. Heat will increase the smell of the meat birds. If you are wanting layers, then there are several factors to consider. First sign up for Meyer specials. They just offered Free shipping earlier this month. Next is food, the chicks stay in a temperature controlled area for the first 4-6 weeks. Many people will hatch chicks at the end of winter for this reason. After all if you have to feed a chick all of its intake, with little free ranging winter is the time for chicks as there is no free ranging anyway. Another way of looking at that is if you get chicks in October or November they will not be able to free range effectively till at least March and you will be feeding almost full size birds over the winter with no eggs. If you get chicks now, there is a chance they will start to lay before winter and given the right condition will keep laying. Then you at least get eggs for all of the winter feed that your birds are eating. Another option is many of us here sell chicks and some of them are started chicks. Have you checked out the members list to see if there is someone close to you with the chicken breed you are interested in? you say you are traveling to OH, you might even be able to pick up birds from a person on the OH thread. I don't know them as I have never even read the OH thread, I'm just wanted you to have options. The hatchery shipping is fair but not cheap as USPS charges a lot to ship live animals. For 6 chicks at Meyer hatchery you are looking at $33.56 for shipping plus at least $12 for the chicks. You might be able to find breeder quality chicks close to you or along your path for that price. Again I'm not against the hatchery but as another poster puts it, it costs the same to feed quality chickens as it does to feed hatchery chickens. Plus shipping can be hard on day old chicks.