I live near St. Louis and we've had a really cool year compared to normal. The temperatures are getting down to about 40 degrees in the morning. Does anyone think i could add on to my flock with weather this cold.
Depends on how you are planning on doing it. If a hen hatched them out there, she could raise them successfully. Moma hens keep em warm enough in all weather. If you are hatching in an incubator you'll need to keep them in a warm place till they're fully feathered and then with a heat lamp in a broody box in the coop for some time. We just can't really compete with a Mama Hen's feathers and training in cold weather.
40 is nothing to grown chickens, I don't add any extra heat in the winter and many much further north than me don't either. Chicks need warmth though.
heh, it's a seperate pen, box or area that you can heat seperately from the rest of the coop with a heat lamp or some other sort of heat so they are protected from the flock and kept warm too.
If you have a strong mama raising them, no, it's not always necessary, if you have a timid mama hen, or you incubated them so they have no one to protect them, they yes, I'd say it IS necessary. Both for warmth and protection.
I just hatched 22 RIR's a week ago. The advantage being, next spring when everyone else has chicks, you will have laying pullets. The disadvantage being, a little more effort in getting the chicks through the cooler months. If you have the means to care for them properly, I say go for it.
I originally hatched these to sell, however not many people want them now, so I will just raise them and cull out the ones I don't want later. The previous 3 months I sold chicks within 10 or 15 minutes of listing them on craigslist.