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Is it too late in the season?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by torretornado, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. torretornado

    torretornado Just Hatched

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    Is it too late in the season to get chicks? I'm in MA, I've read chickens don't do well with extreme temp changes, would I be better off waiting till Spring?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    What is your experience level raising chicks or similar animals? What do your facilities look like? What are your plans to brood them?

    If you are ordering chicks through the mail, you are more likely to have problems if the weather is extreme. Too hot can be just as risky as too cold. Most chicks mailed in winter do fine. You can have severe weather in nicer parts of the year also. But your risk of problems is higher if you run into severe weather which is more likely in winter.

    If you plan on brooding them in the house the time of year really doesn’t make a lot of difference if you are using central heat. They have a nice environment in the house. If you are using a wood stove in one room for heat and the rest of the house gets pretty chilly at night, it could be more challenging. Many of us brood chicks outside even when the outside temperatures are below freezing, sometimes well below. As long as you have a consistent source of heat you can manage quite well. How likely is a power outage where you live? In really cold weather if you have a problem it can quickly turn deadly. In milder weather it’s not as much of a problem, inside the house or outside.

    Most chicks can handle extremely cold weather by the time they are around 5 to 6 weeks old as long as they have a coop that blocks wind yet has decent ventilation. Your high risk time is until they reach this age.

    Can you raised chicks in Massachusetts in winter? People do in weather rougher than yours. But there is more risk involved in severe weather seasons.
     
  3. torretornado

    torretornado Just Hatched

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    I'm new, totally new, that's why I'm asking. I was planning on trying to get them locally to avoid mailing.

    We will be building a coop and run, we want 4-5.

    I was planning to brood them outside, after researching, I was not planning to heat the coop.

    I'm flexible to change my plan as needed. We use central heating and do not have a wood stove. If we brood inside it would be my finished basement.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    I am in growing zone 4, and there is absolutely positively no way I would ever consider brooding chicks in my house in the winter. This after brooding chicks inside once for my first flock. Never again will I brood them in the house, no matter what time of year it is, but winter is much worse b/c the house will be closed up. Imagine taking a very large spray bottle, filling it with oil, and setting the nozzle so it emits a very fine mist.. Now, spray this over every square inch of your finished basement. Don't forget the ceiling and all of the vertical surfaces. Got forced air? Be sure to spray it in the duct work. Got hot water? Be sure to spray it on the fins of the heating elements. After you do that, take a bag of flour and toss it about, again being sure to get some on every surface in your finished basement. That, my friend is what chick dander is like. And they start shedding it just as soon as they are dried off from hatching. And they shed it daily, in increasingly large amounts. Chicks also poop ALOT. While most chick poo doesn't smell too bad, especially if you have them on fermented feed (one of the many benefits of FF), their cecal poo stinks to high heavens. Makes your eyes hurt sometimes. And if they are stomping through it, they will surely spread the aroma even more. Chicks under a heat lamp are noisy. 24/7 noisy. The heat lamp is on all the time, with the chicks under a bright light for heat. No respite from that bright light.

    Now, compare that scenario to the following one: You have your coop built. It is predator proof (no chicken wire, but 1/2" hardware cloth covering all openings.) You have electricity available. You get your chicks in April, take them to the coop, and as you take each one out of the box, you dip their beaks in the water, then tuck them under a heating pad brooder. They snuggle into the warmth, which is as close to mimicking the heat provided by Mama Broody as man can get. Those chicks do a gentle churring sound as they sing themselves to sleep. They sleep a while, then a brave one comes out, followed by her flock mates. They check out the new digs, eat a bit, drink a bit, race around, then scoot under their heating pad for an other nap. Your finished basement stays clean. Your house stays quiet and does not stink. Your electric bill is much lower. Your chicks don't have to go through the stress of being weaned from brooder to coop.

    BTW, welcome to BYC, and if you put your general location in your profile, it will help folks to formulate answers appropriate to your locale. Also, be sure to check out your state thread in the Where am I? Where are you? forum.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
    6 people like this.
  5. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your chicks will freeze with no heat outside. I would not do it especially as a newbie. Why can't you provide heat? or keep them in the basement until fully feathered?
     
  6. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow I brooded my chicks in my attached garage and never had a dander problem. Kept them in there till they were 7 wks and fully feathered. Cleaned the brooder every day with little smell. Would have put them out at 4 wks though if someone had finished the coop on time!
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. torretornado

    torretornado Just Hatched

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    Massachusetts

    I'm just going by what I read that heat can actually be dangerous because fire hazzard and the risk of it going out and temp dropping rapidly, I wasn't sure if that was the case for chicks as well, that's why I'm asking.

    I don't particularly want them in my house. This is why I'm asking, now.

    I didn't particularly want to run electricity to the coop unless that is totally necessary. I have a friend here who has chickens and has no electricity in her coop. I don't know what she did when hers were smaller.
     
  8. torretornado

    torretornado Just Hatched

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    Massachusetts
    I'm in Massachusetts
     
  9. torretornado

    torretornado Just Hatched

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    I'm not hatching them myself, either. Is it unreasonable to find chicks that are already feathered? Total newbie, I apologize is these are silly questions.
     
  10. torretornado

    torretornado Just Hatched

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    Nov 10, 2016
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    [​IMG] like this?
     

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