Itching for some new chicks, but concerned about weather

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MommyMagpie, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. MommyMagpie

    MommyMagpie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2011
    Salem/Jarvisville, WV
    I am really itching to add a couple of Dominique hens to our little flock, and could order some chicks to arrive in October, BUT:

    if I get them then, should I just resign myself to having house chickens until the weather breaks in the spring, or could I acclimate them to our existing hens on sunny fall/winter days and not have to have them indoors all winter? And at what age would they be ready to be turned out? We got our new Red Star pullets at the beginning of March and they were acclimated to the older hens and living in the coop/free-ranging full time by 8 weeks; that would be mid-December if the Dominiques develop at the same rate.

    Or should I wait until spring to order them? I couldn't get them from the farm store, they only have about five breeds (Red and Black Star, Buff Orpington, Leghorn and a breed of meat chicken) so I have to order them through the mail.

    Any and all advice/opinions appreciated.
     
  2. CinnamonQueen12

    CinnamonQueen12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 20, 2011
    I remember when we got our second batch of 4 chicks in August. We had no clue what we were doing and no clue of how to add the new ones in with the old ones. We did, however, have a second coop that we got before we got the current one, and we kept the chickens in that for only a few weeks. You can get chicks in October, but expect to have them in the house a little longer than you normally would. You can put them outside on warmer days, and get them used to the older chickens so that when they are 18 weeks old, you can put them strait into the coop. Good luck.
     
  3. countrycluckerskaren

    countrycluckerskaren Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2011
    Given tha tyou live in Morgantown, WV, I would wait until spring to order new peeps. I live in North Central PA (went to college in Waynesburg, PA not too far from WVU) and we only get peeps in the spring. Our winters are jsut too cold for youngins just starting out.
     
  4. MommyMagpie

    MommyMagpie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Salem/Jarvisville, WV
    Thank you both. It will be hard but I will force myself to wait!
     
  5. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    Then can you explain to me how chicks survive with mama hen outside. That is before we took on the mama role. Could the hen just go broody at the right time. Just wondering.
     
  6. countrycluckerskaren

    countrycluckerskaren Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2011
    Quote:They will survive but it is not optimum for them. You would have to keep them cooped up in the coop and provide a heat lamp to keep it temperate for them. All I was saying is let them get a head start before blasting them with super growth rate, and snow and freezing temps. I would expect a higher death rate and frostbite from peeps raised in the fall/winter in a snow belt.
     

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