Maybe dumb question about timing of getting chickens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BluebirdHomestead, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. BluebirdHomestead

    BluebirdHomestead Songster

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    Oct 13, 2019
    Longmont, CO
    Is it possible to get pullets in late fall and have them in an outdoor coop over winter so that they should be close to laying come spring? Do people ever do that or is it a horrible idea? I’m totally new to chickens. Thanks!!
     
    slordaz likes this.
  2. diamondsilkies

    diamondsilkies Songster

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    Oct 23, 2017
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    It is not necessarily a bad idea, just depends on a few things.
    1. Where are you located?
    2. Are you thinking of any particular breeds?
    3. 'Pullet' can refer to a relatively broad age group. About how old would they be by the time winter began?
    Sorry for all the questions, just trying to give you the best answer I can!
     
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  3. slordaz

    slordaz hatchaholic

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    It is hard to give advice when we don't know where you are, at least state or country.

    I have had 2 month olds outdoors but they were hatched early enough to be fully feathered and starting to get their adult feathers before first frost, they have time to get used to it as I give them straw in one side of the coop and deep litter in the other side. They don't get heat or light and have done fine, this year had some hatch out a bit later so it's going to be cutting it close they are almost feathered at 2 weeks, but we've already had our first freeze. I take them out so they get used to the temperatures slowly. but the older pullets would pick on them still so may have to make a temp coop in a pen just for them.
    The best advice I can is research the breeds you want dependent on your area as to what you would want to get. Also what you are planning for your flock, egg layers meat or dual purpose. For example here our winters here can be brutal you you don't want the big single combs if your flock is going to be out of the heated coop at all, if you let your flock free range you want a cold hardy breed with a small comb to avoid frost bite. Some breeds are better winter layers too.
     
  4. BluebirdHomestead

    BluebirdHomestead Songster

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    Thanks for taking the time to help me!
    1) Longmont, CO
    2) Mix of breeds (Silkies, Marans, Barred Rock, RI Red, Olive Egger, Easter Egger)
    3) I actually haven’t locked them down yet, so am open to suggestions on how old they should be.

    Thanks again!
     
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  5. BluebirdHomestead

    BluebirdHomestead Songster

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    I just responded so someone else, see above. I should have mentioned I’m in Longmont, CO! I listed a mix of breeds I’m hoping for. I believe they are all cold hardy but I’ll double check. Thank you so much for all this info!
     
  6. slordaz

    slordaz hatchaholic

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    you should be fine with 2-3 month olds this time of year, silkies I would wait until the spring though, the others are all good in cold, I prefer the Rhode Island Whites they are still good producers but they are milder temperament than the reds
     
  7. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Crowing

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    I don't think it's a bad idea, you just have to make sure you keep them warm and dry during the winter so they're acclimated and ready to start laying come spring! Raising chickens is fairly easy, they just need feed and water (that doesn't freeze) and a safe, dry place to sleep nights. They also need a clean, dry, safe place to lay their eggs every day. And we're always here if you have questiions!
     
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  8. diamondsilkies

    diamondsilkies Songster

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    I agree with what's been said above, they should be fine once they are around 2-3 months old and fully feathered. A dry chicken is a warm chicken.

    Silkies you may want to wait until after winter, as they have a hard time holding in heat with their feathers (but they should be fine for next winter if you get them early this spring). Best of luck to you, and don't hesitate to ask us any more questions if you have them!
     

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