New to chickens - Can I start a new coop in the fall?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cmr0606, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. cmr0606

    cmr0606 New Egg

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    Sep 24, 2012
    Northern IL
    Hi everyone! This is my first post here. I've been lurking here for the last year or so, studying and learning. This is a great site and had been very informative.

    I've been working on our coop since last year. A little at a time, hands are always full since we have two little ones running around and work schedules, etc. I'm sure many can relate. It's almost done and I should be able to get some chickens in there in a couple weeks. I have a source for some 20 week old pullets which I was going to start with. We were going to start with 4 birds until we got the routine down, the coop can support 8-10 birds. Now our biggest question is should we wait until spring instead of starting from scratch in October. I saw another post that stated that adding young chickens to your flock in October would be fine, but how about starting from scratch?

    The coop is made from old pallets, it's got 3/4 in plywood for the exterior walls with siding on top of that. It is also insulated with R11 insulation. The roof is also insulated and has asphalt shingles. I will be running electric out there for a light source as well as a water heater to prevent their water from freezing. I don't plan to artificially heat it because if I lose power I don't want them to go into shock with the cold. I plan on doing the deep litter method which should help keep things warmer. I live in northern IL so winters can be rough although the Farmers Almanac said that this winter would be mild and dry again. But who knows, it said last year was going to be brutal and we had the mildest winter I can ever remember.

    So after that long drawn out story, the question is can I start a coop from scratch with 20 week old pullets in October?
     
  2. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2011
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    Hi & [​IMG]. Congrats on your almost completed coop! You are not really starting from scratch if, you can get hens that are 5 months old to put into your new coop. You are right it's hard to know what winter will be like but if, you get hens that are cold-hardy - you should be fine. So, I say go for it : )
     
  3. sherylreno

    sherylreno Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes you sure can as long as the flock is already outside to begin with. It's better for them this way.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. tkchicken

    tkchicken New Egg

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    Oct 18, 2012
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    cmr0606 - I'm in a similar situation with starting a new coop in Northern IL in October. I was wondering what your source for started chickens is. I'm having a hard time finding started chicks online or hatcheries in Illinois at all. I was hoping to get 8-10 Golden Sex Link pullets. Thanks!
     
  5. cmr0606

    cmr0606 New Egg

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    Sep 24, 2012
    Northern IL
    Thank you everyone for the great advice. As much as I thought I would have a populated coup at this point I still have a couple final things to wrap up in the new coup which time and weather have held me back. Hoping to have a good day this weekend to wrap up. Once it's done I'll post a few pictures in the Coups section.


    tkchicken-

    I found this guy named Walt on Craigslist. He's out of Kingston, IL and has several listings and always updates them. Just search the Rockford, IL Craigslist for chickens and his listings come up. I've spoken to him, he's got birds of all types and ages. He always has birds that are 12-24 weeks old and tells me he has new batches all the time. Here's a link to one of his CL ads - http://rockford.craigslist.org/grd/3347586894.html He has several listing up currently. He seems reasonable and he's not terribly far from me.
     
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  6. tkchicken

    tkchicken New Egg

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    Oct 18, 2012
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    Thanks, cmr0606. That was very helpful. I'm sure I'll be making a trip to see him in Kingston, IL.
     

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