If you have a place to keep them warm over winter, it works out just fine. We raise most of our new layers from fall/winter hatches so they are laying by spring to early summer. We brood them in a garage until fully feathered and off a heat lamp in the coop nursery over deep freeze times to ensure they are ok. They acclimate well the following year.
Thank you so much for your reply. I am thinking this would make perfect sense and we do have an area that would be great, it is a insulated shop with light, heat and so forth. I have been looking and most hatcheries require 25 chicks sent. So I am thinking I could sell some in the spring as ready to lay pullets. That should pay for the cost of the chicks.
mypetchickens.com offers chicks in lower quantities. As low as 3 depending on where you live. I have a small batch of 5 coming next week. I too raise them in the garage until they are feathered and ready to move outside. Since I live in the south the winter can be pretty warm so it works out to them only needing to be inside until they are 6-8 weeks depending on the weather.
I usually get my chicks the first of Oct. and they usually start laying around the 2nd week of February. I have had some start laying at 17 weeks and others at 27 weeks. I put a red heat lamp in the coop on in cold weather. I live in Florida so I don't think I really need to sometimes, but when it gets below 40 degrees here, their lamp goes on. I do have insulation in my coop. Since heat rises I have insulation on the ceiling, but also to keep the coop cooler in the summer. I have several vents I can open and close. I do try to put my coop in the shade in the summer and in the sun in the winter as it gets cold enough that sometimes my bird baths freeze solid. My coop is moveable. My new chicks are 5 days old.
I buy most of my chicks in late fall.
I keep them in a rabbit hutch and it has a boxed in area in the back with alot of red lights for heat and on warmer days they can walk out to a wired in area outside.
Thats what I'm doing, have 30 chicks coming around the 24th..going to raise them in garage/porch until feathered out and then into a nursery coop with heat lamp. I figure they should be able to go to coop Dec if we don't get an artic blast! Being in St. Louis area our coldest winter is generally Late Jan/Early Feb.
Okay, I did it. I ordered the brown egg layers assortment from Meyer. They were wonderful to talk to and very helpful. 25 chicks coming on October 30, 2008 (oooh, Halloween chicks). I wonder what will be in my assortment.