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Ordering late in the year--in Maine?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Scratchin' Around, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. Scratchin' Around

    Scratchin' Around In the Brooder

    Sep 2, 2008
    New Sweden, Maine
    I'm new here, but hoping you guys can help me. I had 22 10-week-old chicks, who were really thriving. On Friday afternoon, something weasely (a mink or fisher, we think) came through and wiped out 12 of them, and terrified the remaining 10. We'd planned on going into winter with 15-20 hens, and a couple extra cockerels in the freezer. I'd like to "re-grow" the flock, but no one I've checked with around here has even one extra bird to spare.

    I live in a place where the first snow (albeit just a dusting) comes usually before mid-November. Temps in the winter get down into the -20's plus a windchill that can drop them to -50. Last winter we got over 200" of snow. I have a nice tight coop, insulated, with electricity, but am still unsure--is it too late in the year to order new chicks? If so, does anyone in Maine have some extra birds/chicks?

    I'm so disappointed in losing them, and the yard is so quiet and lonely now.
  2. MaineChickens

    MaineChickens Songster

    Mar 11, 2008
    It is not unheard of. The blue seal in Ellsworth had in day old chicks on Friday- so some start this late. If you start now, you will get eggs in the spring.

    Just may have to run a heat lamp a little longer.
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    As long as you provide proper care and needed warmth you can brood chickens in the coldest of weather. I would suggest makeing sure you have extra bulbs on hand incase one goes out at a time when no storeis open and the snow plow hasn't cleared the road.
  4. bangor777

    bangor777 Songster

    May 4, 2008
    I've got three buff orp chicks you could have (born 3 weeks ago)
    I'm in Bangor, let me know. I had a successful hatch and have too many babies! Also I have two sultans (I think they're a pair, roo/hen) which I am looking to rehome. They are free. Sweet birds but I'm a bit overrun with chickens right now. The sultans are from chickenstock, I got them as day olds at the end of july.
    let me know!
  5. spook

    spook Songster

    Hi Sweeden, Oxford Hills here, if you have your coop well draft proof (not sealed tight, they do need fresh air) and get them weaned off the light as soon as you can, feed them good, they should be fine for the winter.
    Where you are in the same type climate as I am, and frequent power outages, wean them off a heat lamp so to prevent them from depending on heat so they will grow lots of down for warmth.
    Use the deep litter method and you can place cardboard on the walls and ceiling for insulation. Also, place a grain bag/plastic 1/2 down the door that goes in and out of the coop (allow it to move so you don't harm yourself on it!!!) but this will keep the heat in the coop when you open and close the door.
    Another tip is to box off the door with a grain storage so the birds cannot get to it, but it can be made from chicken wire, covered with plastic so they never get a full blast of fresh cold air.
    Hope these tips help you and welcome to the BYC gang!
  6. spook

    spook Songster

    Quote:Miss Prissy, if the snow is deep and you can't get into town, we don't have electricity or cable. Phone lines often are fine, yet we do have those taken down frequently, especially in Sweeden, Maine. That is one reason if you can wean them off the heat and allow them to learn to feather and generate their own heat, the more likely they will survive. Some folks do heat water, heat coop etc, but not me, they do not build a dependency on any artificial light as they will freeze to death.
    During our Ice Storm farmers actually lost dairy cows due to the inability to milk, water or feed. These storms can hit us quickly in the Western Mountains of Maine (everywhere has their complications) and that is when you hope you are prepared.
    Giving our birds lower rooves, even if its a false ceiling for the winter and then in spring, opening it up is much better planning and heating for the birds.
  7. spook

    spook Songster

    Woops, NEW Sweeden, Maine, holy cow, your higher up and harsher weather then I could ever imagine!!!!! (teasing) Do you even have electricity !?!?!?! ha ha. I mistook you as being in just plain ole Sweeden!
    You should be fine with chicks and growing this fall, we still have 2 1/2 months before bitter cold. Just use caution and feed them lots of high cal food to keep them warm!
  8. Scratchin' Around

    Scratchin' Around In the Brooder

    Sep 2, 2008
    New Sweden, Maine
    Wow, everyone! Thanks so much for the prompt responses and the welcome. I'm actually in New Sweden (way up near Caribou and Fort Kent), which is slightly different from the western Mountains, but similar. Bangor777, I think the next door neighbor might be downstate this week and might be willing to transport chicks. If so, we'd be glad to take the buff orps off your hands. I'll let you know. [**Sidenote: how does one transport chickens??]

    And we'll be thinking about whether or not to order new chicks. Thanks!
  9. Scratchin' Around

    Scratchin' Around In the Brooder

    Sep 2, 2008
    New Sweden, Maine
    Quote:Well, yes, we have electricity, but we're the lucky ones--my husband works for the electric company! lol.

    Can I ask more newbie questions? How soon can I introduce new chicks to my bigger guys? What's the best way to do so? I haven't had any noticeable trouble with bullying or pecking orders, but everything's been all shaken up, and I think all my roos are gone (still unsure on one of the Wyandottes). Anyone have any suggestions on birds that have worked well for them in the extreme cold? I has really pleased with my barred rocks, and my black giants, but I'm open to suggestions, if I'm ordering new.
  10. Heather J

    Heather J Songster

    May 29, 2008
    How much space do you have in your coop? Can you block off a section just for the babies? When I brought home my BR babies I built a nursery area under the nest boxes where the adults couldn't go. It was pretty hot then, so I only ran the heat lamp at night for a few weeks before dropping it completely (I bought them as 2 week olds). When I did remove the wire between them, they were familiar with each other (not to mention it was WAAAAY easier brooding them in the coop than in my basement!) If you can block off a section, that might be best/easiest, and when they are old enough to mix with the rest of the group, you just open a a door or remove what's between them and let it go. You might also make it so you can lift the separator, whatever you use so the babies can run back into the nursery for safety where the adults can't get until they get closer in size.

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