raising chicks this late in the year


12 Years
Dec 27, 2007
Wheatfield, NY near NiagFalls
I have a friend who is thinking about hatching her own babies soon. Is this a good idea? We're in western New York and it gets pretty freezing here in the winter. Is it possible to raise chicks this time of year? Should she wait until the spring?

I know I myself wouldn't do it, but I don't really know how do-able it is for other people. What's the going consensus on this?

Thanks in advance.
I live in the michigan thumb. Right now I've got 17 chicks under the age of 8 weeks in brooders. I've got 23 eggs in 2 incubators, plus more eggs arriving this week and next week to hatch. So I'm definetly NOT the person you want to answer this! lol
Oh, it can work OK then? Where do you keep them in the freezing weather? She has a Florida room she can keep them in. Will this mean she'll have to keep them in there all winter, or can they go outside at some point? I just can't see having them go directly from 60-ish degrees to 30. How would that work? Thanks so much for the help!
It definitely CAN work, though a lot of people keep them inside for the winter when they start this late. I am going to in an extra area of the house.
I am not sure if they could go outside at some point or not this winter. The more experienced will have to answer that one!
i would advise not to. when you hatch in the spring the chicks would have the whole year to grow with the changing of the weather. i tried the other way and they had a hard time adjusting. so i would say wait till spring, i live in michgan and im getting 2 more chicks in the spring like i did with my 3 girls
My newborns are kept in a brooder in my house for the 1st week. They are then placed in brooders in my garage. Each week, I put a lower wattage bulb in my heat lamps until finally they're down to no bulb at all. By that time, they've become acclimated to the cold nights. I plan on putting all of my chicks into the coop in two weeks. I will, however, have a soft spot and probably put a light in there for them for a while. I don't want them to be scared! lol
It is very doable. You just have to provide a heat lamp and make sure they are free from drafts. I had chicks hatch from a broody in Feb last year. I didn't do anything. Ma hen kept them warm and made sure they ate and drank.
I raised lots of chicks last winter but it cost an arm and a leg running heat lamps. I said I wouldn't do that again this year but we will see.
I replenish most of my stock through winter hatches. I also am fortunate to have electric in my coops to furnish a heat lamp over winter. If you don't, I wouldn't encourage it. But if you can grow them out safely over winter, then do it. I like to do it this way because it doesn't interfere with other people's orders and also have fresh laying hens by spring to early summer.

I know someone putting them in their greenhouse until they feather. If you have a very well insulated coop with electricity they could go out under some strong heat lamps after they grow and feather some. For me having a not insulated coop with no electricity where it can get to -20F in winter I'm just building a chicken pen in my basement. I'll probably have chickens inside all winter at this rate.

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