Starting baby chicks in the fall?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by beausonge, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. beausonge

    beausonge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This past spring I raised and added 8 "pullets" to my year old flock of 5 (rooster and 4 hens) for a flock total of 13. Since then two of the pullets turned out to be roosters and two pullets were killed by the neighbor's dog. I now have 7 hens and 2 roosters and 1 rooster went next door.

    I want to raise 6 more chicks this fall but my husband says it will be too cold for them, etc. and to wait until spring.

    In your experience, what are the differences between raising chicks in the spring and fall?

    Thanks for you answers!
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I have a broody hatching chicks as I type, so I'm going to say it's okay!

    Seriously, once they're feathered, they're good to withstand quite cold temps. And it's not getting really cold for a while now, if you started chicks in the next week or two, they're feathered out and way ready to go by 6 weeks *hopefully not that long*, it's mid November and just starting to get cold. Personally, I think exposing chicks to colder weather hardens them, helps them feather out faster and makes for hardier birds.
     
  3. nothingbutbirds

    nothingbutbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have two broodies on nest right now and just hatched 6 other chicks so as long as u keep them warm and in a draft free area u should be just fine. spring is usaully the best time to raise chicks as they r supposed to be less prone to diesease i personally havent seen any difference havent lost any to diesease so far and have been raising them my whole life so it wouldnt be bad at all:D
     
  4. 2goose

    2goose Out Of The Brooder

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    I got mine as day olds in August so that were ready to start laying in the Spring
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Depends on one's ability to house different flocks, severity of winter, etc. Most hatcheries are really shutting down and the top quality breeders often only hatch in early spring. They don't keep their breeding pens together for more than 3 months. Spring chicks is the norm, but fall chicks are fine. In severe climates, the unfortunate thing is that they cannot really go exploring, as they like to do, when they are young, as the range dies off and will soon be covered in snow.
     
  6. beausonge

    beausonge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everybody for your replies! We live in Southwestern Washington State. The winters are usually wet and mild. It is uncommon for the temps to fall below 30 degrees F. I have an insulated tack room where I can start them with the proper heating, etc. They would be fine in there until they were old enough to mingle with the rest of the flock. I really like the idea that they could grow and mature to start laying early next spring. I free range the chickens during the day. Due to our mild winters there is always green cover to eat. We also have horses so they have made quite the terraced roadways where we dump the horse manure. It is amazing how fast that turns into rich, black soil.

    Again, thanks everybody for your input!

    :)
     
  7. Garrisonkidsduo2

    Garrisonkidsduo2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my experience I like fall chicks because it seems to be cheaper to feed them all fall and winter and then by the spring sometime around March you can feed laying mash and then you get eggs earlier then if you raised then in the spring. You get eggs all spring, summer, and fall, instead of some in the fall and some through the winter.
     
  8. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    In the Spring or Fall, the issue is chicks being cold OR locked up in area with poor ventilation.
    In the Fall, temps are just going to get colder. The days are getting shorter and therefore there is less sunlight.
    In the Spring, temps are going to warm up.... There is a LIGHT at the end of the tunnel. If today is not good, maybe tomorrow will be. The days get longer and more sunshine happens.

    I live in Florida... My winters are not that bad. I do a Fall and Spring hatch. In the Fall, I've had to worry about the chicks getting respiratory issues from being kept in closed in coops to protect the young chicks from the cold. In the Spring, I've had to worry about wet weather and mosquitos carring fowl pox disease.

    Check with folks in your area and see what they have to deal with in the Fall....
     
  9. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    Pinkchik or Pinkchic or PinkChick.... You get the idea... is a BYC person who lives in WA. She has done a lot of hatching. She would be a good person to PM and get some more info from [​IMG]
     
  10. BGinVA

    BGinVA Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't have much experience only raising my second group of chicks. I raised the first group in the heat of summer, hardly needed any heat source at all, just checked the brooder temp a few times a day, and made sure they weren't getting over heated. With my new group that are two weeks old, I'm noticing wildly changing temperatures in the brooder. The ambient temp is 80's to 90's during the day, and the night temps are 50- 60's. Since I keep my brooder in the garage, what this means for me is simply more temp checks during the day and getting out there pronto in the morning before I roast them. If I wait until mid morning to check on them it is way too hot with the light still on from the previous night. If in the evening I don't turn the light back on by dusk they are huddled in a corner on top of each other obviously chilled. I like to check on them many times througout the day anyhow, it just seems more urgent this time of year to make sure the temp is not too cold or too hot.
     

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