Starting chicks in a North Florida winter

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by pvbtyler, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. pvbtyler

    pvbtyler Hatching

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    Nov 12, 2019
    Our chicken coop will FINALLY be finished in just a few weeks. Thankfully, I listened to advice warning against ordering chicks until the coop is officially complete! The coop is enclosed with 4 nesting boxes and an attached run. My flock will be small - 5 max. Once it is ready to go I plan to order my chicks and keep them in a brooder until they are at least 6 weeks old. I already have everything I need to get them started including a warmer.

    My question is about timing. We live near the coast in North Florida. During the winter the temp very rarely falls below freezing. Is it unwise to start my chicks in winter (mid December or January)? I have been waiting so long, and selfishly would rather not wait until Spring to order them. Really want to give them the best start possible.
     
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  2. Ted_Harrell

    Ted_Harrell Crowing

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    How big is your coop?
     
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  3. pvbtyler

    pvbtyler Hatching

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    Nov 12, 2019
    Small. The house is 16 sf & the run is 32. We don’t plan to keep more than 4-5 chickens.
     
  4. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

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    I have done chicks in the winter here. I brood them indoors until they are old enough to go outside, fully feathered and not needing supplemental heat, and then I put them out starting with an hour at a time and slowly building up once they are old enough. I am pretty conservative in putting them out, and wait until a warmer stretch of weather before leaving them out 24 hours. You may have to be vigilant about making sure none get stuck outside at first, especially since you don't have adult birds to show them where to go.
     
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  5. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Free Ranging

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    I'd personally wait until spring, it'll give you the option of raising them outside instead of indoors, and with a lot less hassle. Also if chicks need to be shipped to you, you're more likely to see a higher mortality rate during cold weather compared to warm. If you're not having them shipped, you'll find there's just less selection overall in fall/winter vs spring as fewer people are willing to hatch and most stores don't order chicks until spring. It can even be harder to find chick feed during winter sometimes since once again, most people don't raise them in winter.
     
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  6. Ponte

    Ponte Chirping

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    If pvbtyler is a reference to Ponte Vedra Beach I would suggest that instead of having chicks mailed during the winter, go to tsc in Saint Augustine and pick up the chicks you want. The temperature will not be an issue at six weeks.
     

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