Timing for starting a flock

sylviethecochin

Free Ranging
Jun 14, 2017
5,207
10,607
691
Central PA
Timing matters if you have bad or early winters. Chickens that are hatched in January will grow into maturity in June--at which point, there should be enough sun that they begin laying eggs soon, and will keep laying as winter comes around. This year, we got ours in May--and by October, only a quarter of them had begun to lay. Most still aren't laying, because they never got the sunlight to kick-start the laying process.

But I'm in PA and you're in GA. You'll have a longer summer. I would guess that your chosen starting time will be an advantage for you, because by the time you're kicking them out, there will be a lot of sun, and they'll have started laying eggs a month or two before winter sets in.
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
17,126
21,958
906
southern Michigan
I don't want chicks before early April up here, and that's pushing it. I start them in my attached warmer garage.
For me, it's about the shipping; having chicks in the mail in either very cold or very hot weather is bad for them and increases the odds of having dead/ dying chicks arrive. Ugly!
You might be able to start a bit sooner, and if there's a good hatchery within driving distance, that's the best.
Mary
 

8 Chicks 1967

Songster
Oct 18, 2017
991
1,985
216
Morganton North Carolina
The advantage is if you want them to be more socially involved with you. The first 6 weeks you spend with them imprints on the rest of their life. If you don't want that involvement, get the size flock you want for a hobby or to sustain your familys needs. That way as they grow they will sort out a pecking order more naturally and you don't have to quarantine and integrate with all the headache's by adding new chicks here and there.
 

Skipcurt

Chirping
Jan 10, 2018
81
115
91
Woodstock, GA
I have reached out to several local farms, hatcheries and individuals because I would rather buy locally. Two of two farms have not contacted me back, 1 of three hatcheries has not contacted back and the two that did do not sex their birds and the individuals I've spoken with have been very helpful but timing is the issue.

This being my first go at chickens I would like them to be social for us as I'm sure that makes it more enjoyable.

It really seems like the mail order hatchery is the way to go (at least for me) because you get what you want, when you want. Hopefully the sexing turns out well but nothing is guaranteed.
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
17,126
21,958
906
southern Michigan
I've had very good experiences with Cackle and MurrayMcMurray; I don't know what's closer to you though. If you want a few birds, you might be able to combine an order with someone nearby; check your state thread here.
I'd recommend getting the Marek's disease vaccine for them; it's inexpensive and might pay off for them someday.
The local feed stores will likely be selling chicks fairly soon; they won't be vaccinated, and the breed selection won't be huge, but it's not a bad way to start either.
I usually weaken and get a few from TSC every year too.:oops:
Mary
 
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