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Too late for chicks in Iowa?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by thereseiam, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. thereseiam

    thereseiam Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Durant, Iowa
    Okay, I have a feeling I know the answer to this question before I ask, but I'll let it rip anyway.

    I live in Iowa, which means we're going into winter here pretty quickly. Is it too late to order some chicks from a hatchery? Or if I do, will I end up with 15 house chickens?

    I got it into my head that I MUST have some colored egg layers (remember my obsessive/compulsive search for silkies? Well I now have 10 of those, so now I'm on to my next breed search!) and have had no luck finding adults in my price range. I can get 15 chicks delivered to my door for $54 from Nature's, and after searching the forum, see that there is a lot of positive response about this hatchery.

    DH, however, is NOT about to winter 15 pullets in our house until next spring--yes, he knows that they'd have to stay inside for a little bit, but wouldn't want them there forever.

    So what's the verdict? I do have a nice sturdy barn and could set them up in a stall with a heat source once they were ready to leave the brooder.


  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    I'm no expert on raising chickens in northern climates, BUT i see no reason why you couldn't set them up nice and cozy in the barn once they feather in good. They tend to be heartier than they are given credit for. If they can be kept out of the cold drafts and given heat, they should be just fine.
  3. thumbless

    thumbless Songster

    Sep 30, 2009
    Mesa AZ
    I just bought some I live in IL but I have a fresh built chicken house and it is insulated and heated. I will start cutting the heat back when they are six weeks old but will keep a 100w light hanging down through to the spring.
  4. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    I wouldn't do it unless you plan to brood in the house for the next month or 2 and then to run lots of electricity up in heat lamps for another 2 months. They aren't going to be fully fluffed out to handle true winter temps until 4 or 5 months old and it looks like we are in for an early and cold winter. January of last year here in eastern Iowa I couldn't keep my coop warm enough to even avoid a heated bucket freezing solid. The potential for this year has me cringing and I wouldn't want to be trying to raise chicks outside. I have chicks hatching in 2 weeks but I brood in the house for 4weeks and can brood inside for 8weeks, then I have the screened porch covered in plastic so I can keep it about 20F warmer than outside plus let them sit under a heat lamp, and then I'm having a small 8x8 insulated coop delivered tomorrow with my space heater for it already purchased. I'm planning to set things up to keep seramas in our winters which will not tolerate below 0 for sure and possibly not below 10-20F all winter so chicks don't concern me too much. I know I'm already going to have a good electric bill, possibly a porch full of chickens, and maybe even a basement full of chickens. I have the materials to build a 7x4' pen in the basement.

    If you really don't want to risk chickens in the house or having to have a backup plan I would suggest waiting. If you brood in the house you could potentially get chicks in Feb or march depending how the winter goes and by the time they outgrow a small brooder and have to go outside our weather would be getting warmer. However ordering chicks from now until about April is it's own risk. If you can pick them up that's not too bad but shipping chicks even across the state risks freezing them to death overnight. Not to say they can't arrive but last spring I saw the warning posts by plenty of people who have been on this forum through a couple winters and have seen the traumatic posts by people in northern climates who ordered late or early in the year only to receive a box of dead or dying frozen chicks.

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