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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ZaDoxie Chickens, Jul 18, 2019.
I would assume mid spring...
Well, what is your goal?
We have a 4-H kid that shows chickens. In order to have “young” egg layers, they have to be hatched after Aug 1 for the next year’s fair that happens in July. So late summer/fall chicks still have generally hot/warm weather, but will begin laying for the late winter /early spring and through the summer.
We got hatched chicks Feb 20 for fair. They are 21 weeks and just starting to lay (just in time for fair), but it is mid-July and we are just getting those eggs from early spring chicks. If you want eggs beginning late winter/ early spring then get fall chicks.
We also have April 29 hatched chicks...not near laying at all.
If you plan to have a broody raise them (if possible), then there is a higher likelihood of broodiness in the spring.
You’ll be able to get chicks in the spring from farm stores, but a few in our area also sell fall chicks (but only for about 2-3 weeks).
Light plays a role in egg laying, so As the days get shorter, it can decrease/stop/delay egg laying. Our fall chicks (hatched Sept 10) started laying late winter, after the days started to lengthen after winter solstice.
Where about do you live?
Do you plan on brooding them outside?
Having chicks shipped to you?
Years ago I raised Buff Orpington's for the 4H kids. I always hatch my chicks after the first of the year. I also raise Rhode Island Reds. At a show one girl who had bought a BO cockerel chick won with him at the show in the Juniors and another girl won at another show with a RIR cockerel. It makes me feel good when someone wins with the birds I hatch out. I love to give young people a good start with potential show quality. The shows I mentioned we not fairs but American Poultry Association sanctioned shows. Not all will win but some also got Best of Breed. Good luck and have fun...
I really wasn't paying good attention and not sure of your plans for the chicks. I raise poultry for potential show quality. You can buy chicks most anywhere. Where do you live and are you looking for birds for egg laying, meat birds or possibly to show?
Thank you for all the information, I certainly needed help! We want to raise our hens for eggs and at this point I didn't know that light plays a big part in the laying process. I want to have the chicks for late next spring once we are settled on our new property.
We will have to brood them indoors until they are mature enough to go to the hen house out side.
I bought my chicks from Tractor Supply this spring. They are about three months now.
Settling into a new place I would suggest having coop and run built and as secure as possible before ordering. You do not want to have to rush getting things ready for them and miss on security because they are out growing brooder and need to go out before you are really ready for them. You can always get a couple pullets already old enough to be laying while you grow your chicks to cut down on the wait for eggs.
Yes, light plays a definite role in egg laying. 14 hours of light per day. Get a timer if you use supplemental light. If you don't use supplemental light, then you will likely have a decrease to no eggs in winter, sometimes for 2-3 months. However, some chickens are "production" layers , like Leghorns. These will reliably lay for 2 years (except for the molting time frame), but then usually will decrease production noticeably after that.
We have heritage breeds. We have electric in our coop and add supplemental light (one 60w bulb) on a timer. We only had a couple eggs a day in late Jan/early Feb bc several had decreased their laying, and 2 were molting. But, there are some breeds known to lay better in the winter (and usually are not as good of layers in the summer). Overall, if you always have some pullets (under 1 year old), then you will usually always have eggs, no matter what breed you have. If you want lots of eggs consistently, go with a production strain (usually Leghorns).
Leghorns are flighty birds but mine hardly take a break.