What is the latest I should start raising my chicks?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by fightasthma, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. fightasthma

    fightasthma Hatching

    Mar 21, 2012
    Hudson Valley Region, NY
    Greetings all!

    I am new to the game, and won't be able to have a coop ready, or the time to devote to chicks, until fall. I live in the Mid Hudson Valley region of NY where winters can be from 30 degrees to near zero. If I choose cold hardy breeds what is the latest I can start raising? Should I wait till next spring?

    Thanks for any input.


  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Crowing

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northernMichigan :D

    You can raise chicks any time of the year, even in cold temperatures, as long as you provide them with adequate housing until they are old enough to keep themselves warm. You could also consider buying started pullets.
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It takes about 7 weeks for chicks to feather in completely, and they need to be kept warm until then. If you can keep them in the house or heated garage for that long, or at least for a couple of weeks that would do. I am brooding my chicks this year in a small coop outside where temps have been as low as 24 and as high as 70. I have several heat lamps (250 watt) and a ceramic heater. It has been tough keeping them warm but not too warm at night. Temps are fine at 11 PM and then at 7 AM they are freezing--constant adjustment. Last year mine were brooded in the house for 7 weeks and it was much easier, but stinky and very dusty. It's up to you, but you might want to wait until your coop is done. Lots of people get chicks in the fall, but it's easier in warm weather.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  4. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

    Aug 26, 2011
    Hello and :welcome
    Yes, it should be fine if you start raising the chicks in the winter or autumn/fall, as long as syou have adequate heat. That's what we did last time, and there were no dramas involved, and the chicks were laying by mid-spring.
    It's a lot easier to start in the spring though, that way the chicks can go outside into the coop earlier, they can have some free range time outdoors, etc.
    Enjoy the site, don't hesitate to ask any questions you have!
  5. The Red Rooster

    The Red Rooster Poultry Observer

    Hi Mike!

    I would recommend starting in the spring. That way the chicks can be warmer when you put them outside for the first time.

    Welcome to BYC!

  6. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Hi and :welcome from Ohio. So glad you joined. :thumbsup
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Get your chicks around Labor Day and you'll do just fine. We often brood out chicks in the fall. They'll be all feathered out and big by Halloween. They'll even start laying in January, if you provide some light during the early morning hours. I would not wait until October for day old chicks. First, most hatcheries shut down. Second, it is pushing the envelop on getting them feathered out in time for that inevitable, first blast of nasty winter cold.
  8. Sarahej

    Sarahej In the Brooder

    Apr 14, 2012
    Hi, we are excited to get a few chicks. Do I/we have to stay home with them for the first 4 weeks? Some articles say check on them 5 times a day, some don't mention staying home, and some say don't think about leaving. I know they need to clean water, feed and it gets messy, but we both work. Any advice wold be appreciaed. Cheers, Sarah
  9. weimarmama

    weimarmama Crowing

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us.

  10. Sarahej

    Sarahej In the Brooder

    Apr 14, 2012
    Thanks and I am so glad I found BYC.

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