What time of the year would you start a new flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by steinway, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. steinway

    steinway Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 27, 2011
    Knowing what you know now, if you were starting from scratch when would you start? It is now 11/1/11, I started raising rabbits a few months ago and I am now making plans to raise chickens for laying eggs, not meat. I have a coop to raise them in and a place to run them.

    Should I start now, start later, when should I start? I am not familiar with timing, is it better to get some now at the beginning of winter since they do not lay as much in the winter, let them grow and start laying in the spring? Should I wait? What are your thoughts?

    I have been learning a lot from reading the thousands of posts at this site, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic.
     
  2. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Iddy biddy's are always fun. I do it whenever I can.
     
  3. magicpigeon

    magicpigeon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2010
    Spring or summer, they get out of the brooder quicker [​IMG]
     
  4. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    Always after the temps have stabilized and I don't have to wory about cold nights. Fuzzies don't handle clilly weather well! It is much easier to have them outside as well, less clean up;)
     
  5. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We started our flock in March two years ago and added more day old chicks this past March. Eva and I would like to stagger our flocks spring and fall but no stores have baby chicks in the fall around here.

    Spring flocks are good if you keep them in a brooder box in the house,their feathers come on just as it's getting warm enough to put them out to the grow-out coop. If you have a secure place for them outside(garage/barn/brooder coop) a fall flock helps to stagger egg production which helps when culling older hens.
     
  6. babettenj

    babettenj Out Of The Brooder

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    I started 2 years ago in early September- I hadn't planned or thought about it in advance, but it was a good time to start: the chicks (Easter eggers) were feathered out and ready to go into the coop before it got too cold (I'm in NJ). they matured during the short days and started to lay in February as the day light hours lengthened.
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If starting with day olds? March or September. Each work well and both have some unique advantages. 11-1-11 doesn't work for me. We are too far north. For you?
     
  8. steinway

    steinway Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 27, 2011
    Fred's Hens :

    If starting with day olds? March or September. Each work well and both have some unique advantages. 11-1-11 doesn't work for me. We are too far north. For you?

    Good questions - I should have told you both of these things in the original post. I am in the northern third of MI (not upper P - I am north lower). I am new to this location but I understand it gets cold and we have long winters.

    I have assumed the only way to go is with day olds, if I can start with older ones I would love that.

    By the way I just visited your home page and appreciated the information there.​
     
  9. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Steinway you can search around and find older chicks sometimes but I really prefer day-old chicks. They are less likely to carry disease and seem to adapt to you better as pets. We brought in chicks once that were around 16 weeks old and I'll never do that again. We did the quarrentine and introductions just like you should but they never adapted to us or the rest of the flock. We ended up finding them another home.

    You may have a different result, but that was our experience.
     
  10. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My preference in this area--upstate NY--is to start with day-olds no earlier than the end of April--actually May is better. The weather is settled enough so shipping is no problem and with the warming temperatures the chicks are out of the brooder very quickly--should there be power outages they don't suffer either. This means they are fully feathered and can gradually acclimate themselves to the coming of cold weather once the fall arrives. Also they will begin laying in September in time for the baking season.
     

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