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When is a good time to get chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ccpratt, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. ccpratt

    ccpratt Hatching

    Jul 9, 2017
    Hi there,

    My wife and I just about have our new coop setup. We want to get some baby chicks but aren't sure when it is okay to get them.

    We live in Colorado, so we have varying weather. I heard that the best time to get them is early spring. Can you get them around this time of the year without problems?

    Thank you!
    1TurkenLover and penny1960 like this.
  2. sirrobyn0

    sirrobyn0 Songster

    Feb 1, 2015
    Pacific Northwest
    Early spring may be the best time and I have heard that said before too, however I rarely follow it. For me I usually get baby chicks when the local coop has the breed I want and I'm going to be around to care for them. For the first weeks when they are still very young, I have little cage that I put in my bathroom and they live in that. It's easy adjust heat lamp, the temperature in the house is much more even than outside. I'm not saying that's the way you should do it but it's what I have done. I'm sure you'll be totally fine getting them this time of year.
    1TurkenLover and penny1960 like this.
  3. getaclue

    getaclue Crossing the Road Premium Member 5 Years

    Jun 19, 2013
    Central Florida
    You can get chicks anytime. They will need to be started in a brooder, because they will need to be kept out of any drafts, at a steady 90 degrees the first week, 85 the second week, 80 the third week, lowering the temp 5 degrees each week, until they're feathered out. Depending on your daytime temps, you may only need to use a heat source in the evening, and through the night for them. When they've feathered in, they're ready for the coop.
    NorthTexasWink and penny1960 like this.
  4. penny1960

    penny1960 Going back to La La Land Premium Member

    Dec 29, 2015
    Mossyrock, WA
    :welcome really chicks can be bought at anytime with that said others are giving you great advice already so glad you joined
    NorthTexasWink likes this.
  5. getaclue

    getaclue Crossing the Road Premium Member 5 Years

    Jun 19, 2013
    Central Florida
    :welcome Welcome!
    penny1960 likes this.
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging 7 Years

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome! I like to order shipped chicks in spring, when the weather is more likely to be neither too hot or too cold for them in transit. Definitely not midwinter! Aside from that, there tends to be the best selection available in spring. There's no way you are going to want to wait until then, so go for it anyway! Mary
    NorthTexasWink and penny1960 like this.
  7. jadekin

    jadekin In the Brooder

    Sep 5, 2016
    Jersey girl
    I'm in NJ.
    I got 2 chateclers & 1 barred rock in April
    And I just got 2 leg horns & a Rhode Island Red the other day.
    There is a 3 pullet minimum at the agway near me.
    I'll have 9 all together once these chicks move out to the coop. My other 3 girls are from last spring.
  8. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Crowing 9 Years

    Oct 16, 2008
    I order meat chicks to be delivered 10 weeks before I plan to butcher.
    mail order chicks should be delivered when the weather is not so cold that they freeze during delivery.
    If you can pick the chicks up from where you buy them and haul them home yourself, then anytime is a good time.
    I live in central Wisconsin, and one year I had 80 chicks under a brooder hood, covered with about 2 feet of loose straw. not in an enclosed building, but under a lean to.
    the temps dipped to minus 20F for a few days.. I didn't lose a single chick.

    and do you know what ? I would never do that again.. LOL

    around here we can get POL pullets delivered in Sept. we have to order them in early summer..
    they cost $5/ea. but you know that you are getting pullets, and it costs about that much to raise them yourself to that age.. not to mention the work saved..

    FLChickens and NorthTexasWink like this.
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road 5 Years

    Nov 7, 2012
    Wow! $5/pullet at POL? What breeds? No such thing here.

    ccpratt, welcome to BYC. Chicks are more at risk with shipping when the weather is very cold, or when it's very warm. They can also get delayed in shipping, so I'd not order chicks to be delivered in any week with a mail holiday in it. If you order in early spring, they are likely to be laying some time in late summer, early fall, and may lay well for you right through the winter. You can insure that by supplementing their light. If you order in the summer, or early fall, they most likely won't start laying until the days are getting longer, most likely in February. (unless you tweak their systems with supplemental light.) Some folks like to brood chicks in the summer. When temps are in the 90's during the day, very little, if any heat is needed during the day. The down side of summer brooding is that when temps get above 95, that can be very hard on them. No matter when you brood your chicks, I strongly recommend that you brood them IN YOUR COOP with a heating pad brooder. IMO, heat lamps should be reserved for folks who are brooding more than 25 chicks at a time. And I'm so sold on heating pad brooding that I brooded 44 chicks with heating pads early this spring. They were brooded in a coop, and weaned themselves off the heat by 4 weeks of age. The outside temps varied from mid 30's to mid 60's.
    Nikasha and NorthTexasWink like this.
  10. One issue that could arise getting chicks this late is that when the cold comes around in fall it may be a shock to the chickens. I got mine in early March, so they were adapted to the cold immediately (brooded via MHP). Although, I lost eight of 11 in shipping, due to the cold on route. If/when I do it again I'd get them locally or wait until later in the season.

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