When Is IT TOOOOOO Late to Hatch Chicks before Winter??

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MamaDragon, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. MamaDragon

    MamaDragon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2008
    Camden, AR
    Greetings All!

    Here freezing cold weather doesn't really hit before January, but we might get occasional times below freezing in December. Then again, we might not get freezing temps until February. (Arkansas can have DAYS in the low 30'sor even into the 20's, and get an overnight "Low" in the mid 40's.... go figure)

    What is the ideal age for younglings to do well in the coming Winter?? 8 weeks? 12 weeks? 16 weeks? Our coop is not electric capable, so there will be no lights, no heaters, etc. I'm not worried about whether or not we have eggs, but making sure they all survive the winter cold.

    I'm trying to work backwards on the calendar from 21 December to determine if I still have time to incubate a set of eggs and have them "old enough" to not have difficulties once cold weather hits.

    Kathy

    Murphy's Law of Winter - the more you plan for a gentle winter, the sooner the ice/snow flies.

    Murphy's Law of No Winter - the harder you prepare for being the coldest winter on record, the milder the temperatures you actually get.
     
  2. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    How timely!
    My DH and I were discussing this the other night and I meant to ask the same question [​IMG]

    Thanks for asking it!~!~

    We were thinking as long as they were fully fledged they'd be okay. So we were thinking this August hatch is the last one for us this year.

    I was supposed to have my last hatch in June, but a friend has asked me to help her replace her flock [​IMG]
    (She has predators and learned a hard lesson about leaving the chickers out during the day. New flock, new plan for defense!)
     
  3. shangri-lafarms

    shangri-lafarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2008
    NY-Upstate Adirondacks
    I am in NY and getting ready to incubate a dozen more eggs this coming week, so I think you guys out west ought to be okay until late September, just a guess though [​IMG]
     
  4. Momma_Cluck

    Momma_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 11, 2008
    N. West Michigan
    We live in Michigan-- a local Farmers wife said she has them hatch all thru winter... but they have a HIUGE insulated & heated coop....

    We plan to get our last batch in Sept/Oct and brood them indoors a few weeks then out to the brooder box in the coop (well insulated & a heat lamp if nessisary)

    I'd assume that as long as you have a heat lamp or space heater for them, you could do until temps go near freezing???
     
  5. shangri-lafarms

    shangri-lafarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 24, 2008
    NY-Upstate Adirondacks
    That's probably true, as long as they are in the brooder..i mean this sping we had our baby chicks in our carport, the carport has 3 sides enclosed and under the lights, they did fine. Even on really cold nights and around here spring nights can be like high 30's low 40's, I never lost one due to heat/cold issues...don't plan on it yet either...Even if you brooded them in the garage that cuts down on losts of chills, I mean don't Hens hatch out their own chicks all year????
     
  6. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    I've got some duck eggs coming, then I think I'm done for the year. We usually get at least one snowfall in October, though nothing may stick until December or January. I'd like them to be feathered before it gets too chilly out.
     
  7. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    Mar 3, 2008
    It just depends on whether you have the ability to keep them warm or not. If you don't have any way to add a heat lamp for them, will they be fully feathered before the snow flies or the temperatures dip to freezing? Here, I'm pushing it by hatching now, because the snow may come as early as September/October and I have eggs in the 'bator now. But I have an insulated/heated coop so it shouldn't be an issue. But if you're going to put them outside without a heat source, make sure they're fully feathered and acclimate them to the cold. [​IMG]
     
  8. MamaDragon

    MamaDragon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2008
    Camden, AR
    Living in a Mobile Home as we do, there is NO room to bring chicks indoors until they are big enough to be outside. There's also no such thing as a carport, let alone an enclosed garage. So they must be big/old enough to survive with no human assistance and little "comforts of home"

    How old is "fully fledged"? When do they feather out??

    I've NEVER raised chicks before, and inherited this "hobby flock" this last spring.
     
  9. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    Ours will be outside and only have an external heat source if the temps dip really low (below 25 degrees).
    They will have an insulated coop to go inside but so far the hens refuse to go indoors and sleep in the run instead. I figure when the roost bar gets too cold for them they'll sleep inside? Hope so, or a heat bulb will do them no good!
     
  10. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Wisconsin
    They should be fully feathered at 8 weeks (although they will molt after that). I would think with those mild temps for winter you still have plenty of time. Good luck hatching.
     

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