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When should I buy chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by arlock, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. arlock

    arlock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 19, 2013
    Michigan's "thumb"
    After a couple years without chickens, I have pretty much decided which day-old chickens I am going to buy (a mix of leghorn, easter eggers, and brown egg layers), but am somewhat uncertain when I should have them shipped. I know that most farm stores (tractor supply) and most people typically sell/buy their chicks in the spring. The thought that's bouncing around in my brain is that buying the chicks for an October delivery might be better for the following reasons.
    1. Chicks bought in April would start laying in September or so....right before production would start dropping in winter because of lower light and temperatures.
    2. chicks bought in October would start laying in March and not go through the winter during the beginning of their egg laying career.

    Am I crazy, or does it matter either way?
     
  2. Chick_In_The_Burbs

    Chick_In_The_Burbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only potential issue I see with getting chicks that late is adjusting them to the cold weather. The move from relatively warm brooder to ?? temperatures outside would worry me.
     
  3. arlock

    arlock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 19, 2013
    Michigan's "thumb"
    I never thought about that. Here's scenario #2. If I backed that off to July, they'd be about 8 weeks or older at the beginning of October, and fully feathered as it starts getting cold. That said if they're getting shipped and in transit 2 days during July, what are my chances of having issues from the heat? In the past I've only bought chicks from the farm store in March or April, or hatched my own so I'm very unknowledgeable in this particular arena.
     
  4. Chick_In_The_Burbs

    Chick_In_The_Burbs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2010
    Western Washington

    Height of summer shipping, I would just pay attention to the forecast and try to order less than two weeks out. That way you have a better idea what the weather conditions will be like and if you feel you need to delay or advance a week or two you can adjust.
     
  5. Jakoda

    Jakoda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got mine the beginning of June, I think it was a good time , they were outside by July 4th, got used to the weather/heat/cold, and started laying the end of November, I've got 9 chickies and I'm getting 6 eggs a day:)

    If I get more (I want a few more:) I think I will go for sometime in May,
    Diane
     
  6. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    Or you can get them now and they will start laying in the spring. lol. I have a mixed age flock so here is what I gather from my experience. My first chickens I got on Feb 29th of last year, they started laying in late July and stopped somewhere in Oct/Nov ish. From 12 chickens I then got 1 egg a day through the rest of nov/dec. and just now January get 3 eggs a day, again from 12 chickens. My next chickens(straight run ended up with 1 pullet) I bought Sept 22nd they were 6 weeks old. She is now almost 23 weeks and her face is getting red so I think she will start laying soon. Im excited because I expect her to lay through the rest of winter/spring/summer/fall, seems perfect to me. Next chickens I bought 1 week after the bantams on oct 2nd as day olds. They are now almost 17 weeks old and also faces are getting dark pink so I expect them to start laying hopefully in a month again getting the max amount of egg time from them. Im a new fan of fall and winter brooding. But im also newly OBSESSED with chickens. I have 4 week olds in my brooder and eggs hatching in 5 days. Brooding in winter is a little worrisome and also adjusting them to outside weather in the cold temps but as long as you do it in small steps and acclimate them slowly and still provide heat outside until they are ready probably 10weeks old then I say go for it. SO inconclusion if you want your chickens to start laying in late winter early spring a sept/oct chick order is good.
     

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