When should I buy?

balticbabe

Songster
11 Years
Apr 3, 2008
203
2
131
King County, WA
Hello everyone. This is the year I decided that we would finally get some chickens. We’ve been planning on doing so for years. I’ve heard that you need to get the chicks by mid-April but not sure why. Is it the weather or the length of day light? Getting them that soon doesn’t seem doable. I’ve gone to the feed store twice and they’ve been sold out. The people there didn’t seem to know why. The hatcheries also seem to be sold out until May. Is it OK to wait a couple of months? Is there a chick shortage or is it normal for there to be shortages. It seems like in previous years the feed store always has chicks. Did an early Easter throws things off? I’m wondering if I should just take the first chick I can find or wait. Thanks for the advice.
 

Mrs MIA

Chick Magnet
11 Years
Mar 3, 2008
7,988
60
303
I try to get my chicks as early in the spring as possible because I want them to be full grown before the snow flies again.
I'm learning to be patient and wait for what I want, though. You should be able to find chicks locally in Washington... I remember there being quite a few in the Kent area and south, as well as North (Carnation?) and east. Just have to look a little harder. Or, if you're impatient, start your own with an incubator.

Good luck!
 

twigg

Cooped up
11 Years
Mar 2, 2008
1,389
11
171
Tulsa
Quote:Mostly it's to do with egg production.

Spring hatched chicks will not moult in the first year. Normally, the moult starts when the days begin to shorten, so they are fully feathered by October, when it gets colder.

If, at the end of August, you give them extra light, so the light level doesn't drop below 14 hours a day, they will come into lay, and lay continuously until you moult them deliberately the following September.

A forced moult with good feeding will be done in around 6 weeks and they will start their second year lay.

Using a system like this you can get a continuous 15 month 1st laying period.

You can also late hatch, to cover the period at the end of the first lay for the original birds by getting them on a staggered cycle.

It's not hard, just needs thinking through
 

balticbabe

Songster
11 Years
Apr 3, 2008
203
2
131
King County, WA
Thanks for the advice. I decided to settle down and wait. The feed stores are keeping chicks in stock long enough now that I’m able to actually see some. Apparently the sell outs were just a first of the season chick frenzy. Today Monroe Feed had just about every variety I could ever want. Too many choices there so I just went to Costco and bought a chicken.
 

twigg

Cooped up
11 Years
Mar 2, 2008
1,389
11
171
Tulsa
Quote:And if ya wanna know all about the perils of *too much choice* ...

I give you Cell Phone Ringtones
 

gumpsgirl

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Mar 25, 2008
14,106
41
311
Virginia
My dad says the reason for that is because it gets to hot for them when you get closer to and into the summer months. It had something to do with them huddling together in the heat and suffocating each other. Whether that's true or not, I don't know. I went ahead and placed an order through Cackle Hatchery yesterday anyhow. Cackle said that getting them in May would still be just fine. Hopefully I won't regret it!
 

gumpsgirl

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Mar 25, 2008
14,106
41
311
Virginia
Thanks TWIGG on for the insite on the egg production. I knew it had to be some other reason than being to hot. The egg production seems to be more of a reason than being to hot!!! Geez! They have to stay under a heat lamp to begin with anyways. How much more "HOT" could you get?!?!
Thanks again!
 

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