When to order meat birds

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by caliclucker, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. caliclucker

    caliclucker Out Of The Brooder

    May 1, 2011
    I live in so. California and want to know when is a good time to order meat birds. I have an outdoor run set up for the chicks and would like to start them directly outside. I can provide a heat lamp If necessary but would really like to avoid having to start them in a brooder
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
  3. Elke Beck

    Elke Beck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2011
    Sunny So Cal
    Right now you will not be able to just put day old chicks outside. It is way too cold and windy. You could make a brooder inside your coop with cardboard walls and see if you can maintain temps of at least 90 degrees on the floor of the brooder. If you can't, then wait a couple of months until the weather gets warmer before getting your chicks.

    I am in the Pasadena area, and if I got chicks right now I would keep them inside until they were fully feathered, and even then I might provide them with heat until the temperatures stay in the high 70's at night.
  4. Sweetly Silkies

    Sweetly Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2012
    My Coop
    We buy ours in March. they must be kept in 95* F heat for the first week, and every week after dropping by 5 degrees.
    at 2 months old in March, they can go outside
  5. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    When I order it's usually late March. I'll I pick them up from a local farm & ranch store it is sometimes as early as they get them in.
  6. my sunwolf

    my sunwolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2012
    Southwest Virginia
    My Coop
    You can order at the beginning of March (best not to get them too much earlier than that) and have them in a box (cardboard, rubbermaid, anything that's big enough) indoors or in a shed for the first 5 weeks. Make sure to do the heat lamp--they need at least 80˚F the first week, preferably closer to 90˚F (the weak ones won't make it under 95˚F, and cornish cross are usually all pretty weak... ranged and slower growing meat birds can be hardier). By week 5 they can go down to 50˚F if you've been slowly dropping the temp every day, but they can't get wet or windy. By week 8 they should be fully feathered and good down to 32˚F if they've been off the heat lamp for a good week or so (not that this would happen in SoCal in May), still try not to get them soaking wet at any point in their lives and provide cover from the wind.

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