when to order new chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by larrypeck, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. larrypeck

    larrypeck Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    24
    Jun 19, 2015
    Andover, Ma
    so my wife and I decided to raise egg laying chickens, I'm ordering a 16x10 cedar shed that 2/3's will be for the chickens and I'll have a large run. I'm thinking of ordering 10 to 15 chicks and was wondering when I should get order/get them.

    The shed will be built in 6 to 8 weeks and was going to chichen-ify the shed before snow flies this year. I was thinking of raising the new chicks in the spring in my cellar and them introduce the young pullets to the coop in the warmer weather.

    I was thinking of ordering from Meyers hatchery and want to minimize DOA chicks due to cold weather (I'm from Northeast Massachusetts) but I don't want to wait too long into the spring to order.

    When would be a good time to order that would minimize DOA chicks due to cold temps (I know Meyers adds heat packs to the shipments)?

    I'm planning on getting:

    4 Black Australorps (egg layer)
    2 Barred Rocks (egg layer)
    2 New Hampshire reds (maybe) (egg layer)
    2 speckled sussux (maybe) (egg layer)
    3 cochins (blue, partridge, silver laced) (pets I think) };-)


    Thanks,
    Larry
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,723
    2,687
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Good breeds. The cochins may end up going broody.

    If the building will be ready by November, I'd get them in the next month. Then they'll be laying eggs in the spring.
    They're pretty hardy and I raise them year round in an outbuilding unless it is under 20F. That's as long as you have electric so you can provide a heat source.
     
  3. larrypeck

    larrypeck Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    24
    Jun 19, 2015
    Andover, Ma
    Thanks, I don't think the coop and the run will be ready before the snow. The shed will most likely be ready by mid-November, but all the chicken modifications and run won't.

    I'll still thinking mid April for the new chicks

    I'm new to chicken raising, what is the adverse effects to the other chickens if the cochins go broody?
     
  4. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'll double up on Chicken Canoe. If you can get them started in the cellar, and build out a coop, go for it. Better to get them now before the bitter cold and to have eggs in the spring! IF you can find what you want. Meyer packed mine with a heat pack and fruit and veggies. They're tough lil creeps once they are feathered out.
     
  5. larrypeck

    larrypeck Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    24
    Jun 19, 2015
    Andover, Ma
    I like to make 100% sure I have a place for them to move to and not be that person that says "OMG, My chickens a getting huge and I still need to work on my coop!!!", I had a neighbor that did that,lol
     
  6. Lozuufy

    Lozuufy Pigeons are nutty Premium Member

    1,785
    242
    201
    May 20, 2012
    MA/VT
    With shipped eggs mid/late April or May is the best because its usually nice and warm at night so if they stay out overnight they're usually fine. In March the nights can still get pretty cold in Mass. But chicks can generate their own heat so any time is probably fine, a couple years ago we got 15 chicks that arrived in January and they were all alive and well. Also those chicks quickly got VERY stinky inside (but we had them upstairs in a bedroom which did not work lol).
     
  7. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,748
    5,692
    436
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Um, so did I. [​IMG] Lesson learned there, let me tell you! I concur with the idea that if you want chicks get them now for eggs in the spring.

    However, it's only fair to warn you that having a 15-20 day-old-to-two-week-old chicks in your cellar for a short time is a whole lot different than raising them from newly hatched chicks to young pullets. Then you are talking literally months. Those months will be dusty, smelly (lets face it, it's a rare person who can have 15-20 chicks in a confined area until almost point of lay and not have some odor) and noisy. That's something else to think about....they don't stay tiny and fluffy and adorable for long. Wings grow, and need to be tested. They do that by becoming the greatest escape artists since Houdini. Close, long term confinement also means boredom. Enter feather picking, bullying, and other problems you can't even envision.

    I had chicks shipped here last year from MyPetChicken. They were delayed a full day, sitting in the loading area in Casper, Wyoming when temperatures were 20 below, and they left Casper at 1:00 am for a 5 hour truck ride to our local post office. The day we finally picked them up it was 6 am and -19 below zero. Almost every one of the 20 chicks made it, and I'm not sure that the few we lost wouldn't have been lost anyway. Failure to thrive happens even in chicks that aren't shipped. So overall I was very pleased with the outcome, even though I was a nervous wreck until they were tucked into their brooder.

    I no longer raise chicks in the house at all. If you click on the link in my signature to "Yes, You Can Brood Chicks Outdoors" you may find some very helpful information. Good luck with your endeavor, and whatever you decide to do enjoy those chicks.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]No worries! There's a sweet gal on here, wish I could remember her name, her babies were laying eggs in an office chair in her basement before she got her coop finished! I'm that person that intended to build a really cute coop. Mine are still in my barn. It works. Do what you think you can handle, but basement chickens do just fine!
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    I keep telling myself that I won't be broodering indoors anymore and here I sit with chicks ranging from 1 week to about 6 weeks in my house, a total of about 25 with more on the way... I have the space in my coop but I'm struggling with a back injury that has prevented me from finishing up the brooder area of the coop... Yes, they are stinky and yest they make dust and noise, your entire house will have a constant layer of dust forming... As very young chicks in the house they are not too bad, and don't smell that bad, but once they hit about that 4 week mark forget about it, I change the pine shavings every 2 days and the 'fresh' smell last about 5 minutes in the older birds brooder... By the second day it needs a complete overhaul...

    Last year I broodered a bunch of late October Peafowl chicks all winter in closed off room in the basement, talk about a mess... I would put them in crates about once a week, shoveled up all the pine shavings, take a leaf blower to the cobwebs and dust bunnies and literally power spray the walls and floors, dry it off with the leaf blower and fans and then lay down new pine shavings and return the birds... WAY too much work to repeat...

    The only positive part of hatching chicks now is that the hatcheries and egg sellers generally have a lot of breeds that were sold out all spring and summer... That and you will get eggs come spring/summer...
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. larrypeck

    larrypeck Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    24
    Jun 19, 2015
    Andover, Ma
    heh, I'm with Blooie, I want them in my cellar as little as possible. I have a large unfinished cellar, but, I have a lot of stuff in there that I don't want chicken poop on. I would have to confine them to one area. My wife already complains about the standard cellar smell, I can't imagine what she would say about that many chickens doing their thing for months };-)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by