Why no chicks till February?

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by Der Alte, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. Der Alte

    Der Alte Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2008
    I'm setting up to get my first small group of chickens. I'm going to begin with 6 or so, but my permit allows 12 (no roosters).

    Why is it that the hatcheries don't have any chicks available until February? What do they do with the eggs? I'm sure they can't keep the roosters away from the hens for a few months.

    I guess I'll have to wait until Feb/Mar, but unsure as to why.

    TIA,

    Der Alte
     
  2. ncgnance

    ncgnance Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Iredell County, NC
    Welcome to the wonderful world of chickens. One of the reasons why chicks aren't hatched this time of the year is the weather. Chicks can't keep themselves warm, and who knows when and where a snowstorm might strand them. Also, this is not the best time of year to raise chicks. Spring is a much better time for their biological clocks. Get a good book on owning and raising poultry--it will explain all that, plus answering many other questions you will have. Good Luck!
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    There are probably various reasons:

    Roo's and hens together doesnt mean chicks, just means eggs to hatch by machine. Most these hens never set on eggs. So that means, the hatchery sources of eggs don't have to keep roos away from hens. Sometimes cold weather = lower fertility too.

    Winter = less light so most birds are probably taking the winter off and not actually laying eggs. I know only a few of mine are.

    Any eggs at this time of year are probably being used to restore the breeder population for the following year.

    Shipping at this time of year with snow and weather would call death to any birds who got stuck in the mail for an extra day. Anywhere in the top half of the US is probably under snow or some type of storm affecting movement of packages. I've got a package delayed by 3 days because of weather... and it was only going up I5 along the west coast. A chick would be long dead and frozen if it was in transit.

    Congrats on getting new babies and WELCOME!!!

    If you do get desperate though, perhaps you can find craigslit useful, or perhaps try to find a hatchery in the south who isn't sold out?
     
  4. kees

    kees Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    Thanks for asking the question and the comprehensive answer! I've always wondered about that myself!

    [​IMG]:weee
     
  5. Der Alte

    Der Alte Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2008
    All,

    Thanks for all the replies. Now I understand. This BYC site and especially this forum are great resources. The people seem very nice as well.

    Thanks again,

    Der Alte
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    I always kind of imagined people with breeder flocks for the big hatcheries taking whatever eggs they managed to get during the 'off season' and having a big omelet party, or maybe that's what all their relatives get for Christmas.

    Silkiechicken's answers are doubtless much more correct [​IMG]

    LOL

    BTW anyone considering mailordering winter chicks from a coldish area, to a coldish area, or from-and-to places such that the chicks would pass thru postal distribution centers in a coldish area, should go back in the BYC archives and read the posts from last Feb or so, and see how many people had 100% mortality on their orders that time of year [​IMG]


    Pat
     
  7. kees

    kees Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    Wow! I didn't know that! Why are there so many people who are willing to ship birds from a cold place to a cold place?

    [​IMG]
     
  8. americana-chick

    americana-chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i actually think welp hatchery just started taking orders and shipping chicks again. why dont you give them a try?
     
  9. americana-chick

    americana-chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:i have always wondered, what is mortality?
     
  10. kees

    kees Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    If something is mortal, then it can die. A mortality rate means the chance of death.

    [​IMG]
     

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