Would it be okay to get chicks now?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Nichol, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Nichol

    Nichol New Egg

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    Jul 25, 2012
    We are thinking of buying chicks now so they will be ready to lay eggs in the spring. We live near Chicago. They would be ready to go outside in November. How would they handle the winter weather? Should I just wait until spring? If so, when would be the earliest you would recommend getting them?

    Also, does anyone know of a farm or hatchery in NE/Central Illinois or southern WI where we can get Buff Orpington chicks? Is there a better place to post this question?
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    You can get chickens any time of year. You can put them out any time of year providing you can accommodate their heat requirements. Some raise em year round. Most do spring because weather is better and dealing with livestock when it's not frozen or sopping wet is often easier.
     
  3. Nichol

    Nichol New Egg

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    Jul 25, 2012
    This is our first time, and everything I've read says that Buff Orpingtons are hearty and able to tolerate cold winters. Does this mean that they would survive in the coop without a heat lamp, or should I be prepared to put a heat lamp out there if I get them now? Would it matter that they would be two months old when they started to sleep outside and the weather got cold?
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    It's all subjective really. I don't know how cold your cold gets, but "cold hardy" often just means the birds have small combs and some mass to them. Small combs = less likly to get frost bite. Avoid drafts, provide wide flat perches so they can sit on their toes, acclimate them, and you probably do not need any additional heat. People keep birds in negative weather areas without adding heat. I've heard of someone in the PNW who had heat in their coop and they got frost bite! I've never heated and matter of fact that winter my birds slept under a tarp in the few upper 20's nights without frost bite, leghorn included. It is all really flock, accommodation, and location dependent.
     

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