Hold up! Isn’t raising baby chicks something you do in the Spring?? Baby chicks and bunny rabbits are pretty much the symbols of Springtime…so…Lindsey has gone crazy.
Not at all my friends! Fall is the BEST time to raise chicks!
And yes, even if you live in Canada… you can make this work!
Here is why fall is the best time to raise chicks.
It’s simply a better use of natural seasons!
In the Fall the chicks still have time to become fully feathered by winter…but the chicks will still be too young to be laying over the winter. So during the time when hens laying slows down naturally anyway, you’re using that season to raise them instead.
I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to start chicks in the spring, just to have them lay for a few weeks before they 1.) have their first molt in the Fall/Winter 2.) stop laying due to less daylight in the winter. Spring chicks often mean you don’t get eggs for a year. Not cool. So, it just makes sense to use this natural downtime in the flocks cycle, when you’re having to feed your hens and get no eggs in return anyway, to use that time to raise babies. I really consider this working smarter, not harder, in chicken keeping.
And here’s the BEST part. Instead of starting out with chicks in Spring, your new batch of Fall chicks will be starting to lay their first eggs in the Spring! This also means that if you got straight run chicks, any cockerels will be ready to butcher before it gets too hot to do the job fly-free.
Another bonus is Healthier Chicks.
Raising them in the cooler months means that you have less parasites in the ground. Which is of course great news because it means your baby chicks won’t be as likely to become ill.
Now, the last time I raised baby chicks I lived in Florida, so the winters weren’t harsh by any means. But like I mentioned earlier, if you started early enough for your climate, I really believe you could make this work for you. Maybe for you northeners, late summer would be the best time to start. But regardless, if you pick a cold hardy breed of chicken, and give them enough time to become fully feathered before your temperatures drop for winter, you’ll have a happy batch of chicks that will be ready to lay for you in Spring.
Sounds like a winning plan, doesn’t it?!