Raising Chickens In The Fall

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Each year, the trend of backyard chickens continues to climb and it is no surprise that hatcheries are starting to meet the demands of those keeping chickens. Ordering little ones is no longer only a springtime tradition. Hatcheries are now meeting the desires of chick fever with ordering available through the summer and even into the fall and winter. There are some benefits to ordering them later in the season. Baby chicks grow quickly, so those living in milder fall and winter climates in the southern portion of the United States can easily be raising chickens even over the winter.

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Get a Head Start on Eggs

One of the best arguments for raising your flock late in the season is the arrival of fresh eggs come spring. Hatchlings purchased in the fall will naturally begin to lay their first eggs as the days grow longer. Not only will the eggs be abundant, egg laying will be more regular and steady due to fourteen plus hours of daylight each day.

Pick Up Rarer Breeds

Many online hatcheries allow you to order your new additions months prior to their shipping date. If you are looking for rare, more obscure breeds, selecting a fall delivery might allow you to beat the springtime rush and finally nab those coveted breeds.

Winter Fun

Pass the winter days faster while being entertained by your growing flock. As fall Winter Coop-1.pngushers out the travel season, tending to the gardens and other warmer weather activities come to a lull, the timing is perfect for raising chicks. If you are looking to bond withyour flock, this might be the perfect time to spend many uninterrupted days with your growin brood. 

 

Heating is a Must

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Often the heat source can be eliminated during hot summer temperatures but during fall this is not the case. Chicks must stay warm until they are fully feathered around six weeks of age. Be sure to provide them with a heat lamp or heater that can meet their needs. Starting at 95 degrees Fahrenheit for their first week of life, a draft-free and safe environment should be a priority.

Possible Shorter Time Inside

When it is time to transition the chicks outside, indoor temperatures and outdoor temperatures should be about the same. Chilly springtime evenings often delay overnights out in the coop. Early fall temperatures have less extreme fluctuations which can allow an earlier transition. Remember that both day and evening temperatures should remain at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit when transitioning the little ones outside.

Coop Building Perks

Backyard homesteading and DIY go hand in hand so many people reading this may be planning on building their own coop and run. As folks do a fall clean-out of their yard and garage, you can benefit by scavenging discarded pallets, wood, and other items to build a chicken coop. Be on the lookout especially during large item trash pick-ups in your neighborhood. It’s much easier to build a chicken coop from scratch by working in the cooler temperatures of fall verses the summer.  Take time during the summer to determine the perfect location for the coop and run, how you will introduce shade, what plantings you’d like to add around the coop and the overall design. Take advantage of clearance department deals at the home improvement stores as they usher in the winter merchandise.

If you are interested in learning more about rearing chicks and keeping chickens, be sure to check our Manna Pro blog for articles, chicken products, coupons and more.

 
Melissa Caughey

Melissa Caughey

Melissa Caughey is a backyard chicken keeper, beekeeper, gardener, and cook who pens the award winning blog, Tilly's Nest. She lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts with her family of four and her Miniature Schnauzer.

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