1. Get maximum eggs from your flock’s first year!
One of the best reasons to get fall chicks is the arrival of fresh eggs come spring. Chicks purchased in the fall will naturally begin to lay their first eggs in early spring as the days grow longer. This is the best way to get the most eggs out of your chick’s first year of life. Not only will the eggs be abundant, egg-laying will be regular and steady due to longer hours of daylight.
2. Get bigger eggs from the start.
Fall-hatched pullets reach maturity in the dark of winter, but because of the short days, their bodies defer laying until the days get longer, which gives them more time to mature. In the spring, as the days get longer, they will quickly shift into maximum production. Because they are more mature birds, they will lay larger eggs from the start – no more tiny eggs!
3. Winter fun!
Pass the winter days faster while your growing flock keeps you entertained! Once fall hits, summer vacations and other outdoor activities begin to slow, so the timing is perfect for raising chicks. Because of cooler temperatures, your chicks will likely need to remain in the brooder a bit longer than spring chicks; this allows you more time to bond with your chicks. Of course, you will eventually want to move your birds out of the brooder and into the coop, and you may be concerned with the temperatures outside. Once your birds are fully feathered out, they have a good protective barrier from the cool temps. However, a supplemental heat source may be required in the coop. Be sure to monitor outdoor temperatures and the condition of your birds closely.
4. Fall is a great time to work on your coop.
If you choose to build your own coop, the cooler fall temperatures make it an ideal time to start your build. As you are in the process of fall clean-up in your yard or garage, you may find materials that could be of use in your coop, such as discarded pallets, wood or wire. Fall is also a great time to find great clearance deals at your local home improvement stores!
5. Perfect timing for meat birds.
If you’re looking to raise chickens for meat, cool fall temperatures are your friend. Hot summer temps can sometimes cause stress in chickens, which can lead to slower weight gain. In fall, you still have a good six to eight weeks to raise some broilers, and you won’t have to worry about heat stress!
Raising chicks in fall or winter definitely has benefits, whether you’re in it for eggs, or meat, or just for the fun of it. Give it a try and let us know how it works for you!