Daylight Consideration: June 20, 2020 is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year for the Northern Hemisphere and marks the beginning of summer. It will provide 14 hours, 59 minutes, and 15 seconds of daylight. December 21st is the Winter Solstice with only 9 hours, 21 minutes and 15 seconds of day light. While some breeds are prolific winter layers, most will stop laying without 12 hours of daylight. If keeping as a pet, it is good to give your hardworking girls a natural break. Those only interested in egg production add artificial lighting to increase egg laying. In Colorado, we can expect to have 12+ hours of daylight begin the middle of March to the end of September.
If your goal is to get the most eggs during the first year, take point of lay and winter into consideration. The desire would be to ensure your girls reach laying age by the middle of March to take advantage of the full laying season. Production breeds begin laying at 5 months of age. For these breeds, incubate fertilized eggs in October, acquire baby chicks in November, adopt pullets in January, and laying hens in March. Most breeds start laying around 6-8 months of age. For these breeds, incubate fertilized eggs in July, acquire baby chicks in August, adopt pullets in January, and laying hens in March.
Temperature Consideration: The last day of frost in Colorado is in May and the first day of frost occurs in October.
If your goal is to save electricity cost, use nature’s sunshine to warm your girls. If you are fortunate to have a broody hen, let her hatch eggs in June. This will allow her to keep her clutch warm and tend to the chicks' needs. Once frost hits, the chicks will be old enough to handle the outdoor weather. If you do not have a broody hen, eggs will need to be in an incubator for 21 days and chicks kept in a brooder for the first 6 weeks of life. To save electricity in this scenario, you want the chicks to reach 6 weeks in age after May and to be at least 3 months of age before October. Incubate fertilized eggs March through July. Acquire baby chicks April through August. Adopt pullets May through September. Adopt hens anytime of the year.
Pet Chickens. If getting backyard chickens as pets, electric costs and egg production may not be factors of concern. We raise chicks year round and are available for any month you decide you want chickens in your life. We accept pre-orders of baby chicks and fertilized hatching eggs. It is best to place your order as soon as you know which breeds you want. At checkout, "Enter Order Note" to let us know which Saturday you prefer for pick up. Orders placed a month or more in advance increases our ability to fulfill your order on the special requested date.