If you have the room to go BIG, then do it the first time!! There are several reasons.
1 Chickens love to eat grass and bugs, but they dont know when to stop so they will eat the grass down and kill it. If you have several areas that can rotate then you can let one area rest while they are on another.
2 You might start out with that many layer but when you go to a swap and see a beautiful bird and buy it and then several other before you know it you will have a flock of 30 not including the broilers.... Even worse are the adoriable chicks at the swaps..lol before you know it you are haggling a price and bought them.
Dont deny it will happen, it has happened to all of us. You have a set number of birds you think would work and then something happens and you have TONS... Maybe that is the reason right now I have
bator 1: 14 silkie/possible showgirl eggs and 7 showgirl eggs and 2 test eggs of mine
bator 2: 8 turkey eggs
bator 3 17 duck eggs and I have a shippment of mixed banty eggs coming today that is a dozen plus lots of extras as she put it..lol
I sttarted out 5 years ago with a shipment of25 from theisens. Then I bought the chicks they had for show on chick days, that took me to 50. I lost a bunch in a cold snap but slowly worked it back up. Now I have about 60 to 70 chickens not including the eggs, 8 ducks, 6 geese, 8 turkeys, and about 20 guineas. I plan on getting guinea eggs from a guinea farm in New Viena this May. They have a HUGE variety and I want a bunch of the rarer colors. $24.00 for a dozen eggs and I will pick them up so there is no shipping... I cant wait!!!! I have talked about getting a bigger bator but just can not spend the money for a sportsman. I am tempted to build a large one. I found a site that you can buy the replacement parts for a sportsman for about 100. Then I will build the cabnet. I dont know yet, I should have several broodies too.. Jenn