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How many chickens for family and coop?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi! I'm a high school senior trying (some what successfully) to convince my parents to let me get chickens.  I have a family of 8 people... we go through a 3 dozen carton of eggs in about a week and a half.  How many chickens do you think I need for my family?

 

Also how big of a coop will I need for them? I know the recommended 2-4 sq ft per bird... but I just need an approx. size.  My dads issue with chickens is that he doesn't want an ugly coop that will decrease property value (I have a fairly large yard).  How much approx. will a coop that's not too ugly and fits all the chickens I need cost? 

 

Thanks!!

post #2 of 12

Sorry, I'm not sure how many chickens you will need for that size family, as I am new to chickens myself.  And the number of chickens will determine the coop size.  But just as a suggestion, how about trying to build your own coop?  Not only will it save money, but your dad can get involved and can build it to look exactly how he'd like.  Plus, I'll bet he'll be a lot more into the whole chicken idea once he's invested time and effort into building their coop!  My husband wasn't too keen on the whole chicken idea either, but now that I've talked him into it and we've started building our own coop, he keeps wanting to make it bigger and grander than I ever had planned!  He said it's "just in case we decide to get a few extra chickens down the line."  wink.png

post #3 of 12

Jesus turned water into wine. I turned into liquor - Popcorn Sutton

We live out in the middle of nowhere with our family- the next town is 10 miles away. WE currently own a bunch of chicks and chickens, ducks, meat rabbits..

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Jesus turned water into wine. I turned into liquor - Popcorn Sutton

We live out in the middle of nowhere with our family- the next town is 10 miles away. WE currently own a bunch of chicks and chickens, ducks, meat rabbits..

Reply
post #4 of 12

2 per person sounds a lot unless you really like eggs! We only use about 12 eggs per week for a family of 4, and if we had eight chickens laying we'd have to get through around 40 eggs per week! I'm not THAT into omelets. ;) 

 

I'd work out how many eggs you would eat in a week as a family, and figure on getting an average of 5 eggs per chicken per week, and go from there. (I say 5 per chook even though some lay 7 per week, because you do get the odd day here and there where they skip a day, and not all breeds will lay daily, plus they slow down at certain times of year with reduced light/moulting etc). If you get more than you can eat you can feed them back to the chooks, scramble them raw to freeze for baking, or sell/give the extras to your neighbours.

 

 

 

 

Proud chickie-mama to Penny (Black Australorp Hybrid), and our newest chicks:

Lacey (Light Sussex), Freckles (Ancona), Cinnamon (Welsummer) and Nutmeg (Barnevelder)

I made an auto treadle feeder for my chooks! Check it out here! http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=91980-treadle-feeder-project

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Proud chickie-mama to Penny (Black Australorp Hybrid), and our newest chicks:

Lacey (Light Sussex), Freckles (Ancona), Cinnamon (Welsummer) and Nutmeg (Barnevelder)

I made an auto treadle feeder for my chooks! Check it out here! http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=91980-treadle-feeder-project

Reply
post #5 of 12

One hen per person is working out in my family.  At least for this first year.  You'll find you adjust your eating habits to keep up with the eggs once you have them smile.png.

 

If you're thinking about property values, you can't go wrong making the coop match your house.  It will look like an adorable little out-building if you just paint the coop and trim to match.  Maybe add a window box.  It's fun to add fancier stuff once the coop is functional.

 

Cost will depend on size.  If you go with 8 hens, you are probably looking at a 4x8 coop.  Cost will also depend on whether you are planning to buy a coop or build your own.  Personally, I think it would be a great "educational" selling point to plan and build your own.  As long as your parents are willing to share power tools with you smile.png.  

 

Best wishes to you.  I hope your parents see the light!

2 backyard birds since Spring 2011:  Tetra Tint and Amber Link

2 new chicks in March 2013: Buff Orpington and Americauna

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2 backyard birds since Spring 2011:  Tetra Tint and Amber Link

2 new chicks in March 2013: Buff Orpington and Americauna

Reply
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by suzyQlou View Post

One hen per person is working out in my family.  At least for this first year.  You'll find you adjust your eating habits to keep up with the eggs once you have them smile.png.

 

If you're thinking about property values, you can't go wrong making the coop match your house.  It will look like an adorable little out-building if you just paint the coop and trim to match.  Maybe add a window box.  It's fun to add fancier stuff once the coop is functional.

 

Cost will depend on size.  If you go with 8 hens, you are probably looking at a 4x8 coop.  Cost will also depend on whether you are planning to buy a coop or build your own.  Personally, I think it would be a great "educational" selling point to plan and build your own.  As long as your parents are willing to share power tools with you smile.png.  

 

Best wishes to you.  I hope your parents see the light!



Yep, I looked at your number of eggs (3 dozen) and the time span (1.5 weeks) and figure you'll need about 24 eggs a week.  So one hen per person should give you more than enough eggs with some extras.

 

Other than that, I think suzyQlou said it all.

 

post #7 of 12

We have 20 chickens for our family of 6 and still don't have enough eggs sometimes. Granted, we use a LOT of eggs...hide.gif

Happily starting a small homestead in Central Texas with 1 amazing husband, 4 rambunctious kids aged 10 and under, 20 chickens, 3 dairy goats, 2 rabbits, a lonely drake, a cat, a really dumb dog and a new puppy.

http://mamachickensays.blogspot.com/

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Happily starting a small homestead in Central Texas with 1 amazing husband, 4 rambunctious kids aged 10 and under, 20 chickens, 3 dairy goats, 2 rabbits, a lonely drake, a cat, a really dumb dog and a new puppy.

http://mamachickensays.blogspot.com/

Reply
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mibs1415 View Post

Hi! I'm a high school senior trying (some what successfully) to convince my parents to let me get chickens.  I have a family of 8 people... we go through a 3 dozen carton of eggs in about a week and a half.  How many chickens do you think I need for my family?

 

Also how big of a coop will I need for them? I know the recommended 2-4 sq ft per bird... but I just need an approx. size.  My dads issue with chickens is that he doesn't want an ugly coop that will decrease property value (I have a fairly large yard).  How much approx. will a coop that's not too ugly and fits all the chickens I need cost? 

 

Thanks!!



It sounds like you live in a residential neighborhood. If you are within the city limits, can you have hens and how many can you have?

 

The number of eggs you get can vary by breed of chicken. Good laying hens will lay about five eggs each a week averaged out over a year.

 

So if you have five good laying hens that lay five eggs each a week, that would be 25 eggs a week. That would meet your needs.

 

You need 4 square feet of coop space per hen, so that means for five hens you need a 20-square-foot coop. You will also need a chicken run that is at least twice that large to allow the hens to walk around in the sunshine and scratch at the grass and dirt.

 

Some of the best egg-laying breeds are: Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, Australorps, and Sex-Link hybrids.

 

Here is a resource with information about popular chicken breeds.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/628129/most-popular-small-flock-chickens-resource-for-selecting-your-chickens

 

 

 

 

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 


Thanks everyone for your input I can't stress how incredibly helpful this is to me! :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullitt View Post



It sounds like you live in a residential neighborhood. If you are within the city limits, can you have hens and how many can you have?

 


 

I am in a residential neighborhood, however I am in a new part of an old farming city so I'm surrounded by old farms.  I don't think there is a limit, as my neighbors just got 15 hens... but thanks for that I didn't think to check!

 

suzyQlou... I'm just praying they see the light soon!!

post #10 of 12

This may seem silly, but your house is probably on land zoned residential and the neighboring farms are most likely zoned agricultural.

 

You still may want to check with the city to make sure you can have hens in your backyard. I am guessing they will allow you to have at least some hens since you are next to farms.

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