Advice on Flock size please.

Clminer

Chirping
Sep 27, 2018
56
76
96
Tennessee
So I got 16 chicks from Mcmurray six weeks ago. Everywhere around here has stopped carrying chicks for the year and I was finally in a place and ready to get chicks that I’ve wanted for years. The hatchery ship limit was 15 and you get the option of a free chick and I mean who doesn’t take a free chick so I got 16. One Buff passed away about day three and now I have 14 healthy hens and one free roo. I think my ideal number would be about ten chickens. I love the roo and I really wanted one anyway so he is staying. I have more than enough coop and run for 15 but don’t need that many eggs or mouths to feed. It’s just my wife daughter and I and I would like to give eggs away to neighbors and friends if I have extra but there’s no guarantee they even want any. My question is how should I go about rehoming a few or would I regret getting rid of them. Should I just keep them or thin down the flock.
I have 4 Black Stars, 4 Red Stars, 4 White Leghorns (Wife wanted some white eggs), 2 Buff Orphingtons, and my boy Rooster Cogburn.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,891
11,122
636
western South Dakota
Point of lay birds can be sold, help with a feed bill. I usually figure about two more birds than people in the family. However just a rule of thumb, depends on how much baking and cooking you do.

I would suggest that if you truly have space for 15, to sell back to 5-8 birds, then add chicks next year, then a few more the year after. I really don’t want a single age flock, they will all molt at the same time and they will all get old at the same time. By then you will know how many birds you need, and they won’t be all the same age.

As stated above, overtime you do tend to loose birds, some don’t, but most of us do. For the breeds you stated,they will be pretty old in 3 years. Work on keeping a flock, birds come and go.
 

starri33

Crowing
Feb 28, 2016
1,404
4,094
407
Golden Valley AZ
So I got 16 chicks from Mcmurray six weeks ago. Everywhere around here has stopped carrying chicks for the year and I was finally in a place and ready to get chicks that I’ve wanted for years. The hatchery ship limit was 15 and you get the option of a free chick and I mean who doesn’t take a free chick so I got 16. One Buff passed away about day three and now I have 14 healthy hens and one free roo. I think my ideal number would be about ten chickens. I love the roo and I really wanted one anyway so he is staying. I have more than enough coop and run for 15 but don’t need that many eggs or mouths to feed. It’s just my wife daughter and I and I would like to give eggs away to neighbors and friends if I have extra but there’s no guarantee they even want any. My question is how should I go about rehoming a few or would I regret getting rid of them. Should I just keep them or thin down the flock.
I have 4 Black Stars, 4 Red Stars, 4 White Leghorns (Wife wanted some white eggs), 2 Buff Orphingtons, and my boy Rooster Cogburn.
You could supply your local American Legion, the one here in my city buys them for 2.00 per dozen, helps to off set the feed cost,
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,064
125,841
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Should I just keep them or thin down the flock.
Keep them.

How big is your coop and run?
Dimensions and pics would be great!

You could always try to sell via craigslist and/or facebook groups and/or a flyer at feed store...either now or wait until spring, when you can get $20 for a POL pullet.

Oh, and.....
Where in this world are you located?
Climate is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, then it's always there!
upload_2018-11-25_7-46-44.png
 

Morrigan

Free Ranging
7 Years
Apr 9, 2014
3,044
12,132
692
N. California
Point of lay birds can be sold, help with a feed bill. I usually figure about two more birds than people in the family. However just a rule of thumb, depends on how much baking and cooking you do.

I would suggest that if you truly have space for 15, to sell back to 5-8 birds, then add chicks next year, then a few more the year after. I really don’t want a single age flock, they will all molt at the same time and they will all get old at the same time. By then you will know how many birds you need, and they won’t be all the same age.

As stated above, overtime you do tend to loose birds, some don’t, but most of us do. For the breeds you stated,they will be pretty old in 3 years. Work on keeping a flock, birds come and go.

:goodpost:

We inadvertently wound up with 16 female chicks (we ordered a mixed run of 16, and mistakenly got all females). We were going to rehome some, but then lost 4 before they started laying due to predation and impacted crop. We figured we could deal with 12.

For the first year we were overwhelmed with eggs. Anytime someone set foot in the house, be in friends, family or a repairman, I'd offer them a dozen eggs. The next year we still had a surplus, but it was more manageable. But, by the late fall and winter of their second year, production drastically fell off. We had to buy eggs (!) that winter. By the third winter, I was grateful I had some younger hens that hatched under a broody, because all the older ladies had stopped laying by October (some stopped as early as July). So two lessons learned:

1) It's best to start small and build up your flock in increments as Mrs. K suggests, so you have new egg layers cycling in as your older ladies start taking longer and longer breaks in the winter and to molt. Sell the extras now, before you get too attached. However, I would keep the 2 buff orpingtons, as they are inclined to go broody and can raise up the next generation of chicks for you each year.

2) Stockpile eggs in the summer to get you through in lean periods. They keep for months. That second year, I made the mistake of giving all the eggs I didn't "need" to now addicted friends and family, so by Fall, I had nothing in reserve.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
18,515
632
South Park, Colorado, USA
I found that it took more layers to feed us year round than anticipated. Chickens/ducks stop laying at times for a wide variety of reasons and production, even in a healthy flock, is not always entirely consistent. I have 10 layers (half chickens half ducks) and one drake. I want eggs to feed my husband and I (2 adults only) and occasional house guests. Yes, in the summer I was able to stock pile eggs, and would give away a dozen here or there as a thank you for pet sitting, but we really kept most all our eggs. We are about to run out. Depending on how fast production picks up after the solstice we may or may not squeak by without purchasing eggs from the store.

I'm not sure if you have a monthly financial budget for care, but feed cost can be a factor in how many you keep as well.

Personally, if it were me, and I had the space, I'd keep your flock for a full year, see how it goes. See if you think you should downsize to either save on feed or because you just aren't going through that many eggs. At one year old you should be able to sell your pullets because they are proven layers, and proven females, and buyers should be able to see that they are in good health, and they are still young enough to keep producing for someone else. Give it a bit of time before making the decision.

If you decide the number is good for you, you also could sell half and replace with new birds to keep younger higher producers in your flock and start working on a rotation. Just a thought.
 

Clminer

Chirping
Sep 27, 2018
56
76
96
Tennessee
Keep them.

How big is your coop and run?
Dimensions and pics would be great!

You could always try to sell via craigslist and/or facebook groups and/or a flyer at feed store...either now or wait until spring, when you can get $20 for a POL pullet.

Oh, and.....
Where in this world are you located?
Climate is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, then it's always there!
View attachment 1599250
My coop is 10’X10’ the run when completed will be 10’X15’. I’m in East Tennessee. I would like to update my info but I’m using this site on an I phone and it doesn’t look like your screen shot. It’s very hard to navigate site and very poorly labeled in my opinion but the advice and members are great.
 

MANNA-PRO

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