After the accident. Down to two chickens, add more?


10 Years
Apr 4, 2009
We originally started off last May with four Barred Rock chicks. We lost one in the summer after an injury and we lost another last weekend to a dog attack. Besides being tramatized by how fragile these guys can be, I'm wondering whether two left is alright? I know if we were down to one, it wouldn't be good, but how is this recent loss affecting them? Do they need to have a certain number, or is two alright? We really don't want to do the chick thing again this year, but I feel bad for our girls, they look lonely.
The only problem with two chickens would be that if you lose another one to a predator/illness, you'd only have one left. I think you should get a couple more. You don't necessarily have to get chicks, though. Keep an eye on your local Craigslist, and see if anybody has laying hens for sale. Just make sure you quarantine.

Good luck!
Last edited:
Besides, aren't chickens like potato chips? Nobody can have just one...or two...or three...I wouldn't replace just one. When I integrated my 3 different aged groups of chickens, it was nice for the younger ones to have their own "mini-flock" to hang out with. I would go ahead and try to replace the two missing hens at the same time. All four will eventually get along, but will probably always divide up into their two min-flocks of 2 each.
I had the same thing happen with my chickens: last fall one of the broody hens hatched 6 chicks. They are now almost 6 months old, but still roost together in a separate room from the older (1 year old) chickens. They mingle (some) during the day, but generally can all be found together even when the coop is open for free-ranging. I have a 'really' big building (with 4 rooms) that I turned into a coop. I have 53 chicks right now and I wonder if they'll be wanting to roost together when they get big too....
1. The first question is what do you want to do?
2. Do you want more chickens?
3. Have you taken measures to ensure the safety of the two remaining girls? If the answer to any of these questions is no, then it would not be a good idea to get more. It may even be a good idea to give up the two you have.

Now if the answer to questions 1 +2 is yes but the answer to question 3. is no then you need to secure the safety of your birds.
And if you decide to keep chickens then you can go to craigslist and purchase older birds. They don't have to be year olds or older just not chicks.
You caution and quarantine.
On the other hand chicks do grow fast. If you get older birds you might like to take different breeds or take what you can find.

You don't say what the injury was that took the first bird but you must use caution, as you are responsible for your birds. You must be committed to their welfare.
Wishing you all the best what ever your decision
OMG, Bullwinkle's chicks sound like the chicken version of VILLAGE OF THE darn.

Rancher Hicks raises some good questions... what do you want to do? Get more or get rid of what you've got?
Two chickens will do fine... sort of. A flock of 3 to 5 is certainly more free-wheeling, comfortable in their chicken skin as it were. A couple of larger birds properly introduced might be just the thing. (And you might be giving someone a home who really needs one.

Last edited:
I started w' 25 hatchery chicks. bought 5 grown and then 4 younger full feathered chicks. The 4 stayed to themselves out doors, but when I encorporated them w/ 2 CM's like them they now roost together. They work it out.
Wow. There's one thing I've learned from participating in these forums is that bad things happen to good chicken owners. This is the first time we have had hens and the learning curve is steep and unfortunately results in some losses which we have found to be devastating as these are our pets.

I take offense to your tone that maybe I shouldn't have the two birds I have. As for our first loss was from one of my children mishandling the bird and she was unable to recover from the injury. We talked to our kids more about proper handling. As for the other loss, which just happened this weekend so maybe pardon my sensitivity, was as a result of our friends dog being let out by my daughter. These things HAPPEN, especially with children in the house.

I don't fault my kids, they're kids. That's why it's called an accident. Yes, we learned from them but do I think for a minute that means we shouldn't have our birds? No. For heaven's sake, we live in the city and we almost had a hawk attack in the summer. How would I have been able to prevent that? I see people on here all the time with talk of dog attacks/injuries and the like, it happens.

As for your other question, no I really don't want to add any more birds right now. We have a small coop that was only ever intended to house the four of them and I think we may have underestimated their size, so it is on the small side. Another learning process. My question was about their welfare, about whether I SHOULD add more birds. If I don't need to...then I don't want to.
Keeping 2 birds is fine-as long as they have 1 companion, they are happy.
No need to add any more at this point.
I am sorry you took offense. My only motive was for you to think about what you'd like to do. Sometimes having some questions put to us helps us make our decisions.
If as you said you don't want more birds then the question to add more is, moot. You've already decided and that's fine.

As for your comment, "these things happen", yes they do but they shouldn't. I have children and grandchildren, my neighbor has a dog and nothing I can say relinquishes me from the responsiblity to protect and care for my birds.

If in the future you decide to replace the two you lost I hope you get Delawares. I am sorry for your loss.

Always the best to poultry keepers.


New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom