Chicken Math and how I ended up with 18 chickens


5 Years
Aug 7, 2014
Berkeley, CA
A little over a year ago I was given a a pair of bantams by a friend who couldn't keep the cockerel. They were a beautiful pair of Mille Fleur D'Uccle bantams. We used to have chickens when I was a kid, but the coop was pretty run down. These bantams were never going to lay much and we had gotten hooked on the idea that maybe we could raise chickens for eggs. With me working at a feed store, that seemed the natural next step. So I signed up to get three chicks in the next order. Three layers seemed perfect for a four person household that didnt go through a lot of eggs.

On chick day I went in and discovered that there were two more chicks that hadn't been claimed so I went home with 5 instead of three. No big deal. Especially since one of the turned out to be a rooster a few months later. Before we even knew he was a roo, he had been dubbed with the prophetic name, Dinner. That's just what became of him since we already had a rooster we loved.

Shortly thereafter, a friend had to give up his elderly hens because he was moving. Thus 6 became 10 because free chickens don't count, right?

Of those four new ones, two were bullies to my bantams so they went right back out! but it turned out soon after that I had been mistaken and it was actually two other ones that were bullying my little ones. Meanwhile my mother had discovered the existence of black orpingtons and was totally in love so as I reduced my flock yet again, I started a search and found someone who had one, along with some other special breeds I was in love with. We intended to get three birds from her, but there was a discount if we get four! So four it was. Back to 10 birds again.

Life was grand and the flock was noisey. We got complaints about the rooster crowing so we were finally and tragically forced to get rid of the little man who started off our grand chicken adventure. We were heartbroken and to salve our wounded hearts, we put fertile eggs into an incubator in hopes that his progeny would live on in our flock. We decided to make room for them and culled our flock down to 4 again, but 21 days is a long time to wait and in that time I arranged for 4 pullets from a friend who is a show bantam breeder. Two cochins and two silkies to keep my one bullied bantam company.

7 little ones hatched! Hurrah! A couple weeks later my pullets are ready for pickup and I head out to his coop-yard. I fall in love left and right and 4 becomes 7.

So heres the math:
2 free birds + 3 chicks= 7
7 - 1 rooster=10
10 -2 bullies= 6
6 + 1 orpington= 10
10 - 1 rooster= 11
11 + 4 bantams= 18 chickens in my flock!

And now I'm secretly planning to start a cochin breeding project in the spring. Don't tell my boyfriend or my mother!
I think that makes me officially chicken crazy.


6 Years
Dec 2, 2013
My Coop
My Coop
We are two, DW and I and have some land. Thought some layers and meat would supplement our self-sufficiency. Went down to the feed store to buy 2 chicks. We figured that would be just right. We would even share some eggs since we don't eat that many.

They told us, "Chicks die. Better get six!" Ok. They don't know me. New coop, new feeders, waterers, feed, netting, lights, heaters, etc, etc. 6 laying hens. One goes broody. We don't want to discourage her so, 1 dozen fertile eggs.

We got six. One rejected by momma. Back to the store for companions for the lonely chick. 5 companions and a few weeks later, we have a horrifying experience in town. 6 Red Stars in filthy, inhumane conditions. More girls.

"Oh krap. What now?"
"We don't have any roosters."
"Get your butt to the store and get me some roosters, now."

4 roosters, later, she says, "Too many predators around here. I bought 9 guineas to stand guard."

So are you chicken crazy?

I say, "Yes'm!"

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