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Flock size?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BirdOfPray, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. BirdOfPray

    BirdOfPray Chirping

    Sep 29, 2010
    I was just wondering if there's an ideal flock size, or at least a minimum flock size for chickens to be happy and healthy. I know a lot of animals do best with others of their own kind (we always had more than one horse, for example, sine they're herd animals and more comfortable with company) and then some are indifferent. Where do chickens fall on that spectrum?

    Thanks again!

  2. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    I would have at least 3 chickens. They do much better with a chicken friend, and 3 is a good number JUST in case you lose one (never know) and then the other chickens won't be alone [​IMG] So I like a minimum of 3 which is what I started with... Now I have 5... BE PREPARED FOR MORE lol
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  3. carrlr

    carrlr Songster

    Mar 31, 2010
    Southern Illinois
    I would say three at a minimum. IMO...If you are going to have more than one breed, I'd make sure you have at least two of each breed.
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    I started with 6. It was a good number until I lost one to a predator, and then had one go chronically broody. I still had 2-4 eggs a day, but I didn't have many eggs to give away, so I got more birds...then more birds. And then... you know how it goes. Chicken math.
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I started with 4 but before they even got out of the brooder I got up to 8. Chicken math.

    Now I have a flock of over 20. Plus more in the brooder and a boatload of eggs in incubators.
  6. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    Started with 4, 3 yrs. later I added 6 more for a total of 10. I'll stay with this number. Easy to care for and clean up is a snap. [​IMG]
  7. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Songster

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    I jumped back in with 33, gave 7 away to different folks. Now it seems I need fifty to replace the 5. How's my addition and subtraction?

  8. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    First, you need to decide how many will go in your coop... IF you haven't built it yet...build it twice as large as you think you will need.. Chickens need at least 4sq ft of coop space each and at least 10 sq ft of run space each... if they are standard size a little less if they are bantam.. So you can have as many as you can afford to feed and house comfortable..

    I would never have less than 5 chickens.. Then they can have at least two mini-'flocks' and no one has to be alone... And remember--birds of a feather do flock together..I always see my 2 RIR together, my BO together and my Barred rock goes between the two mini flocks... I have just added two BC Marans and they stay together... When free ranging all the Ameraucanas stay together..
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I had five, for most of the year, the predator problem is huge here, was up to ten, and then 8, then these 5 have been pretty sturdy so far.

    But my point is that 5 laying hens kept my family of 3-4 (one college kid, not always here, but always willing to take a doz) in eggs easily. I have 3 Red stars, and they are good layers, but my BO have kept up too.

    Now I have 9 young growing. Hoping for 4 hens out them. Plan to keep 4 hens (I think they are hens) and one rooster, along with the original 5, just coming two year olds.

    Why? When I had more than enough eggs with 5? Chicken math. mk
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  10. Louise's Country Closet

    Louise's Country Closet Songster

    Feb 5, 2010
    Garrison, MN
    I would go with 3-5. I was planning on starting out with that, ended up getting 10 and now I have 17! It just depends on how many you want, the space you have and what you can afford.

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