How many chickens do I need?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Catfish11, May 29, 2011.

  1. Catfish11

    Catfish11 Hatching

    May 29, 2011
    I am looking to get a chicken to take care of bugs in my 100 sf garden , will grow to 200 sf in the future. I am on about 1 acre and have 1/2 available for the chicken. How many chickens do I need to keep this as low maintenance as possible?
  2. Blue

    Blue Songster

    Apr 6, 2010
    Chickens will eat the bugs, but they may also dig up your garden and eat the plants you're growing. However, they're great at the end of the growing season for going over the garden spot, digging up any leftovers and bugs, and turning the soil for the next planting season.

    Also, if you decide to get into the chicken business, I'd get at least 2 (3 or 4 would be better) as they are social animals and like companionship. A lone chicken most likely won't be a very happy chicken.
    Last edited: May 29, 2011
  3. franklinchickens

    franklinchickens Songster

    May 19, 2010
    Franklin, TN
    As @Blue says, they will definitely eat the bugs (mine are gorging on cicadas as we speak) but they will tear apart a garden in a heartbeat. Any new shoots, freshly planted anything will get demolished. Just a word of warning.
    As for low maintenance, chickens like to be in flocks - we've had 4 for about a year (just got 3 new chicks so now we have 7) and that is a nice size flock - easy to manage. We only have 1/8 acre and they are perfect for that. I think it depends on how many eggs you want - for our family of 3, we get plenty with enough to share with neighbors & friends. But for gardens - we have 500 s/f of raised beds and our hens are caged up (and hating it even though they have nearly 300 s/f to be in) until we can fence off our garden to keep them out, then they can free range the whole back yard again. Except for the garden!
  4. DinosRBirds

    DinosRBirds Hunted by Moonlight

    Feb 1, 2011
    Lake Huron,MI
    Quote:last time i put my chickens in my garden they ate my tomatoes and other things
    Last edited: May 29, 2011
  5. chickiepie

    chickiepie Chirping

    Mar 12, 2011
    Bucks County PA
    I agree with the others....they'll eat bugs AND your garden! I have only had mine for a few months, and if anything is within reasonable distance from their reach....they eat it!
  6. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Songster

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
    Six hens will flood you with eggs . I would suggest 3 or maybe 4 (4x4 coop, 40sf run, 100sf garden!).
  7. kagedgoddess

    kagedgoddess Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Lots of peopleuse guineas for that. I do not like guineas however and 1 acre is probably too small for guineas. I use turkeys. They leave my plants alone. My garden is fenced to keep out the chickens. They really areobnoxious in there. If you get turkey poults and treat them like pets, they will act like pets. Mine do at least. Just get two. The two babies im raising for pets right now come up to the door when its time to roost so i can bring them in and put them in their bucket. Lol but, im weird. Their mom and dad roost on the porch or in the tree next to the porch. Lol. Mom was raised as a pet too.
  8. Blue

    Blue Songster

    Apr 6, 2010
    Quote:I'd never considered turkeys. I've always wanted some pet turkeys. Maybe next year (too many chicks right now) I'll pick up a couple turkey poults to raise. They can help weed the flower beds. The chickens just like to dig them up dust bathing. [​IMG]

    I second the 1 acre being too small for guineas. It's not that it's not enough space really, but it's that guineas roam. Boy, do they roam! I used to have some guineas (we have around 5 acres). They always wound up in the neighbor's yard clear on the other side of the road! The only way to keep them on our property was to pretty much keep them in the coop all the time, which wasn't my ideal solution. We finally gave them away to someone who had a lot more land than us.
  9. Catfish11

    Catfish11 Hatching

    May 29, 2011
    Ok, It looks like I might not be able to go the chicken route , or guineas . What about ducks for eating bugs?
    Thanks for the helpful replies
  10. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    Most any fowl is going to eat both bugs and the plants in a garden.

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