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How many chickens do you think I need?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MeatKing, Jan 16, 2010.

  1. MeatKing

    MeatKing Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi Were just looking at getting our first laying chickens. How many do you think I need to get 2-3 dozen a week?
    Thanks everyone!~
     
  2. topeka

    topeka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2008
    Northeast Missouri
    10 good laying hens would be a good start

    that will allow for die off, predation etc.

    Having a few too many eggs is an easier problem to solve than not quite enough!
     
  3. fancbrd4me02

    fancbrd4me02 Chillin' With My Peeps

    It depends on a few things. The type of pen you will have is important. If you have a secure run and are not free ranging you are less likey to have predation problems. in that case you could get by with 3 or 4 hens.
     
  4. fordmommy

    fordmommy Dancing With My Chickens

    Jul 16, 2009
    Wisconsin
    And it would depend on the breed to figure an amount. High production girls garrentied to lay every day compared to ones that would give you an egg every other day.

    Do you know the breed you would like?
     
  5. WoodChic

    WoodChic The Chic Chick

    Oct 27, 2009
    KKV HQ
    I would say 5-7. We've had chickens for 2 years, and never lost one to predetors, and we live WAY out in the sticks.
     
  6. Sequin

    Sequin Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    I would start with 10 also. This allows you can pick say 2 of 5 different breeds if you like variety. I started with 5 Black Australorps and we got by, but wished we had gotten more as 2 of them ended up dying. They are good steady layers and a pretty decent breed to start with temperment wise - but maybe we were just fortunate. I started wanting green eggs shortly after getting our initial 5; and something other than black hens. A couple good breeds that I have enjoyed raising, aside from the BA is buff orpington, EEs, speckled sussex(love this breed), and sex-links(I have red sex-links, I think they are very pretty).

    As others have already pointed out though, the amount you start out with also depends on which breeds you choose and the amount of space you are able to dedicate to your hens. Welcome to the wonderful world of keeping chickens!!! You will love it.
     
  7. MeatKing

    MeatKing Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks everyone for you replies, I was thinking Australorp, Russian Orloff, and Plymouth Rock... Space is not a problem as we are buliding them a new coop [​IMG] The will have a fenced run, so not to worry about predaters.. The ones I picked I believe are cold hardy, and great egg layers. MY dh thinks 10 would be good, I'm trying to convience him that 15 would be better.. 5 of each? He also thinks we should get all the same kind... I am thinking a few different kinds would be nice! Any reason why I should stick to one breed or is mulyipile better? I would rather too many eggs, than too little!
    I'm open to any comments or suggestions! Thank-you everyone! Please let me know what you think
     
  8. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    Ct.
    i would say 10 hens for good egg production [​IMG]


    good luck
     
  9. Garden Gal

    Garden Gal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 11, 2009
    Virginia
    I love a mixture of a few different types of hens if you aren't going to be trying to hatch fertile eggs (if you ever get a roo.) Watching the different breeds and personalities really is enjoyable, and I swear having a mixture of egg colors is soooo pretty! I'm already planning on adding Eastereggers to my flock and trying to figure out how to make that happen! Good luck!
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I'm not familiar with the Orloff, but according to the Henderson Chart, they are fair, not great, egg layers. The Australorp and Rocks are good egg layers. When estimating egg production, I'd use 5 per week from each Australorp and Rock, and 3 per week from the Orloff. You will get more than that in the good weeks, but during molt and extreme weather you will get less.

    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

    As long as you are not trying to breed and maintain a pure breed, I agree a variety in egg color and chicken appearance is nice to have. I don't know how you intend to acquire your chickens, but if it is possible, I'd even suggest getting different colors of Plymouth Rocks. Many people think about the Barred Rock when they say Plymouth Rock, but they also come in Buff, White, Blue, Partridge, and probably a few other colors. It may be difficult to get them, but I can assure you with several of the same breed and color, it can hard to tell the individual birds apart, especially when they are not side by side for comparison.

    No matter how safe you think they are, I suggest you get a couple extra. Things do happen and besides, it is a good excuse to get a few more.

    I know you did not ask, but when building the coop and run, I'd suggest not using the minimum sizes for planning purposes. They do better with more than the minimum room and when you are first building it is the easiest and best time to provide it. As they get older, after two or three years, egg production will probably drop off and you will have to bring some new chickens in to keep you egg production up. I'd suggest planning for about twice as many as you initially think you are going to get.
     

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