How many chickens for a first timer?

dmclalin

Chirping
8 Years
Nov 27, 2011
112
1
79
South Lyon, Michigan
I live 40 acres and want to convert one stall in my older barn for chickens. 10' X12' stall wood up to 4 feet, rails up another 4' and open at the top to rafters. I have electric and water in the barn.I want to raise hens for eggs for myself and maybe sell a few surplus. I live in Michigan. So I was thinking about starting with 10 chickens, but I wasn't sure about the 25 minimum from some breeders. Currently I have 6 horses that I care for in the other barn. I plan on putting wire mesh around the base and I have rubber horse mats that will constitute the floor. I was planning on putting netting over the top of the stall to keep other birds and prey out.
 

kelidei

~*Dances with chickens*~
10 Years
Mar 18, 2009
530
3
141
Northern Illinois
Quote:They will need to roost and you will need nest boxes for them to lay eggs in when they start laying. If predators (including rats) can get in the barn I would use hard ware cloth or welded wire fencing to keep the predators out. Also 10 birds will produce quite a bit of manure so I would use pine shavings on the floor to control moisture and odor. From what I am imagining in my head the space you describe would be adequate for that number of birds. If you post a picture I bet you will get lots of suggestions from the good folks here. As far as ordering that number of chickens try mypetchicken.com they will ship as few as 3 chicks. They have red and black stars which are excellent layers. Good luck!
 

CarolJ

Dogwood Trace Farm
8 Years
Jun 3, 2011
2,003
98
173
Middle Tennessee
You can get just ten chicks from several different hatcheries (Meyer hatchery is one) - and you can get ten from individual breeders. I think 10 would be a great starting number - although you will almost certainly get more fairly soon when you see how enjoyable and entertaining chickens can be.

Once the chicks are a few weeks old - a four foot wall won't stop them. I have 10 month pullets who will quickly jump up on a 4 ft high sawhorse - and then to the top of the 10 ft high pen - and outside to freedom! We're remedying that issue today with hardware cloth over the top of the pen.

I can't emphasize enough how important hardware cloth is for protecting your chicks. There are lots of predators - and they can be quite devious and persistent in getting to free feathered meals.
 

dmclalin

Chirping
8 Years
Nov 27, 2011
112
1
79
South Lyon, Michigan
I took some pics but I don't know if I can post them. Trying to follow FAQ instructions
1. Stall Front
2. Stall EastWall
3. Stall West Wall
4. Rafters above entry door
5. Rubber Floor Mats, very heavy.







I was planning on putting a 2x6 across entry so I can deep litter method.
1/2 " Wire mesh around lower 12 inches of wall and 12 in under rubber mats.
Close off the rafters with netting, chicken wire, or even 1/2" wire mesh.
I have all the brooding material, so I was just going to start out brooding right in the stall with a brooder pen.
The Barn has sllidinng entry doors at both ends that latch. I was planning on opening the stall door and then let them out the entry door to free range.
 
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LolaIsAChicken

In the Brooder
8 Years
Oct 5, 2011
15
1
23
Edmonton
Very nice coop area! I started with 6 hens and 9 chicks but I had less space than you. I would do a couple dozen at least if I had the space like you do. Depends on what kinds I guess.
 

Nicole01

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
5,492
90
268
MN
We are a family of 5, we eat eggs daily. We have 8 layers and it's not enough. I've been running out of eggs and we rarely pass them out.

My 2 most favorite layers are the rhode island red and Easter Eggers. They are big eggs that are laid daily. Here's a pack of my eggs.

 

hcppam

Songster
8 Years
Apr 30, 2011
1,862
10
143
Beautiful Big Bear Mountains
Quote:They will need to roost and you will need nest boxes for them to lay eggs in when they start laying. If predators (including rats) can get in the barn I would use hard ware cloth or welded wire fencing to keep the predators out. Also 10 birds will produce quite a bit of manure so I would use pine shavings on the floor to control moisture and odor. From what I am imagining in my head the space you describe would be adequate for that number of birds. If you post a picture I bet you will get lots of suggestions from the good folks here. As far as ordering that number of chickens try mypetchicken.com they will ship as few as 3 chicks. They have red and black stars which are excellent layers. Good luck!

x3 plus 10 is plenty.
 

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