How many chickens for family and coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mibs1415, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. mibs1415

    mibs1415 New Egg

    Feb 15, 2012
    Hi! I'm a high school senior trying (some what successfully) to convince my parents to let me get chickens. I have a family of 8 people... we go through a 3 dozen carton of eggs in about a week and a half. How many chickens do you think I need for my family?

    Also how big of a coop will I need for them? I know the recommended 2-4 sq ft per bird... but I just need an approx. size. My dads issue with chickens is that he doesn't want an ugly coop that will decrease property value (I have a fairly large yard). How much approx. will a coop that's not too ugly and fits all the chickens I need cost?

  2. Wolfhound

    Wolfhound Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 6, 2012
    Sorry, I'm not sure how many chickens you will need for that size family, as I am new to chickens myself. And the number of chickens will determine the coop size. But just as a suggestion, how about trying to build your own coop? Not only will it save money, but your dad can get involved and can build it to look exactly how he'd like. Plus, I'll bet he'll be a lot more into the whole chicken idea once he's invested time and effort into building their coop! My husband wasn't too keen on the whole chicken idea either, but now that I've talked him into it and we've started building our own coop, he keeps wanting to make it bigger and grander than I ever had planned! He said it's "just in case we decide to get a few extra chickens down the line." [​IMG]
  3. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 22, 2008
    Annetta Kentucky
  4. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    2 per person sounds a lot unless you really like eggs! We only use about 12 eggs per week for a family of 4, and if we had eight chickens laying we'd have to get through around 40 eggs per week! I'm not THAT into omelets. ;)

    I'd work out how many eggs you would eat in a week as a family, and figure on getting an average of 5 eggs per chicken per week, and go from there. (I say 5 per chook even though some lay 7 per week, because you do get the odd day here and there where they skip a day, and not all breeds will lay daily, plus they slow down at certain times of year with reduced light/moulting etc). If you get more than you can eat you can feed them back to the chooks, scramble them raw to freeze for baking, or sell/give the extras to your neighbours.
  5. suzyQlou

    suzyQlou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    Dillsburg, PA
    My Coop
    One hen per person is working out in my family. At least for this first year. You'll find you adjust your eating habits to keep up with the eggs once you have them [​IMG].

    If you're thinking about property values, you can't go wrong making the coop match your house. It will look like an adorable little out-building if you just paint the coop and trim to match. Maybe add a window box. It's fun to add fancier stuff once the coop is functional.

    Cost will depend on size. If you go with 8 hens, you are probably looking at a 4x8 coop. Cost will also depend on whether you are planning to buy a coop or build your own. Personally, I think it would be a great "educational" selling point to plan and build your own. As long as your parents are willing to share power tools with you [​IMG].

    Best wishes to you. I hope your parents see the light!
  6. FreedomLover

    FreedomLover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2010

    Yep, I looked at your number of eggs (3 dozen) and the time span (1.5 weeks) and figure you'll need about 24 eggs a week. So one hen per person should give you more than enough eggs with some extras.

    Other than that, I think suzyQlou said it all.
  7. The Mama Chicken

    The Mama Chicken Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 9, 2012
    Central Texas
    We have 20 chickens for our family of 6 and still don't have enough eggs sometimes. Granted, we use a LOT of eggs...[​IMG]
  8. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2012
    It sounds like you live in a residential neighborhood. If you are within the city limits, can you have hens and how many can you have?

    The number of eggs you get can vary by breed of chicken. Good laying hens will lay about five eggs each a week averaged out over a year.

    So if you have five good laying hens that lay five eggs each a week, that would be 25 eggs a week. That would meet your needs.

    You need 4 square feet of coop space per hen, so that means for five hens you need a 20-square-foot coop. You will also need a chicken run that is at least twice that large to allow the hens to walk around in the sunshine and scratch at the grass and dirt.

    Some of the best egg-laying breeds are: Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, Australorps, and Sex-Link hybrids.

    Here is a resource with information about popular chicken breeds.
  9. mibs1415

    mibs1415 New Egg

    Feb 15, 2012
    Thanks everyone for your input I can't stress how incredibly helpful this is to me! :D

    I am in a residential neighborhood, however I am in a new part of an old farming city so I'm surrounded by old farms. I don't think there is a limit, as my neighbors just got 15 hens... but thanks for that I didn't think to check!

    suzyQlou... I'm just praying they see the light soon!!
  10. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2012
    This may seem silly, but your house is probably on land zoned residential and the neighboring farms are most likely zoned agricultural.

    You still may want to check with the city to make sure you can have hens in your backyard. I am guessing they will allow you to have at least some hens since you are next to farms.

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