1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

How many chickens??? Newbie question.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Krispyrice1230, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Krispyrice1230

    Krispyrice1230 New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jun 13, 2011
    Ok, so i am doing my research to see if I want to try my hand at raising chickens. I know if I do it, i would want dual purpose birds, however, I have no clues how many chickens I would need in order to get eggs and have some raise chicks. Also, how do you plan coop space for egg layers, moms and chicks when you never know how many chicks you will get?

    Sorry if this is on the wrong board, I have been reading for days and am just amazed at all the ins and outs of raising chickens.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,795
    18
    161
    Mar 30, 2011
    Southeastern Ohio
    Welcome, I'm fairly new too, and yes there is info overload here. Hope you get some good replies, would be good to know when you say 'some' eggs how many do you need/want? Planning on selling? Eating x number of birds per week/month? What climate, warm or cold will help with guessing on the breed. Good luck and [​IMG]
     
  3. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,787
    36
    213
    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    [​IMG]

    Usually the term "dual purpose" refers to birds who will act as layers and/or meat birds. Is that your intention? I guess you could control population then, by processing some for food. If that's not what you mean, I suppose you could control the number of eggs your broody hens are sitting on. [​IMG] I can only have four at a time, so I don't have a rooster and don't raise chicks, so I'm not sure.

    But, glad to have you with us, all the same [​IMG]
     
  4. 6chickens in St. Charles

    6chickens in St. Charles Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,533
    11
    181
    Mar 25, 2009
    St. Charles, IL
    [​IMG] This little icon is always in the back of my head, saying something like, "you're not getting enough poop! If you had 10 chickens, you'd have enough poop!"

    If dual purpose for you is the same as for me: Garden Gnomes and Egglayers. DH calls our little bantam flock "the excavators" , "the lawn crew" and "GrubDiggers".

    Must post you some pics of my flowerbeds. Oh my, that's good poop. Composted with kitchen scraps, lawn clippings and the fluffy pine bedding on their coop poop shelf. Its good stuff, real good!
     
  5. Krispyrice1230

    Krispyrice1230 New Egg

    8
    0
    7
    Jun 13, 2011
    For me, dual purpose means meat and eggs. [​IMG] I don't intend to sell the eggs, just use them for the family. I was looking at New Hampshire reds to start with. I have fond memories of my grandma's.

    I know they won't get as big or grow as fast as meaties, but if I do this I want something sustainable.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  6. 6chickens in St. Charles

    6chickens in St. Charles Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,533
    11
    181
    Mar 25, 2009
    St. Charles, IL
    Quote:Are you around any Java keepers? If I could go back in time and CHOOSE chickens, I'd choose Javas. They're nice, and good looking, and tasty from what I've heard. They're a heritage breed who lay for years and years but also grow out into good meat, and I think they're very nice looking! Then, at least if the meat and eggs doesn't work out for you, at least you've contributed to the conservation of a rare breed!

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Roo on Harley

    Roo on Harley Chillin' With My Peeps

    161
    0
    89
    May 25, 2011
    Texas
    6chickens in St. Charles :

    Quote:Are you around any Java keepers? If I could go back in time and CHOOSE chickens, I'd choose Javas. They're nice, and good looking, and tasty from what I've heard. They're a heritage breed who lay for years and years but also grow out into good meat, and I think they're very nice looking! Then, at least if the meat and eggs doesn't work out for you, at least you've contributed to the conservation of a rare breed!

    [​IMG]

    Yayyyy wtg Javas​
     
  8. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

    1,498
    15
    163
    Dec 1, 2010
    Owasso, Oklahoma
    First [​IMG] from Oklahoma!!!!!!!!

    Say you have a family of 4 that eat regular food, laying hens usually lay around 4-6 eggs a week. Say you use 2 dozen eggs a week and say a given hen lays 4-5 eggs a week. That would be around 6-8 hens possibly 1 Rooster. Check your regulations if you in the city and go from there for the number. The more the better remember Chicken math.


    If you want white eggs then go with Minocas or Leghorns. For brown egg layers dual purpose breeds like RIR, New hampshire reds, Buff Orphingtons, Barred Rocks, or colored eggers like Araucanas or Easter eggers.

    Now for chicks, I would use 1 good egg laying breed and not mix. NHR are good layers and make great mamas. Buffs are good broodys as well. Good luke on choosing a breed and raising those fuzzy butts.

    Nate
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,198
    642
    396
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    [​IMG]
    I started out with 6 pullets. The next year I got 2 dozen more pullets. The next year I got 2 dozen more pullets and on and on. One that was supposed to be a pullet turned out to be a cockerel. I am glad I started out with 6. I learned a lot when I got more. Now I have some breeding programs so I am breeding and hatching.

    It also depends on where you live and if there is a limit in you area for the number of birds you can own. In some areas rooster are not allowed and it is also what you are comfortable with starting out. There is a lot of good information on BYC. Also here are some good reference books: "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens", by Gail Damerow, "Raising Chickens For Dummies", by Kimberley Willis and Rob Ludlow. "The Chicken Health Handbook", by Gail Damerow, [​IMG] Good luck and have fun!!!
    The taller middle coop is my original coop.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,788
    24
    188
    Sep 27, 2010
    Colorado
    lol, love reading the responses....

    I live in the country on a ranch, so no restrictions, check with the local authority and see what you are allowed, roos or not.

    I started out with what I thought was 9 pullets, they all ended up being roos...drat, no eggs!

    Now I have 16, 3 of which are turning out to be roos, and after some thought and discussions here on this forum, have decided
    to keep at least one if not 2 of the roos.

    I want eggs, I have friends and family waiting for them. What are your plans, meat or eggs? How many eggs do you consume a week?
    Eggs can be fed back to the chickens also.

    How much room do you have for a coop and run?

    I have had Barred Rock, Australorp, and now Gold Star, NH Red (my SWEETHEART), Calif. White, EE, Black Sex Link, a silkie and one unidentified as of now.

    At first I thought I wanted all the same, now I love having the mixture...they are all beautiful and plan on having lots of eggs in about 10 weeks!

    Answer the above questions, that will help you decide what to get. My NH Red is a doll, got her from a friend, she hops in my lap and I can pet her to sleep!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by