How many chickens to start with?

Tessa's Mom

In the Brooder
May 21, 2017
46
29
44
MI
Hi all! Planning my small flock and wondering if anyone has advice on how many chicks I should order. I will pick them up in person, so I'm not worried about loss in the mail. It's just my husband and I, and our dog (who matters because she gets an a soft-boiled egg every night on her kibble). I know the question of "how many?" varies greatly by coop and yard restrictions, but at this point we have none because we're in the planning stages and the world is our oyster! Does 5 hens seem like a "normal" amount for a family our size? We have no intention of selling eggs, but will have coworkers and neighbors that would love some if we were to have extra. We probably eat a dozen-18 eggs a week on average. The breeds we like are EE, Dominiques and Wellsummers and we'll get some combo of those. We'll get sexed chick from Meyer Hatchery in February. The time to plan is now! Thanks so much for any input!
 

Kiki

I'm coming Kathy!
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If you want 3 eggs a day get 5 hens.
I would suggest getting at least 6 or 8 to start with, integrating is never fun.
I have 8 hens and average 6 to 8 eggs a day.
I also have all three of the breeds you want.
 

Peeps61

Songster
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
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I was going to suggest 8 too. You have to keep in mind that sometimes, the hens may not be laying. Molting, for example. They probably won't molt the first winter, but it's pretty much a given that they will the next. They don't all molt at the same time, hopefully, so you should still get a few eggs each day. Also, if any of the breed that you have are prone to broodiness, they won't lay when they are broody. I'd say 8 if you consume the number of eggs that you do weekly.

My original flock had 8: 2 black sex links, three Rhode Island reds, 3 buff orphingtons and a few weeks later, I added two EE pullets, one of which turned out to be a rooster. I still have two of the 3 Buff Orphingtons. They are 4 years old now, and I still get eggs from them!

I have 36 birds now - one is a rooster.
 

Tessa's Mom

In the Brooder
May 21, 2017
46
29
44
MI
If you want 3 eggs a day get 5 hens.
I would suggest getting at least 6 or 8 to start with, integrating is never fun.
I have 8 hens and average 6 to 8 eggs a day.
I also have all three of the breeds you want.
Thank you so much! Do you think all three breeds are good for chicken first-timers?? I chose them because they all sounded like they lay pretty well and because they aren't enormous. :) Plus, I think they're all lovely and like the "surprise" that comes with not knowing what color the EEs will be, or what color they'll lay.
 

Tessa's Mom

In the Brooder
May 21, 2017
46
29
44
MI
I was going to suggest 8 too. You have to keep in mind that sometimes, the hens may not be laying. Molting, for example. They probably won't molt the first winter, but it's pretty much a given that they will the next. They don't all molt at the same time, hopefully, so you should still get a few eggs each day. Also, if any of the breed that you have are prone to broodiness, they won't lay when they are broody. I'd say 8 if you consume the number of eggs that you do weekly.

My original flock had 8: 2 black sex links, three Rhode Island reds, 3 buff orphingtons and a few weeks later, I added two EE pullets, one of which turned out to be a rooster. I still have two of the 3 Buff Orphingtons. They are 4 years old now, and I still get eggs from them!

I have 36 birds now - one is a rooster.
Thank you! From 8 to 36...that must be that "chicken math" I keep hearing about...
 

Chicken Lover <3

In the Brooder
Jun 16, 2017
31
35
33
Hi all! Planning my small flock and wondering if anyone has advice on how many chicks I should order. I will pick them up in person, so I'm not worried about loss in the mail. It's just my husband and I, and our dog (who matters because she gets an a soft-boiled egg every night on her kibble). I know the question of "how many?" varies greatly by coop and yard restrictions, but at this point we have none because we're in the planning stages and the world is our oyster! Does 5 hens seem like a "normal" amount for a family our size? We have no intention of selling eggs, but will have coworkers and neighbors that would love some if we were to have extra. We probably eat a dozen-18 eggs a week on average. The breeds we like are EE, Dominiques and Wellsummers and we'll get some combo of those. We'll get sexed chick from Meyer Hatchery in February. The time to plan is now! Thanks so much for any input!
I say 10 would be enough!:)
 

Kiki

I'm coming Kathy!
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 31, 2015
96,861
528,976
2,002
Houston, TX
My Coop
Thank you so much! Do you think all three breeds are good for chicken first-timers?? I chose them because they all sounded like they lay pretty well and because they aren't enormous. :) Plus, I think they're all lovely and like the "surprise" that comes with not knowing what color the EEs will be, or what color they'll lay.
I am a little nuts....I have kept track of who lays what from day one.
My EE's lay the best...5 to 7 eggs a week.
Welsummers 4-6
Dom 4-6

Even if you order all girls there is still a chance you will get a boy. Keep that in mind too.
This last batch of chickens I ordered 9..1 ended up being a boy. It does happen.
 

Tessa's Mom

In the Brooder
May 21, 2017
46
29
44
MI
I am a little nuts....I have kept track of who lays what from day one.
My EE's lay the best...5 to 7 eggs a week.
Welsummers 4-6
Dom 4-6

Even if you order all girls there is still a chance you will get a boy. Keep that in mind too.
This last batch of chickens I ordered 9..1 ended up being a boy. It does happen.
I don't think that's nuts at all. I'm quite sure I will be keeping chicken spreadsheets. :)
 

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