How many chicks to start a flock?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by coloradowildflower, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. coloradowildflower

    coloradowildflower Songster

    Jul 12, 2008
    Wow! What a great, intelligent community. I've just joined and I've spent a ton of time reading through the forums.

    I am preparing to start a flock this spring, and I have no idea how many chicks to get. I want to raise chickens for:

    1) Eggs (of course)
    2) Emergency meat (is that terrible to say?)
    3) Joy (I grew up on a farm and LOVE these beautiful creatures)

    We will be setting up the henhouse and yard in the fall in order to have it all ready by the spring, but I'm not sure how to plan it, as I don't know how many chickens to keep. I'll be feeding a family of 5, and I'm not sure how many eggs to expect per chicken (I know, it's a bit more complicated than that, but any rough estimates?)

    Thanks for your expertise![​IMG]
  2. coffeelady3

    coffeelady3 Froths Milk for Hard Cash

    Jun 26, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    Some breeds lay more prolificly then others. In my house it's just my daughter and I and we have two chickens. When their laying get into full swing I imagine that I'll be getting 5-10 eggs per week, which is plenty for us. My advice is to research breeds and get an idea of who lays how much, figure out how many eggs your family eats weeky, and go from there.

    The My Pet Chicken site has a fairly simple run down on breeds. They also have a useful tool to help narrow down your selection.

    Here's another site with a rundown of breeds and their laying ability.

    Good luck!
  3. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    WELCOME TO BYC!!!!!!!!!!! You will love it here. I do! These people are not only knowledgable but are kind and compassionate. We share everything from what to name our children to the passing of a pet. Of course stories of our first eggs and pictures! Thats the best! I am so glad you decided to start a flock. I have 21 now. Started with 12 in Feb! Careful they are addicting!
  4. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    We are a family of four and have six pullets. I imagine that will be more than enough to keep us in eggs and have some to give away.
  5. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Quote:Eggs? One every other day, per hen.
    Oh, the text books say a hen can lay every 24-27 hours. And there are times where she does - and others where she doesn't. It took the egg industry a lot of development to reach 200 eggs per year, per hen. That took a lot of careful breeding over a long time.
    For you and I, egg laying is still largely seasonal and there are a great many variables. 180/year or a little more is the average for yard birds without skillful management. As you learn, that may increase.

    What you really need to be honest about is how many eggs you eat now. Just because you have chickens doesn't mean you will eat a lot more of them. Oh, you will at first, and you may increase somewhat, overall.
    But you will soon tire of omelets and egg salad and revert to your natural inclinations.

    There is no shame or guilt in eating your chickens, either. You are their steward, not the other way 'round.

    However in a small flock that can lead to NO flock pretty fast unless you plan well for renewal.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  6. Peaguy

    Peaguy Songster

    Apr 23, 2007
    There is no shame or guilt in eating your chickens, either. You are their steward, not the other way 'round.

    However NEVER let them hear you think this way and BY NO MEANS EVER EVER SAY THIS OUT LOUD WITHIN HEARING DISTANCE because they will quickly remind you that you ARE THERE TO SERVE THEM that is your sole purpose in life. [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Best of luck upon your re-entry into this crazy world! Oh and [​IMG]
  7. purr

    purr Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
  8. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    LOL we started of saying we were going to get we have 13 in the hen house, a dozen in one brooder, another 7 in another brooder! You will NEVER have enough! [​IMG]
  9. purr

    purr Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    darn links not working , well google henderson's chickens.

    Again good luck and have fun. And pick pretty chickens too cause your going to be looking at them for a while.
  10. Linda in San Diego

    Linda in San Diego Songster

    May 11, 2008
    San Diego

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: