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!