How many in your flock?

sunnie7

Songster
Oct 24, 2016
878
950
226
Southern Indiana
I have close to 40 keets and trying to decide how many to keep. My starter flock of 15 from a year ago is unfortunately down to 3. Do you free range? If so do you lock into a coop at night? Most of our looses have been during the day a neighbors dog (they now use a shock collar with him) and foxes.
 

R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
33,286
161,872
1,641
Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
I have close to 40 keets and trying to decide how many to keep. My starter flock of 15 from a year ago is unfortunately down to 3. Do you free range? If so do you lock into a coop at night? Most of our looses have been during the day a neighbors dog (they now use a shock collar with him) and foxes.
I currently have a flock of 13. They get shut in their secure coop at night. I have not lost any of this flock (going on 7 years) to predators.

I lost my entire first flock to Great Horned Owls because I allowed them to roost outside at night.
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

Free Ranging
May 21, 2018
3,351
8,420
656
Stillwater, OK
We currently have 15, 4 males and 11 females. If the upcoming hatch goes according to plan, I’m hoping to add a few more males. We only lost one to a bobcat (presumed) the first year. The second, most recent year, we’ve lost two, 2 mo old juveniles to a black rat snake, one to a dog, two to hit by car, and one to a bobcat.
 

My2butterflies

Crowing
Apr 14, 2020
1,274
3,212
336
Minnesota
I started with 16 last year. Lost one the day after we got home to pasty butt. Two had it, but only one was caught in time. I was new to poultry and had no idea what I was doing, just learning as I go.
My second loss was do to an impaction of some sort. Again, caught too late to help the poor girl:(
The third loss was after my pup cornered it and plucked its feathers out. It was still winter and ended up freezing to death before I found it.
Im at 13 now. Well, technically 17 since I have 4 keets in a brooder but I don’t plan to keep them. My fil just decided he doesn’t want any after all. I will be adding 15 more to my flock. I have keets being delivered next month.

Mine free range all day. 5-6am though 6-7pm. They coop themselves or I round them up and shut the door.
 

TooManySteves

Hatching
Jun 17, 2020
4
2
8
I have 19, but have had as many as 40 in the past. My experience is the more you have, the healthier, happier, and easier and safer they are. They think better and behave better in large groups. My personal observation is there's a noticeable improvement at about a dozen and then an even bigger improvement at about 2 dozen. So, if I were you, I would keep 20-30 if you can (which will allow for you, unfortunately but likely lose a few and still have a good number). I know 30 sounds like a lot, but it will feel almost the same as 20 and they will be happier and safer.
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

Free Ranging
May 21, 2018
3,351
8,420
656
Stillwater, OK
I have 19, but have had as many as 40 in the past. My experience is the more you have, the healthier, happier, and easier and safer they are. They think better and behave better in large groups. My personal observation is there's a noticeable improvement at about a dozen and then an even bigger improvement at about 2 dozen. So, if I were you, I would keep 20-30 if you can (which will allow for you, unfortunately but likely lose a few and still have a good number). I know 30 sounds like a lot, but it will feel almost the same as 20 and they will be happier and safer.
Wow! Do you keep them in a coop? If so, how do you fit so many?
 

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