how many??????

thats a big question!

How many can you afford to feed?
How much space do you have?
Who's going to process them all?
have you researched their care needs?
How many in your family?
How many chickens does your family eat? Do you want to butcher once per year or 4 times per year? Do you want to raise one batch and get it over with, or keep a new batch growing all the time?

How big a feed bill can you afford, because they eat a lot of expensive feed for their 8 week lives.

How about pen size? How large a pen do you have to keep them in?

Look at prices because sometimes there is a price break over 25, so 26 birds will cost less than 25 of them.
I think the biggest constraint is freezer space. How many chickens can you fit in your freezer at once? True, you can can poultry, but freezing is by far the most common method to preserve meat. If you have space to raise a hundred birds, and enough money to feed a hundred birds, and the guts to process a hundred birds, but only freezer space for fifteen, you're kinda outta luck. Plus, if this is your first time, esp your first time processing birds, I'd keep it to 25 or less. And even that many birds take up a LOT of freezer space.
I'd say the biggest question relates to processing. If you haven't done this yourself yet and plan to...I'd go with 26 (due to price break) or less. Processing 26 birds for a first timer will be plenty.
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