Ideal flock size/breeds for my coop?


In the Brooder
11 Years
May 12, 2008
I've been reading a lot about coop size and flock size, but wanted to ask advise from you experienced folks. We have a great hen house and run we made out of back of our garage. The henhouse is 6 x 8 and the run is 11 x 7. It's nice and sheltered and dry, and half of the run has a roof which turns out to have been really nice on hot days and rainy days too.

We started with 6 day old chicks, 2 RIR and 4 EE's, now 5 months. And one layed their first egg today!!!! So magical! In the nest box and everything. Such a perfect egg. But I digress. So we had one surprise gorgeous roo (who will be leaving next week as the neighbors were just not up for the crowing -plus he's gotten rather rude). And one poor hen was killed by a dog. So we are down to 4. I'm really tempted to add a few, especially since we'd love some Barred Rocks, but I hestitate. In the summer they have had a lot of outdoor time, free ranging. But in the winter I know this will be a lot less frequent. Plus after the dog incident I'm feeling more cautious about all the roaming.

So here are my questions:

Should I add to my small flock of 4?

If so how many?

And if you're feeling really patient, what breeds might work with well with my girlz (I need a friendly, egg laying, cold hardy hen- cute is good too)

Would it be best to wait until Spring and start from nice sweet chicks (my daughters preference? That is if we do decide to add.... Or maybe we should accept my friends offer of a few 6 week old Barred Rocks now?

Thanks! It's great to read everyone's experiences, and to know that I am not alone in being chicken obsessed.



Just for fun

I think you have plenty of room for 10 to 12 hens as long as you can keep your coop clean.

I just love my black star (sex-link). She is our favorite hen and she is an egg laying machine.

I love our white rock too. She layed her first egg today and seemed so proud of it.

Delawares ought to do well in cold weather also.

Good luck.

Edited to add: (Also if you can get free barred rocks that you haven't had to feed to maturity...that's good too!)

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Thanks so much for the advise. I think we'll go for 3-5 more or so. Great to get a green light.

Another egg today!
Hi, it's me, the broken record. Quarantine, quarantine, quarantine. I know you're getting some from a friend, but that has no bearing on whether or not they will pass something to your current flock. A true friend wont be upset if you quarantine birds from his/her flock.
I think a couple Buff Orpingtons would look cute in that flock. lol But having said that FREE is really hard to pass up and my Barred Rocks are very sweet girls too.
Speckledhen is right though. Why take a chance when a little while in quarentine can save you a world of problems!
It's great to have this feedback! My children are lobbying heavily for day old chicks in the Spring; then we'd get a few Buff Orpingtons and a few Barred Rocks. So, I may take a pass on the friends offer after all. How long do you quarantine them? And I imagine they have to be totally apart? right?

And look at the beautiful first egg! Laid by Queenie (we think) RIR.


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