Is 15 chickens too much?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by elizabeth1234, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. elizabeth1234

    elizabeth1234 New Egg

    Feb 12, 2013
    I'm sorry if this is in the wrong forum, but I'm new to BYC. Anyways, I'm getting chickens pretty soon (we still have to build the coop) and have been planning on getting 15. I only want them for eggs and as pets, not as meat, and will sell some eggs and will be eating a lot. I've never had chickens at all, so would 15 be too much for a beginner?
  2. I would get probably about 10 but 15 is good to I think as long as u have a big yard but they will ruin th grass for sure
    But yup maybe 10 would be good but you know it's ur choice and with 15 chickens you will get alot of chickens
    They are extremely interesting creatures
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    It depends on how much space you have and how much you want to spend on feed. Fifteen full grown hens need a MINIMUM of 60 square feet for coop space, and at least a hundred fifty feet of run. That many birds will eat a 50lb sack of feed in under 2 weeks, say every 10-12 days when they're full grown and producing. My grange's feed is now $16 for 50lbs.

    You can offset some feed costs by free ranging, depending on your area, and you can make some money back by selling eggs. Just be sure not to undersell yourself! I've had folks balk at $3 a dozen and lost a potential customer or two, but them's the breaks. If I want to give eggs away, I have a mental list of who to give them to.
  4. galefrances

    galefrances Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2012
    Newstead, NY
    When I first started raising chickens 7 months ago, I started with 12 chicks. I read everything I could and joined BYC and spoke with dozens of people before I started. I thought I was as knowledgeable as one could be....until I started actually raising them. I have to say, at least for me, 12 chickens once they've grown into juveniles are a bit overwhelming. Now that I'm more experienced I have no problem at all. But I do wish I had started smaller, but I didn't want the hassle of integrating new chickens down the road. Anyway, make sure you have enough room for whatever number you decide on. The formula donrae gave you is correct in that it is the bare minimum...4 sq ft per bird inside and 10 sq ft outside. However, I was told to think of it this way. Imagine your family has to be confined to the bathroom and can only go into the other rooms of the house for an hour or so each day. How well do you think you would get along and how would you feel in that confined space for an extended period? Now all of a sudden that formula for the minimum sq. ft. doesn't sound so good. On that note, I have 12 chickens in an 8x10 = 80 sq ft coop with a 10x20= 200 sq ft run. And I can tell you that if I had it to do over, I'd have gone much bigger for the coop. We actually put a roof over the run and tarped the sides so that in winter they had more space to stretch out . And they do seem much happier with the extra space. You don't say where you live and that has a factor too. I live in a snow belt so space is much more important than if you live where you don't get any snow. My chickens free range everyday in a paddock system where I can rotate the area. Chickens can strip bare a confined area in just a few weeks. There is so much to consider. I'd like to suggest since you're just starting out, that you go over to "The Natural Chicken Keeping thread- OT's welcome!" here on BYC. There are people there that have been raising chickens for years and are very knowledgeable. You can ask them anything. They are all very friendly to newcomers. Good luck with your chickens. I know you'll find raising them very rewarding. And [​IMG].
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  5. Sandstorm495

    Sandstorm495 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2012
    Darwin, Australia
    15 is probably too much, but you should be able to handle it! The mortality rate for chickens is a little high so starting out with 15 chicks isn't bad. Just make sure you know what you're doing. From my experience, chickens are great pets. They are mischeivious pets and really inquistive and curious too. I love the ones I've got :)
  6. redneck farmer

    redneck farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would agree with y'all ten is a good start unless u think u can handle 15 then shoot.
  7. cravenchx

    cravenchx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2011
    Piedmont of NC
    I started with 14 and have had no problems, I was also a newbie.
    You CAN do it![​IMG]
  8. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Overrun With Chickens

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I think it depends, I only have 4 lol but i have more than enough eggs and they are easy enough to care for and feed. I think if you want honesty, many people do get in a little to far to fast, as others have said it's costly to feed many birds and while you think you can sell eggs you just never know until you try doing it.

    Plus housing and clean up time has to be considered. I'm sorta new to chickens myself, but am coming up on a year, my main poultry here is ducks that said... the chickens are pet/egg layers so i purposely kept the flock small to accommodate egg needs and satisfy the need for chickens flock instincts without overdoing it and overwhelming myself.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013
  9. cmoore333

    cmoore333 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 28, 2013
    I started with four, then a few months later I added three more(and that included 1 roster, so they could free range, I wanted them to have some kind of protection, and he's proven himself a great protector) last month I got 6 baby chicks, now today my son is picking up four hens I found on criegs list (such a good deal I couldn't pass them up) I just keep adding I love them, even my Frank, who is very protective of his ladies...
  10. JanetS

    JanetS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2012
    At first I was going to tell you that 15 is a lot to start with but... I started out with 6 and at times thought that was too many but.... I'm thinking of
    adding to my flock now so....maybe 15 isn't so bad. Good luck.

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