Is it easier to raise 8 or 15 chicks?


11 Years
Oct 29, 2011
Proctor, Arkansas
I've heard two different opinions at work from former chicken owners. One was that its easier to keep a larger number of chicks alive and not much more work. The other was that chicks are so messy you have to change all their bedding every day or you'll about die from the smell and more chicks make a lot more poop. I'm ordering some chicks from Meyer, but I'd rather pay for chicks instead of shipping. It being cheaper to order 15 chicks then just 8. I was thinking I could raise 15 and sell the extras. Or just sell the extra chicks?
I guess the proper question to ask you is where do you plan on brooding the chicks and how big is your coop? If they will be inside 15/8 does make a difference. Easier? I don't think it is harder to raise more chicks... Course I went big right away, like you didn't want to pay extra for shipping.

What is your plan?
I plan on setting up a brooder outside in my shed. The chicken coop/ run will be as big as it needs to be to keep 6 to 8 chickens.. thats why I want to sell some before they get too big.
If brooder is outside I would get 15
and sell the rest like your thinking. In the spring it seems like there are lots of people looking for birds!
Get the larger number, at least I always do. I often order 25 because it is even cheaper. Run an ad on Craigslist and there's always some to "split" the order, if need be. No problem.

No difference in brooding. The trick is to have a large enough brooder. I only clean the brooder at the end. 6-7 weeks, the chicks go to the grow out pen. I hook the brooder onto the tractor, take it out to the field and sweep it out. One time. Done.

Oh, and I never, ever, will ever brood chicks indoors. A shed, barn or garage works just fine. The dust and smells can be out there, thank you. I am under strict orders of SWMBO.

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Eh, you've got the right idea, just keep 'em all! To me the difference between 8 and 15 would be inconsequential. My box of chicks I got for my son 2 1/2 years ago started at 4, became 6 then 8, 9, the more the merrier!

What's important is the size of your brooder, if it will handle 15 vs 8. I raised my 8 in a wood box about 2 x 4 feet, they outgrew it really fast! I moved them to the coop at 5 weeks old, we barely finished it in time, and that was not a minute too soon for them.
It's definitely easier to brood a small number of chicks if you have a plastic tub in the house where the dust and smell will be noticed. But farmers often brood in barns or brooding houses where the larger number makes sense from a cost standpoint -- a 250W heat lamp draws the same amount of electricity whether you have 3 chicks or 25 and cost per chick is lower when you buy more.
You could always see if anyone else in your area is looking to order chicks and perhaps order together and split the shipping. Just a thought.

edited to add:
Of course this is easier if you are ordering the same kinds of chicks or if the chicks ordered differ in color a lot.
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