Just eggs, please

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by studiobekka, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. studiobekka

    studiobekka New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Dec 7, 2010
    Hi - new here!!!!

    I've been searching around and can't seem to find a straight answer. We have an acre parcel in So Cal - we're setting up a small area for a few hens (no roosters) as we wish eggs - not to breed.

    How many hens can I start out with? I do not want a huge flock - I was thinking 2 or 3. Will they lay with just 3 hens cavorting about?


    Also I do not wish to start off with new born chicks as it seems you must have MANY in order for them to survive (at least that's what I have read) -- I would rather young adults or hens that are just starting to lay --- any suggestions where to buy them at this stage?

    Any help is greatly appreciated. I lived in Utah when I was younger and we had chickens... I wasn't involved in the raising or care of them as I was but 5 years old -- I do, however, remember playing with them.[​IMG] [​IMG]
    Thank you


    Rebecca
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    2-3 is a good starting point. You'll probably get 1-2 eggs a day depending on age and season. I would get 3-4 for a starter flock in case something happens. If you get sex link pullets, they will be all female as sexing mistakes are very rare as boys and girls are different colors.

    As for chick mortality, it really isn't that bad. You

    Started hens and chicks can be found on your local craigslist or you can check out the BST area here to see if anyone near you has started pullets for sale. Figure you want to switch them out every 2-3 years if your main goal is egg production. They will lay longer than that, but their efficiency goes down.

    WELCOME!!!
     
  3. studiobekka

    studiobekka New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Dec 7, 2010
    Thanks for the quick response!!!

    I read that you need 10 babys for warmth and you need to raise them in a box inside the house with a heat lamp..... ???? Is this correct information? I don't want that many birds... that is another reason I don't want to start out with hatchlings

    Have been checking board here for some starter birds... we're planning on being totally ready by the end of the month --- depending upon how cold it gets and/or if it snows bird purchasing may get delayed --

    I cannot imagine bringing the girls into a new scenario and adding snow on top of the stress factor.
     
  4. SunnyDawn

    SunnyDawn Sun Lovin' Lizard

    7,863
    23
    288
    Sep 12, 2009
    Nor Cal
    Couldn't say it better but I did want to say Welcome!!! [​IMG]
     
  5. akcharlie1960

    akcharlie1960 Chillin' With My Peeps

    171
    1
    103
    Aug 23, 2010
    Chugiak, Alaska
    We started our first flock with 3, three week old, cold hardy breeds and wished we had gotten 4 to 6. Just because they are SO COOL and entertaining. I made a 4x8 chicken tractor that they used at night all summer and moved them to their winter quarters (back half of a well insulated tool shed) early this winter. We started getting 2 to 3 eggs a day the Monday before Thanksgiving. Can't wait till next spring to add 2 or 3 more. (be careful that CHICKEN MATH doesn't take hold) If you hang out at this site you can learn more about chickens than you ever thought possible and you'll find out your not really wierd. At least we don't think we're wierd. Chickens Rule!!!
     
  6. Ukyou

    Ukyou Chillin' With My Peeps

    106
    1
    101
    Sep 3, 2010
    I started with 4 one day old chicks that I let my daughter keep in her room in a clean rat cage. I now have 4 happy 5 month old chickens out side that my kids keep checking for eggs. The wait for eggs seems very long. However, ours were bought as pets as well since my daughter has wanted a bird since she could verbalize. If you just want eggs, I think it would be worth it to just buy ones that are already laying. However, be careful putting new chickens together.
     
  7. akcharlie1960

    akcharlie1960 Chillin' With My Peeps

    171
    1
    103
    Aug 23, 2010
    Chugiak, Alaska
    What breed(s) do you have?
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    452
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You might want to look into who sells new chicks in your area. Ask at the feed store or a TSC; someone will know. At least you know they survived the shipping stress, and with a little luck you can hand pick the stronger looking ones.

    You don't have to brood them indoors. If you do, be prepared for dust everywhere; they shed a lot of fuzz as they grow in their feathers.

    Check out the learning center (top of page) for lots of ideas. Best to have brooder and coop ready before time to buy chicks.

    Personally I wouldn't buy layers off Craigslist, unless I happened to know the seller. You're much less likely to get a chicken with problems if you buy day olds. Even then, I would buy one or two more than I wanted.

    Hatcheries usually ship at least one or two extras when they ship 25, as a hedge against mortality. And if more than that die, they will replace them if you call. Mortality isn't high, true, but if you buy two, you could end up with none or one, and chickens really need to be with other chickens.
     
  9. studiobekka

    studiobekka New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Dec 7, 2010
    Yes I'm going to wait until we are 100% ready -- i.e., coop is up... before I buy anything. We did ask at the local feed store about hens -- they deal only in babies.. I have had birds in the past -- cockitiels, parrots, etc., so I am quite familiar with what a mess they are in the house... I have also hand fed a baby parrot .. i know that this type of bird is a little different than a chicken --- certainly a chicken is a bit more hardy and has needs different than a hook bill bird... but the mess is the same [​IMG] heh

    I suppose if I could handle 3 babies .... I have a sun room on the back of my house that may work for this type of scenario -- it's not exactly "in the house" and not exactly 'outside' either...

    It seems that getting babies elminates several potential issues... number one being FINDING the bird to buy...
     
  10. studiobekka

    studiobekka New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    Dec 7, 2010
    Craigslist -- not a fan of this neighborhood... it's entertaining but not something I use to make purchases.... but thank you for the suggestion......
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by