Maximum # of chickens for a family of 6

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tmk, May 8, 2008.

  1. tmk

    tmk Songster

    Hello [​IMG]
    We'd like to have chickens for pet/egg purpose.
    I'd like opinions on what the adequate number of birds to keep in the backyard.
    For a family of 6: full-time working parents and four hard working children (ages 7-14)

    We will be moving to 3+ acre property in the country soon. DH and I work outside of home but one of us always have time in the morning and afternoon/evenings to tend the chicken. I work at school so I have summer off.

    I know we feed them everyday, collect eggs twice a day, and clean their coop. And it's not that much for two birds.
    We just aren't sure how much is involved in daily, weekly, monthly care for more than a couple of chickens and wanted to find out about that before I go crazy and start getting all the chicks I see. lol

    I want to make sure that we can provide everything they need beforehand so they will be well taken care of.
  2. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Don't you mean "Minimum"? [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I'm sure the good folks here at the BYC will be able to give you an idea of what is required. I'm sure that to some extent, the amount of time spent will somewhat be determined by how many you have.
    Last edited: May 8, 2008
  3. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    Well don't get all the chickens you see. Research the breeds you want. More than likely you'll be lured towards dual purpose. They will lay for a good amount of years where a "layer" will give you a lot, but sputter out in just 2-3. Also look into your climate and choos ones good for where you live.
    For a family of 6 and no intentions on giving away eggs to anyone else, 4 is all you really need. Even 3, just depends on how much you cook with and eat eggs. I have 5 hens and I get an average of 4 eggs/day.

    This smaller #'s will also keep the cleaning down. They really aren't all that difficult.
    This is a site that I like to go and get info. on breeds and such. It's been very helpful.

    Good luck and have fun!
  4. yellowdragon

    yellowdragon Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Springville, Indiana
    wow congrats on the choice of chickens. If it were me, I would get more than 2( if you are geting them for egg eating purpose). I would say 4 at least( really its what you want.) If this is something really new to you than start out with 2 and you could always get more( and you will:D). They are pretty easy to care for. They need a dry place to sleep and food and water. and a little place to run. I would look in to a chicken tractor( small portable coop with wheels or handles). They work great for small amounts or chickens. If you go to the coop part of this site some people have pics. good luck
  5. tmk

    tmk Songster

    Thanks for the replies [​IMG]

    Well, I was wondering how many birds are possible for us to keep without us being overwhelmed by hours of cleaning and care and such.
    So, yes, I kind of wanted to get some ideas of the maximum # of the birds people tends to keep who are in the similar situation.
    Because I don't want just a couple if it's possible, I'd like a happy flock [​IMG]

    Thank you for the site. Actually that's one of the sites I visit often as I'm in the process of gathering all the informations. And yes, I'm leaning toward dual purpose breeds but I didn't know they have longer years of laying period! Thanks for the input. That's good to know.
    And I just realized that what my biggest concern is the time required to clean the coop with larger flock. "Larger" means, to me, is more than two that we have right now.

    Thinking about building new coop and figuring out about the run making me realy excited for our new adventure [​IMG]

    I may just start off by getting a couple more chickens and see. I almost forgot the option of adding some more later. lol

    Thank you all for your time here and hopefully, I will be back with the picture of our new flock before not too long [​IMG]
  6. fullhouse

    fullhouse Songster

    Apr 14, 2008
    We have 6 hens for a family of seven, all the kids are little-little (10, 5, 4, 2, 6mo). No issues at all and everyone wants eggs so we have babies in the basement now too.
  7. highmountainchick

    highmountainchick In the Brooder

    Mar 26, 2008
    I have a family of 4 so I though I'd get about 10 hens, you know to have extras for the grandparents and some of the neightbors. Ya- right, I now have 40 hens, still have 9 broilers and am now moving onto ducks. Becareful, they're addictive. [​IMG]
  8. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    Well you will have the same amount of work with 6 as with 25!

    Your biggest & most time consuming thing is planning the coop you want:
    (& picking your breed)

    What I have found to be important to me:
    easy clean out
    easy access to food
    storage for food, scratch, DE, waters & feeders, etc...

    then 4 square feet inside, 10 square feet outside

    We are not aloud to count our chickens in our house but, we have quite a few! (over 20) clean-up is less than an hour a week ((that time is broken up daily during the week))

    but, I spend about 2 hours daily with my chickens broken up into 2 coffee brakes through the day! they are my refuge!

    I have 3 dogs, 3 cats and to me chickens are much easier!
  9. mmajw

    mmajw Songster

    Jan 31, 2008
    I say take em all. They are great. All the eggs you don't eat you can sell to help pay for food.
  10. pixiechic

    pixiechic Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    North GA
    We are a family of 3 (2 adults, 1 teenager) and have 2 "meat birds" plus 17 baby chicks. If we don't lose any of the chicks along the way, we'll have 19 chickens total. It seems like a lot for just the 3 of us, but as someone mentioned upthread, it's not a lot more difficult to care for 20 than it is for 10 -- just more poop to shovel. But really...isn't that what teenagers are for? [​IMG]

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