mom's just don't understand... advice?


10 Years
Sep 27, 2009
North Texas
so i am due to get three silkie chicks this weekend, unsexed (they are five weeks old). We can't have cockerels where we live due to crowing and don't need a bunch of little babies running around (although i would love to!), so it only makes sense to get three instead of two to have the greatest chance of getting females.

my mom, however, insists on only getting two, saying that three is a lot different than two and i don't know what i am getting myself into (i have never had chickens before).

what do you guys think?

pros/cons of either?

wouldn't they be more comfortable with three?

i don't know what to do or how to convince her!

Guess what. My wife doesn't understand chicken math and logic either lol. Really though, you don't want to end up with only one, it would be lonely. So, obviously the more the better.
I'd say you should get 3. If you only have 2 and you lost 1, then you'd have a lone chicken. They are social animals and need companionship, so I say 3 is a good number.

Also, I don't see how 3 is any more work than 2, but you need to commit to taking care of them, so it's not a burden on your parents.

I don't see how getting 3 is going to give you a better chance of getting females. The best way to get females is to get sexed chicks.
Three is better than two because chickens are "flock" birds -- they like to be in groups. In fact it is cruel to have an only -- they get extremely depressed and develop very bad habits. So let's say you do get only two... and something happens to one. Something like an illness or a predator... now there is only one left. Getting another chicken friend can be very hard. A new introduction should be quarantined for 30 days to prevent introducing disease to you existing bird(s). Or a new chick should come with a couple of baby chick friends -- baby chicks do not do well as onlies. They cheep ceaselessly. In fact, very few hatcheries sell fewer than 3 chicks -- some do not sell fewer than 6.

The optimum number of birds for a small flock is 3 to 5.

Print this out, show it to your mom and ask her to please join you in doing research here on BYC.

You are doing a great thing by coming to this site to learn everything you can about raising happy and healthy chicks.

Have your Mom visit this site as well.

I'm a 50 yr old Mom new to chickens this spring and you can tell your Mom that you can't get just two in the event something happens to one, you would end up with one lonely chick.

They ARE flock animals (birds) and need at least one to keep them company.

Caring for 3 or even 4 is not going to be that much different then it would be for just two.

Read up as much as you can so you can show your Mom that you know what you're getting into.

The Learning Center off the Home Page is a great start.

Good luck to you.
My Mom doesn't get the whole chicken thing at all, and I;m married with my own farm
Trust me, it never ends
I do recommend getting at least 3, but you could still end up with only 1 girl, at which point you'd have to find more silkies. She would be lonely being an only chickie!
I understand your mom's position. She's understandably concerned about you getting more than you can swallow. It's a mom's job to worry (I'm a mom, I would know,

That having been said, three is really *not* that different than two. And in fact, if you're determined to have only females, then even three is a bit of a risk, because you might end up with two roosters & a hen, or even three roosters. If you have to buy them straight run (unsexed), then the more you can raise the better chance of two females. And as has already been said, you really don't want to end up with a lonely chicken. Also, they will get along better if raised together, so your best bet really is to get several now (I would say 5 at least to have good odds on a couple being females) and then thin them later when you know what you have gender-wise. You shouldn't have too much trouble finding homes for them, even if you have too many cockerels.

Alternately, many hatcheries will sell them sexed, and then you can just order the two and be sure they are both females from the get-go. However, you will probably have to find someone to split the order with you because most places won't ship only two chicks.

Your mom may be worried about the "slippery slope," especially if she originally agreed to just two and now you are suggesting three--she may wonder where this is going to end. I'm not sure how you would set her mind at ease (my husband has the same problem--and he's quite right, because I always *think* it's just going to be one or two, and it always ends up being more! lol), but it might help just to acknowledge with her that you understand her concern. Tell her you don't want to make her uncomfortable with your commitment, but you're not sure what to do because (and explain the advice you've received here), and ask her to help you come up with a solution. Works with my kids!

Good luck anyway, and make sure to keep coming here for help as you begin your chicken adventure.
You might consider getting them from My Pet Chicken...they will sell you sexed silkies so you know no matter how many you will know you'll get you will have all hens. Also makes sure you won't have to give up a rooster or roosters you have raised
I say get at least 20 and then give any extras you can't handle to me (just kidding). Just make sure when you grow up, you don't buy a house in a subdivision that doesn't allow chickens. If you become a chicken addict like the rest of us (chickens are the best pets in the universe), you need at least a 1 acre lot, probably with a mobile home to start for cost-reasons, and then you can have 100+ chicks. I love chickens! (and turkeys!)
All that being said, I didn't own my first chicken until I was 36 (sad I know). What a waste of all those earlier years living in apartments and subdivisions!

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