Need help with chicken math

SomeChickinTN

Songster
Nov 19, 2018
307
496
156
E TN
Ok, so I am terrible at math and am trying to figure out my max number of chickens for space available, and the minimum flock size to meet my goals. It's just giving me a headache.

The finished coop will be 72 square feet. I think that means I can have 15-30 chickens, depending on whether I give them 2 square feet or 4..... right? The run will be about 150 square feet, plus access to the garden in the fall. Larger birds need more square feet, but are they ok with 2 or 3 if they have constant access to the run?

My goal is to collect about 3 dozen eggs a week, plus leave the hens enough to hatch on their own natural cycle. So this is a minimum of around 8 chickens, right?
As far as the meat side, I haven't sat down and figured out how much chicken we plan to eat, but I know one chicken with make at least two meals, so I will worry about that part later.
 

AlleysChicks

Enabler
Oct 10, 2016
15,206
38,617
1,142
Southern Ohio
Have you considered Cornish cross for your meat? 8 weeks to raise with a larger carcass size.
Also if you want your hens to hatch eggs you need a rooster and breeds prone to go broody. That’s extra chickens to feed and give space for. Or you could save yourself the headache and get a incubator to hatch on your time.
Have you researched breeds? Some are better at laying than others. And some take longer to lay due to slow growth.
 

lutherpug

Crowing
6 Years
Jan 5, 2014
602
639
252
Kansas City Area
30 would be way too many IMO. I think 12-20 would be appropriate for the space constraints you've outlined. Will you keep roosters or hens only? Are you planning to get meat birds specifically to butcher or are you talking about processing your non egg laying hens? I don't have any experience (yet) with meat birds but I don't think I would keep them in the coop with my egg layers-usually people keep them separately in portable chicken tractors during the warm months. My coop is 120 sq ft with a 600 sq ft run and I'm not planning to keep more than 30 in there.
 

SomeChickinTN

Songster
Nov 19, 2018
307
496
156
E TN
Thanks. I chose orpingtons for the dual purpose aspect. I have at least one rooster, and I'm guessing I'll be culling the extra ones that come along in the future, and letting the hens lay until they are done.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,523
20,816
907
Southeast Louisiana
I just did a long post that might help you. It might be worth your time to read it. It talks about the laying cycle. You are not going to get a consistent number of eggs year around from your flock. There are some good suggestions in that thread about how to mange this, including storing eggs

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/advice-on-flock-size-please.1282043/

Don't worry about shoehorning as many chickens as you possibly can into that nice coop and run. For your goals you don't need to, you don't want to. All crowding them does is create behavioral problems, cause you more work, and limit your flexibility in dealing with issues. If you don't crowd them your life and their life will be less stressful. Plus the extra room makes it a lot easier for you to add more chickens in the future. As long as you keep the numbers under control Mama can raise the chicks with the flock. The more you crowd them the harder that is, especially after Mama weans them and they have to make their own way with the flock.

Some breeds tend to lay more than others and individuals within the same breed can vary a lot. Which breed or cross you get can make a big difference in how many you need. For some hens 3 eggs a week may be a lot but most production breeds from a hatchery will lay maybe 6 eggs a week during peak laying season. 6 to 7 hens might be all you need for then. If you are going to hatch eggs you also need a rooster. How many eggs do you plan to hatch? In your overall production hatching eggs will probably be a tiny percent.

Most production breed hens tend to not go broody. Even breeds that have a reputation of being broody often don't go broody a lot and certainly not when you want them to. For your goals Orpington is a good choice. They tend to lay a lot and have a reputation of going broody. You may even need to build a broody buster in that coop to keep the overall number of chicks under control. With the extra room in the coop you can do that. That's an example of what I mean by having extra flexibility in dealing with issues.

With your overall goals and understanding that a broody hen is not a laying hen I'd suggest you start with one rooster and no more than 10 hens. Good luck!
 

[email protected]

~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~
Aug 18, 2017
5,547
19,910
707
Caliente Nevada
A dozen a week? If they are young or a prolific laying breed. I get 4 eggs a day.
Sometimes 3 with 4 hens.
I get a dozen every 3 days or so.
The more space they have the happier and Healthy they are.
Dealing with constant drama and injuries is NO fun for you.
Remember you don’t have to pack your coop full on the first go around. Leave some wiggle room for next spring.
It’s easier to add more if needed....but to cull or rehome is heartache. Don’t rush.
 

SomeChickinTN

Songster
Nov 19, 2018
307
496
156
E TN
I just did a long post that might help you. It might be worth your time to read it. It talks about the laying cycle. You are not going to get a consistent number of eggs year around from your flock. There are some good suggestions in that thread about how to mange this, including storing eggs

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/advice-on-flock-size-please.1282043/

Don't worry about shoehorning as many chickens as you possibly can into that nice coop and run. For your goals you don't need to, you don't want to. All crowding them does is create behavioral problems, cause you more work, and limit your flexibility in dealing with issues. If you don't crowd them your life and their life will be less stressful. Plus the extra room makes it a lot easier for you to add more chickens in the future. As long as you keep the numbers under control Mama can raise the chicks with the flock. The more you crowd them the harder that is, especially after Mama weans them and they have to make their own way with the flock.

Some breeds tend to lay more than others and individuals within the same breed can vary a lot. Which breed or cross you get can make a big difference in how many you need. For some hens 3 eggs a week may be a lot but most production breeds from a hatchery will lay maybe 6 eggs a week during peak laying season. 6 to 7 hens might be all you need for then. If you are going to hatch eggs you also need a rooster. How many eggs do you plan to hatch? In your overall production hatching eggs will probably be a tiny percent.

Most production breed hens tend to not go broody. Even breeds that have a reputation of being broody often don't go broody a lot and certainly not when you want them to. For your goals Orpington is a good choice. They tend to lay a lot and have a reputation of going broody. You may even need to build a broody buster in that coop to keep the overall number of chicks under control. With the extra room in the coop you can do that. That's an example of what I mean by having extra flexibility in dealing with issues.

With your overall goals and understanding that a broody hen is not a laying hen I'd suggest you start with one rooster and no more than 10 hens. Good luck!

What in the world is multi quote, and how do I make it not do that? I was reading through another thread, hit the wrong button and quoted someone, so I'm sorry if it shows up here..... Anyway..
Yeah, I don't want to cram them in there. My flock is small at the moment, so I was planning on letting them breed up to my minimum, and then just trying to let the hens hatch to replace any losses, or culled roosters, if that makes sense. I'm hoping to not have to do any of the hatching unless I have to. I just want enough babies for the replacement rate.
 

LoveMyChickenBabies

Crossing the Road
Sep 11, 2018
976
37,977
967
Kansas USA
What in the world is multi quote, and how do I make it not do that?

It is like re-stating someones message and there is a quote button on the bottom right corner. If you press it then you can add that message to your message. If you don't want that quote and you have pressed the button on accident, then press the button again and it will take it away.
 

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