Small flock wanted. How many chicks should I buy?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Country Mouse, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. Country Mouse

    Country Mouse Hatching

    May 23, 2008
    We have a little bantam frizzle hen and a bantam frizzle roo. They were a trio but a possum got my other hen this past weekend.

    So, we are ready to get serious and get a little flock of laying hens. I plan to buy the pullets from either TSC or the local feed store this week.

    I want to have a flock of 6 hens (not including my banty) and I need to figure out what is a realistic number to start with. I have not brooded chicks before so I'm starting out at the bottom of the learning curve (I have done a lot of research but that's not the same as experience IMO).

    How many is a good number to start with if you want to end up with half a dozen layers?

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
  2. Chicky Tocks

    Chicky Tocks Songster

    Oct 20, 2008
    Benton, Arkansas
    If you're going to start off with chicks, unless you get sexed chickens, the odds are that you'll end up with a few more roos than you'd like.
    I would suggest at least a dozen chicks and then you could keep the pullets you needed and give away or sell the roos and/or pullets that you won't need.

    ETA: If you're lucky enough to find pullets, I'd get six just as a backup.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2009
  3. Country Mouse

    Country Mouse Hatching

    May 23, 2008
    The feed store has ordered pullets only - no straight runs, so I'm pretty sure I'll have only pullets.
    I was thinking a dozen but I don't want to overdo...
  4. Chicky Tocks

    Chicky Tocks Songster

    Oct 20, 2008
    Benton, Arkansas
    ahh then you are VERY lucky! If you want to end up with six hens, including the one you already have, I'd go six or seven, depending on how you plan to keep them and how predator proof their home will be. Just to be sure, because I've bought pullets and ended up with a roo before!
  5. citalk2much

    citalk2much Twilight Blessings Farm

    Dec 22, 2008
    GR MI: TN bound!
    I have found the guy sexing the chicks is not always good at his job LOL
  6. raindrop

    raindrop Songster

    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    I would get 8. You may get a rooster, you may have a chick die in the first few days. When you pick them, pick active chicks that you see are eating well. Start with healthy chicks, keep the brooder the right temperature, keep the brooder fairly clean and dry, keep food and water in front of them and don't let anybody eat them and you will have a successful first chicken raising experience! Enjoy!
  7. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    Medford, Oregon
    I had originally planned on 6 but ended up getting 10 pullets from my local feed store. They are now 4 wks old and growing like weeds.

    I wouldn't go with more than that because they grow so fast. I have mine in a big 169 gal stock tank which was huge when they were day old chicks but now that they are getting so big, I'm glad I didn't get any more.

    Best of luck with new chicks. Watching them grow has been a joy. This week I started feeding grit and meal worms and they are flying out to my lap, arms, shoulders to get the worms. Great fun!
  8. Sequin

    Sequin Songster

    May 20, 2008
    Just out of curiosity, but how do you plan on avoiding the 'chicken bug' and keeping your flock down to 6 only? I started with 5, all grew well and laid well. One died from natural causes(that I was unaware of and didn't catch in time to help her, so the death was my fault I think), but the rest have been happy, healthy, and a joy to raise. However, this year we have decided to increase our little flock to 23. The addiction is unavoidable. Just wondering how you will do it, keeping to just 6? Can't wait to see pictures!! [​IMG]
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
  10. 2boxers

    2boxers Songster

    Feb 16, 2008
    Halifax Co Virginia
    Sequin, I was going to say exactly what you said. No matter how many chickens I have, I always seem to be able to find a reason-and a perfectly logical one-to add a few more chickens to the flock.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: