Small flock wanted. How many chicks should I buy?

Country Mouse

Hatching
11 Years
May 23, 2008
8
0
7
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.
 

Chicky Tocks

Songster
11 Years
Oct 20, 2008
3,213
10
206
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.
 
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Country Mouse

Hatching
11 Years
May 23, 2008
8
0
7
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...
 

Chicky Tocks

Songster
11 Years
Oct 20, 2008
3,213
10
206
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!
 

raindrop

Songster
11 Years
Feb 10, 2008
712
12
151
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!
 

~*Sweet Cheeks*~

Songster
10 Years
Mar 12, 2009
1,708
10
179
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!
 

Sequin

Songster
11 Years
May 20, 2008
1,512
6
159
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!!
 

2boxers

Songster
11 Years
Feb 16, 2008
374
0
139
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.
 

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