To get more chickens or no....

Long Days

In the Brooder
Aug 22, 2019
7
18
26
Pleasant Garden NC
A little over a week ago we began our chicken flock by purchasing 4 three week old chicks. One has since fallen ill and passed away despite my efforts. My question is should I go ahead and get two more now, while the others are still young and all will hopefully integrate smoothly? This way I would have a little flock of 5 for more eggs and also incase another should meet an unfortunate fate... OR should I stick with the 3 I have and wait until next year to get a couple more for the benefit of having an age difference? Obviously with the staggered ages I will hopefully have a more continuous supply of eggs later down the road... Weighing my pros and cons and looking to the experience of all of you to help decide!
 

SueT

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6 Years
May 27, 2015
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I would wait and see if any others are ill, lest you infect new chicks since it has been less than a week. Also wouldn't it be hard to find chicks 1 month old to match the size of what you have? They will likely attack smaller chicks.
 

Mrs. K

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Nov 12, 2009
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A few weeks will not be considered staggered ages, so will not affect your supply of eggs. That is if you have 1 years (+) and pullets. Pullets tend to lay a little more consistently through the winter as they don't molt. If you have 3yrs, and 2 yrs they will all molt at the same time, and will have little egg production.

It might be much better if you have the space, to just keep the 3 you have this year. Then add 2-3 birds next year, that WILL give you more continuous eggs. Chickens are not real long lived, and to me, a healthy vigorous flock, is one with multiple ages in it.

I try and add birds each year, but chicken math has to go both ways - which means you have to subtract some too. Some will naturally die, but some will need to be culled. Some people are very uncomfortable with this, but then you have to make sure you are not adding so many birds as to cause overcrowding and getting ugly behaviors.

Do measure your set up, or post pictures. What is more than enough space for chicks, rapidly becomes not enough space for full grown chicks.

Mrs K
 

Long Days

In the Brooder
Aug 22, 2019
7
18
26
Pleasant Garden NC
Oh in the effort to get staggered ages I would wait until next year as I mentioned. Getting 2 more now would only be to have a little larger flock (and sort of an insurance policy since these things tend to happen :/ ). As far as molting times, I could handle the gap in production since I have 2 ducks that also lay and provide us with a good amount of eggs! Thank you for your advice, I believe I am leaning towards adding more at a later time. I am glad to hear someone prefers multiple ages, I've seen some people say adding chickens later can be stressful but I know people do it all the time.



A few weeks will not be considered staggered ages, so will not affect your supply of eggs. That is if you have 1 years (+) and pullets. Pullets tend to lay a little more consistently through the winter as they don't molt. If you have 3yrs, and 2 yrs they will all molt at the same time, and will have little egg production.

It might be much better if you have the space, to just keep the 3 you have this year. Then add 2-3 birds next year, that WILL give you more continuous eggs. Chickens are not real long lived, and to me, a healthy vigorous flock, is one with multiple ages in it.

I try and add birds each year, but chicken math has to go both ways - which means you have to subtract some too. Some will naturally die, but some will need to be culled. Some people are very uncomfortable with this, but then you have to make sure you are not adding so many birds as to cause overcrowding and getting ugly behaviors.

Do measure your set up, or post pictures. What is more than enough space for chicks, rapidly becomes not enough space for full grown chicks.

Mrs K
 

Long Days

In the Brooder
Aug 22, 2019
7
18
26
Pleasant Garden NC
I would wait and see if any others are ill, lest you infect new chicks since it has been less than a week. Also wouldn't it be hard to find chicks 1 month old to match the size of what you have? They will likely attack smaller chicks.

I am almost 100% it was a vitamin deficiency I couldn't get her back from instead of an actual illness (sorry I shouldn't have been so vague before) but you make a good point and it probably would be good to be sure just incase! It has been over a week I've had them and the others seem to be perfectly fine so fingers crossed! And tractor supply had a good deal around the same age, maybe a week younger, but I think I am leaning towards waiting anyways. Thanks for your help!
 

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