Whats a "normal" size flock of chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Angiebubs, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Songster

    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    My SO is starting to ask me how many chickens I think is "enough"/how many do we "need"? My situation, I currently have 13 (think 4 roos and 9 hens-2 of which are bantams) and am probably adding 2 more pullets from the same breeder. 8 of them including the roos were rasied together from day 1. I know we are heading into winter and in order to keep the roos from fighting I should have mroe hens....with the 2 new ones it would make 11 hens and 4 roos till spring. In the spring I want to get 3 or 4 more day 1 chicks. Bringing me to a total of say 15 hens and 4 roos.
    I know that egg production will slow down after their 2nd yr....and I am thinking I wont have aproblem with selling eggs as I already have 4 familys asking for eggs...and can sell them where I work. My coop situation: 12 x 24 and my enclosed run is aprox 25 x 35 so I have enough room and live on 40 acres so neighbors arent a problem.
    With all that said-when is it "toomany" chickens? When does it become mroe like hoarding? And how does everyone on here convince their SOs that adding to the flock is ok? LOL
  2. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    As long as you have the room, there usually isn't a normal flock size. Build more coops. As for the question, When does it become mroe like hoarding? When they take over the inside of your house and you won't even eat the eggs. [​IMG]
  3. ladyride

    ladyride Songster

    Apr 30, 2011
    East Tn
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. BarefootMom

    BarefootMom Songster

    Jul 20, 2010
    Half Way, Missouri
    depends on your needs. We have around 50 laying hens, 3 roosters, 20 2 week old (just bought today) and I am warming up my incubator today. I sell eggs plus we eat a lot of eggs so I will take as many as I can house/feed. Usually the recommendation is 1 rooster per 7-10 hens or your hens will be overly "loved" and will actually stop laying.
  5. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    How many do you need? How many can you take care of? How many can you afford to feed? How many do you have safe housing for?

    Generally, you aren't going to make a profit on egg sales, so don't purchase a bunch of hens thinking you are going to make money.
  6. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Songster

    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Quote:"How many can I take care of?" If considering 4 sq ft inside-70 (and outside enclosed run more than that) then plenty of room and they get treats from the garden/orchard regularly. "Afford to feed isnt an issue" and no I'm not doing this for profit-strictly a hobby. I was mentioning I can find places for the eggs. The chicekns are my new form of entertainment (years ago I had a business as an aviculturist so I do understand the work involved with raising animals). Im just trying to figure out what a normal size flock is and what the average flock size is for a small hobby farm. (Also to have some figures to go back to my SO with when it comes time to add chicks in the spring [​IMG] )
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Your facilities could easily hand 40-48 hens. I don't think that alone, however, should be used as your sole criteria. Here is why. The care required goes up greatly and it gets somewhat harder to find someone reliable to do fill in chicken chores, should you ever take a vacation or a few days off to travel or visit.

    You might also give a lot of consideration to the over all program, not just to a static concept of a laying flock. I separate in my mind the "current" laying flock from the total flock. I am always thinking where my next "batch" of chicks is going to have a grow out pen. Where is my pullet flock going to be raised out? When will I integrate? What effect will that have? If I bring a dozen pullets back from our breeding farm in KY, where will I pen those during the introductory period?

    Can I cull enough older hens out of the top flock? Do I need to cull older hens out of the top flock? Which should be considered for breeding and which for the slow cooker?

    A productive farm flock is fluid, is what I am trying to say. These are just reflections for you to give consideration in terms of your housing planning. Have fun, enjoy your flock and best regards.
  8. Angiebubs

    Angiebubs Songster

    Aug 19, 2011
    Amery, WI WI/MN border
    Fred's Hens:

    I completely understand-and guess thats why Im trying to find my magic number. I currently have an area 5 x 10 inside the coop sectioned off for my 9 wk olds and its working out well. If I add more, it will either be from the breeder I bought my last ones from (Closed flock) or day 1's. I dont plan on culling any of them so eventually, the egg production will die down substantially.

    I do have plans in place for care of the chickens when needing to be gone.

    I guess Im just trying to balance my "wants" with whats the best idea ....thinking 30 may be a good end point. (My So it thinking 15 is sufficient)
  9. AlienChick

    AlienChick Songster

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    Sounds like 30 is your comfort zone, so I'd stick with 30 for now.

    Later on when chicken math really kicks in, you can get more chicks . . .
    and build more coops . . .
    and buy more chicks . . .
    the math works exponentially automatically, so you don't even have to buy a calculator. [​IMG]

    I started with 25 feeling comfortable with that number.

    Then I started going to swaps and becoming friends with local breeders. + + +

    The last dumb thing I did was buy an incubator. Last month I hatch 23 eggs in the bator as well as hatching 9 underneath a broody.

    And to make matters worse . . . I'm STILL peeking at the egg and baby chick auctions! [​IMG]
  10. kfacres

    kfacres Songster

    Jul 14, 2011
    that big of a coup... can hold tons of birds... especially if you double, or triple deck it...

    normal... what's not normal.. what normal person can only have less than 5 chickesn? chicken math takes over, and pretty soon your up to 200... that's normal... wait, maybe that's my story..

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