How Many Chickens Is Enough?

Discussion in 'Livestock' started by Meerkat, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Meerkat

    Meerkat Seeking The Truth

    We have 3 chickens laying now and 10, 10 week old Barred Rock hens.

    We just want enough eggs for the 2 of us.How many should we keep?

    I was thinking 5 would give us eggs and some left over for extra protien for the 3 medium size dogs.

    We were going to trade or sell the eggs but too many rules and regulations fron the gov..

    I think 5 ,what do yall think?
  2. Clarice

    Clarice Well-Known Member

    Just depends on the individual. We have 75 chickens and there is only 2 of us, but we have developed a good sell/barter market for our eggs. We keep our layers (have no roosters) for 3 years and just replace as needed, canning the older birds. Should things get more desperate we will get some roosters so we can raise our on chicks. 75 is not too much more work than keeping 12. My youngest daughter is coming up soon and wants to take 6 back with her for her family of 4 to have fresh eggs. IMHO what ever you are comfortable with.

  3. Frugal_Farmers

    Frugal_Farmers Good ole country folk

    We had 32 layers prior to a wild dog attack. We are now down to 16 layers. We are averaging about 12 eggs per day right now.

    Consider a few things when making your decision. "Farm fresh eggs" are in huge demand. Sure there are lots of regulations, but don't let that deter you.

    We take care of friends and family with eggs. Everyone has offered to pay us for the eggs, but we come to a mutual understanding that they share any excess they have of anything with us. This is working out great with the good old fashioned bartering system. There are a few folks that have nothing to offer us in return. These are the folks that are of the belief that their money will buy them anything. These are the same people that make no preparations as well. We do not "sell" eggs to them. Our understanding is that they "donate" $2.00 per dozen to keep the chickens fed.

    Although most of our chickens' diet is natural through grasses and bugs, we do supplement them with some scratch, oats and cracked corn.

    Consider your feed cost into your decision process. Feed is going up faster than groceries in the store. Also consider desired total egg production.

    Having a close source for a roster is a wise idea in the event things get really ugly. This will allow you to continue your "flock" in the out years if necessary.
  4. power

    power ExCommunicated

    It will depend on how many eggs you use each day and the breed of chickens you decide to get. Some breeds will lay an egg a day and some breeds will lay an egg a week. Most are somewhere inbetween.
  5. dunappy

    dunappy Well-Known Member

    I have a 2 person and two dog household. We have around 30 hens and a couple roosters. I let some of the hens go broody and hatch out chicks and I collect eggs and feed the eggs to us and the dogs and then barter the rest.

  6. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    We've got five hens for the two of us, but we don't eat eggs every day. That leaves us some extra for baking and even to accumulate to give to friends or neighbors, who are often gifting us with excesses of their own (including the occasional quart of goat milk!).
  7. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    IMO any eggs you don't eat the dogs will GLADLY accept :D
  8. Meerkat

    Meerkat Seeking The Truth

    Thanks evryone.I forgot this was here.

    I had a beautiful barred rock roo but all he did was crow.So we sold him.We did miss him but not the crowing.

    We do feed the dogs eggs fom one of the birds that keeps pecking out her feathers.She is penned away from others.

    I had put up a thread about growing chicken feed to help with feeding in case we can't get feed.All of them are let out most of the day,put back in at night.

    It took years to finish the pens but they work now.
  9. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

    We have free range chix... so the numbers can go down pretty fast at times.. lately we seem to be doing ok.. they now roost in the barn and near the big dog so at night the Owls aren't getting them and the four footed "Owls" aren't doing well...the Hawks watch but seem to be hanging back...

    We have 6 older hens, and several coming up of different ages.. we don't use many eggs and at times have many doz in the frige.. The L of TM cook with them and we usually have Breakfast for supper once a week.. which I love!! since I don't have more then toast and a banana for breakfast..

    I guess we will start bartering some eggs down the road or selling them for "pet food" :rolleyes:

    The hardest part of free range chix is finding their nests.. usually not to hard but they can get good at hiding lol.. plus keeping the ducks off them..we have 3 ducks sitting right now and since we don't have a drake their own eggs are wasted... L of TM has a bad allergic reaction to duck eggs so.... guess we could gather them and barter them..

    I guess this didn't answer anybodies questions but... 6 hens will give 3 to 5 eggs a day average I'd say.. that adds up in a week!! most of us now days don't eat 2 or 3 every morning anymore.. so having a few extra dozen in the frige is common...

    good luck!! I loves my chickens!!... no demands... and they love the bugs!!
  10. Meerkat

    Meerkat Seeking The Truth

    Thanks HozeyB.I don't want to feed a lot of chickens and trying to get them on homemade natural feed,not there yet.

    Hubby wants to keep all 'his'chickens.I say keep enough to replace the ones you may lose.
    I worry about whats in the feed now.So we let them free range as much as possible.
  11. Jimmy24

    Jimmy24 Member

    I have 16 White Leg Horns....I got eggs forever....:2thumb:

    3/4 of them double yokers....

  12. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    feed em' as many bugs as you possibly can

    raising crickets is EASY & CHEAP

    Ghann's Cricket Farm :: Live Crickets

    You can make a cricket warren/brooder out of a plastic 'storage tote' with moistened paper towels (the generic brown kind are best IMO) placed inside. The more surface area you can put in it (layers/structure) the more crickets you'll get; I've used the cardboard that separates the bottles in a case of beer (it seems similar to what the pros use).
  13. Meerkat

    Meerkat Seeking The Truth


    Thanks Blob,we thought of raising worms and crickets.This will be helpful info.
    I'll start saving cardboard.I have a 18 pack of Miller bottles in the ridge now.They are about out of date,only drink one now and then.I may pop a top later.:beercheer:
  14. Meerkat

    Meerkat Seeking The Truth

    We have 2 leghorns and one RIR and 10 B-rocks.I want to get down to about 6 b-rocks.I think that will be plenty to feed and care for for the 2 of us.Only know a couple people I'd trust to trade feed for eggs.The SS troops are going after those selling eggs now.
  15. floridacracker

    floridacracker Newbie

    we have 8 layers and we get 5-6 each day average
  16. Meerkat

    Meerkat Seeking The Truth


    Good idea! Next trip to package store area will get a box.
  17. Meerkat

    Meerkat Seeking The Truth


    We still have the 13 birds.He wants to can the ones i don't want.But I am not use to killing things.:eek:.I'm a hypocrit,I let others do the dirty work.
    He loves his chickens but he hunted when he was young and they cleaned their food.I'm not ready yet for a killing to be performed here.:eek:.I'm good with just the eggs.
  18. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

    We have....

    Well it sorta depends on the Bob Cats and "Yotes" but the dogs seem to do a pretty good job... ours free range but return to the barn to roost..
    we do lose some but always seem to have more coming along.. I just know we have more eggs then we can use...

    I do enough shooting around here it helps keep the preds away...Owls..diff story... they take one once in a while but it's like a tax.. and no I don't shoot Owls! It's my Spirit animal ...yea I know... but I didn't pick the Owl...He picked me...looong ago...

    I love our chickens, they just feed themselves and keep on giving.. we have 2 maybe 3 that are at least 5 years old.. and still cranking out eggs, the Speckled black and white one lays green eggs..wild! ..She got grabbed by a yoate a few weeks ago right in the yard..Miz Sheri saw it and yelled, scared the Yoate so bad she dropped the hen!! never ruffled a feather.. never bothered her green egg almost every day..

    Life on the homestead!

  19. cajunmeadows

    cajunmeadows Well-Known Member

    If you truely preparing for a worst case . As many *** you can comfortably care for. In the event the eggs can be bartered for other items and meat you do not raise. jmo
  20. Jezcruzen

    Jezcruzen Well-Known Member

    We have ten hens and two roosters. Barred rocks and Buff Orpintons. We don't eat eggs everyday, either. We usually get four to six eggs daily. I have discovered that when you free range your birds like we do, the hens often lay eggs in locations other than the nest boxes. I've found eggs in flower pots and inside bags of mulch, and once beside the chimney outside.

    Since we don't eat all the eggs we collect, we give eggs away to friends and family. Free ranging helps a lot with the feed bill, too.