If you’ve decided to take a bath and buy feathered friends, congratulations! Raising chickens is fun and doesn’t waste your time if you are breeding a few eggs, meat or both.
According to Wikipedia, farmers raise more than 50 billion chickens a year to feed their meat and eggs. What a bunch of chickens!
But how many chickens am I gonna have, you ask me? It depends on several factors, such as where you live (urban or rural), whether you plan to breed them for eggs or meat (or both), and whether you plan to sell chickens, eggs or meat. In this article we look at some of these factors to help you make the final decision.
Something fundamental about chickens
- You are social – even if you don’t plan to have many chickens, you plan to have more than one. They are social birds and they don’t get along well with each other.
- You need about 3-4 square meters of space per hen in COOP and about 10 meters per hen in RUN. If you can offer more, do it! Chickens like to feed, scratch and gather, and the more space they have, the better.
- They can’t survive alone from a distance… they need food for. It would be great if they could survive on grass, seeds, beetles, worms and other natural objects on earth. However, it takes about 1 hectare per chicken! So for most of us, buying chicken feed is a must.
Photo by Julian Andres Carmona Serrato at the exhibition.
How much food do they eat?
As we just said, chickens need to eat food that can be bought in a farmer’s shop or online. As a general rule, we assume that they eat about 1/4 pounds per chicken per day.
The feed is often supplied in bags of 40 or 50 pounds, at a cost of around $14 per bag. Just a thought to give you an idea of what it will cost to raise chicks on your farm every month.
To learn more about choosing the right food for chickens, click here!
Do you plan to clear the site, or do you plan to keep the site cooperative or run away?
If you plan to show them for free in your garden, they will be very happy and it will be easy to welcome more chickens… …but be ready to cut off their wings so they don’t fly to your neighbors! At night, the chickens can fly in the small henhouse when they are free all day on the farm… Something to think about!
Picture of Michael de Souza on Unsplash.
They keep running, but if you don’t have many miles to run, you can’t have as many chickens as you would need at 10 pc per chicken, which can take up a lot of space on a small farm.
If you have a small garden, you might not think of getting more than 4 or 5 chickens after all, so a chicken coop that can be changed from time to time will do the trick.
If you have more acres (e.g. 1/2 hectare), you can comfortably house many chickens by letting them run or by letting them run in the henhouse. However, you should also be aware that predators are earlier in the country, so it is important to have a reliable henhouse where you can keep your birds at night.
Read on to learn more about other factors that should be taken into account when determining the number of chicks.
Do you want eggs, meat or both?
There’s no wrong way to raise chickens. It really depends on your personal preferences. Many people consider their chickens to be strictly utilitarian… about meat and eggs. Others of you consider chickens as pets and prefer only chickens to lay a few eggs. Anyway, it’s fine!
Processing of chickens into eggs
The most common (and funniest) reason to raise chickens is to eat tasty eggs! But you’ll have to think about how many eggs you want.
Don’t forget that the average goose (all breeds) lays 200 to 300 eggs (and more) per year. Get an idea of how many eggs you eat or use to cook on a particular day, week or month.
Picture of Annie Spratt on Unsplash.
The recommended average is 2 or 3 chickens per family member If you cook a lot, you may want more. Again, this is just a review.
If you have never raised chickens before, you can start with only 2 chickens to get your feet wet. Then just add a few eggs from the store, if necessary, until you feel how many chickens you would like to breed in the future.
If you want (which many people do), you can just buy a few more chickens that are already lying down, or just raise a few more chickens. (Rather, where you can buy chicks).
In 15 years of chicken farming we have discovered that even if we get more eggs than we can eat, it is easy to give or sell them to friends and family! Our thoughts on how many chickens to buy are all the more fun because it is easy to catch a beetle and buy more chickens than you really need. Hey, it’s coming!
Read here for more information about keeping chickens for egg production.
Many people like to raise their own broilers. The good thing is that you always know where the meat comes from and how it was grown. It takes some work to raise and then process chickens for meat. But on YouTube and other websites you can find a lot of information on how to do this!
If you are considering keeping chickens for meat production, you will probably want to buy additional chickens and evaluate them all at the same time. You can process them yourself or ask the local butcher how much it costs to process them locally.
Keep in mind that these costs can gradually accumulate! Many farmers do not hesitate to do the work themselves, while others do not hesitate to pay extra for the processing of the birds, as this saves them time and effort.
Not only is it easy to get attached to chickens, but it can also be very difficult for people to evaluate them. So if the butcher does it, it could be a simple note when she describes you!
But which chickens are the least carnivorous per family? You need to estimate how many chickens your family eats per week or month, and then estimate how many chickens you need to feed your family per year.
You should also see how much space you have in your freezer and if you want to add an extra freezer for that extra meat. The number of chicken families per year is very variable. Some families depend on chicken for several meals a week and buy about 50 or more chickens a year to put in the freezer. Others just want to make something to cook during the holidays.
We have a large family and can easily accommodate 50 or more people a year. You’ll have to decide what’s best for your situation. As in any other case, many of these processes are trial and error.
Buying chickensor chickens ?
We start by saying that neither is correct. It just depends on how much effort you want to put into getting the final product out of eggs, meat or both. Read more…
They’re fluffy and cute and don’t eat much at first… …but it takes time and money to bring them up to full size. You must take into account the cost of the incubator (where the chicks are raised), the cost of food, the cost of equipment, the cost of electricity (to run the incubator 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
It will take about 4 to 6 months before they are fully grown, get all their feathers and start laying eggs. Some broiler chickens can be processed in 3 months!
If you don’t want to add work related to chickens, buying adult chickens aged 6 months to 1.5 years is also a good option. It’s not that popular because people like to pick chicks and raise them at home… I can understand that.
But chicks can get sick and die when they’re small. And if you buy them a bit older, all the work on their nutrition and education is done and you can benefit from the ready-made product!
Expect to pay more for the chicks if you buy them as adults, because the seller will probably want to recoup some of the costs of raising the chicks.
Another warning… Be careful when buying chickens at the auction, because you may get flowering chickens or sick chickens. If you buy chickens from a local breeder, you have a much better idea of how they were raised and you know they are healthy and ready to work in your home!
Should I take the cock?
Some chicken farmers want to raise their own chickens. We did it, and it’s a lot of fun! Of course you need a tap for that. But be aware that cocks can sometimes be a little angry.
It’s not that uncommon to see cocks attacking people. In fact, we had a rooster who attacked one of our children a few years ago and cut his face off with these big claws. We sent that pigeon in a hurry, and we haven’t had a tap since. In most cases this is not a problem, but it should be mentioned that they can be unpredictable.
But if you find a dick with a soft spot, everything can go well. Seeing a chicken with a large brood next to it is an incredible place! You can keep these chicks or sell them to others via Craigslist or social networking sites.
If you plan to raise chickens, plan one cock for every ten chickens. Once the cock has done its job, you can continue to use it for breeding purposes or process it into meat.
What breeds of chicken should I get?
It depends on how you want to use it…
Layers for chicken production
There are dozens, even hundreds of egg-producing breeds! I advise you to visit your local farm shop, because you can ask a lot of questions to people who know which varieties to choose, etc… You can also often see pictures of what they will look like as adults and buy the chicks on the spot, in the shop, with all the necessary accessories.
However, it is becoming more and more common to buy fertilized chicken eggs online! It didn’t seem plausible when I first heard about it, but we’ve had a lot of success ordering chickens online from incubators all over the country! The beauty of ordering online is the ability to select varieties that may not be available in your local farm shop.
We have discussed this subject extensively here, but below are some of the eggs with the highest position.
- Leghorns – they fly a little, but they are incredible eggs! We always have a few in our herd, because they lay about 300 eggs a year or more! His eggs are white.
- Rhode Island Redhead – Another fruit variety. They have a nice dark red colour and lay about 275 to 300 eggs per year. Her eggs are brown.
- Easter Egg– It’s great fun because they lay green, blue or spotted eggs! It’s nice to get those eggs out of the chicken coop. Moreover, they are numerous and have a good predisposition for obedience.
- Buff-Opington – Buffs, as we call them, are one of the most obedient breeds, and children can pet them at any time. You may not lay as many eggs as some other breeds, but you can expect about 250 eggs a year. They lay brown eggs.
- Sexual intercourse– These crossed hens are fertile layers, and it is wise to have a few in your flock! They lay brown eggs.
- Plymouth Rock – These chickens are large chickens in a frame and lay large brown eggs.
- Marans– Another beautiful chicken with a delicate temperament. His eggs are beautiful dark brown with spots. My kids love it!
The above list refers to some of the more common varieties with which we have had a lot of success. For more information we write here all about the best laying hens, with pictures and descriptions of the different breeds.
Unlike the cousins that produce eggs, there are not many types of broilers to choose from. However, all available breeds are fine meat chickens!
- Cornish Cross– A large chicken in a frame that can go from the size of a chicken to the size of a butcher in 3 months! Because of this rapid growth they tend to have problems with their legs and have no great capacity to forage. But whether you’re thinking of growing them for your family or on a larger scale, they’re a great breed to try.
- Red Ranger – Very similar to the Cornish Cross, but slightly smaller They finish their work a little later than the Cornish Cross, but have fewer leg problems than the Cornish Cross. They have the ability to eat a little more than the Cornish Cross, which means their diet can be a little healthier.
As their name suggests, chickens can work for a dual purpose, such as birds that produce eggs or meat. Examples of these varieties are many varieties that fall into the stratum category.
- Australian Corps
- Rhode Island red
- Buffer tones
Again, the above list contains more common dual-use varieties, but in fact any variety can be used as a dual-use chick.
It should be noted that when using the above breeds for meat production, it takes up to 6 months to reach the final weight, which is about 2 to 3 times longer than for the meat breed. However, many people think it’s worth waiting and adding the cost of food, because the meat is tender and less fatty than the Cornish cross.
Some farmers grow the above breeds (or other similar breeds) for egg production, then slaughter them when egg production begins to decline (at around 2 or 3 years of age) and start a new herd.
Although… If you only want to raise your chickens as pets (with or without double use), they will be made available to your children at the age of about 1 or 2 years. If this happens, egg production will be significantly reduced!
But when the moult is over, the chickens start laying again. It is unlikely that they will lay as many eggs as before moulting, but at least they will take care of some of the eggs. Besides, if you love them as pets, fewer eggs won’t be such a big problem!
Where to buy chickens
At the moment there are several places where you can buy chickens or chickens! We’ll tell you more about raising chickens here!
As you may have guessed, chickens are sold in farm shops in spring and/or autumn. Take a look at the local farm shops and you will find several possibilities. You can also look for organic chicks.
Buying chicks online
As we’ve already said, it’s getting more and more popular to buy chicks online! And with good reason, because you can choose from a wider variety of breeds. You can find different races here.
Buying chickens OR chickens with Craigslist can also work very well. We’ve done it to increase our herd and we’ve made great progress. The advantage of Craigslist is that you can buy adult chickens, which is not common in farm shops.
Social networking sites
On Facebook and other similar websites you can also join local farmers’ groups or farmers’ groups. It will place ads where people can sell poultry or other farm animals.
Wherever you buy your chicks, make sure they have been sexually active – especially to see if they have separated males and females. If you buy chickens in a straight line, they will all be mixed up and you may get several roosters.
Max Welt’s picture on Unsplash.
We hope you found some useful information about how many chickens you can keep on the farm or in the meadows! It’s easy to get carried away by the chickens and buy more than you expect… …especially when you see chickens!
We’ve bought too many chickens this way in the past because they were too cute to turn down. So we bought a package – they don’t take up a lot of space, do they? Until they grow up! I think you’ve got it?
If you have any idea how many chickens or chickens you would like to buy, please leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you! Thank you for coming.
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