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You are Here: Home -> Forums -> General Discussion about Chickens -> New to Chickens for Myself

Topic: New to Chickens for Myself (4 messages)

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New to Chickens for Myself (4 messages)
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This is my first year to raise chickens for myself. I was around them tons as a child as numerous relatives raised laying hens & meat birds, & some still do. Now that I can (meaning I've finally convinced my husband that it's a great idea, even though we're empty-nesters), my biggest question is how many chickens should I start out with for the two of us? ... We're regular breakfast eaters, but usually on the light side (such as a egg & cheese sandwich). I often use eggs in dinner recipes & fresh eggs make for some of my best baked treats (I've been told by my kids) ... Would 15 be too many? Or should I start with 8-10 (as my husband suggests)? ... Any ideas are welcome.
3/29/2017 2:38 AM report abuse

Score: 42
Survived our first winter in Montana. Girls did well even when it got to -22.
If you get 8-10 chickens your friends and neighbors will love you. I have 12 and get 4-5 dozen eggs a week, way more than the 2 of us can eat. Good thing I have friends who love fresh eggs. Just make sure your friends remember to return the cartons.

I will suggest you get 5 or 6 chickens the first year. First year pullets tend to lay through their first winter, however, they take a break at about 18 months old and may not lay for 2 or 3 months during their second winter. So next spring you get another 5 or 6 chickens. Those new pullets will lay through their first winter while the older hens take a break. That way you will have at least some laying all the time. The next spring you need to make a choice. You can process your older hens or you can give them away. They will still be laying okay, but to get eggs the 3rd winter you'll need to get new pullets in the spring again. That way you can keep your hen count to close to a dozen and get eggs year round. Hope this makes sense to you.
3/29/2017 1:51 PM report abuse
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Thank you very much, PATRICES. That is very helpful information & very much exactly what I was looking to receive, words from experienced farmers.

We live in North Central Texas & may or may not have much of a winter. But your info is still insightful & will be taken to heart. Thank you.
3/30/2017 3:41 PM report abuse

Score: 42
Survived our first winter in Montana. Girls did well even when it got to -22.
Winter for chickens is more a matter of hours of sunlight rather than cold temperatures. Ideally chickens lay best when they get 14 hours of daylight.
4/1/2017 1:22 AM report abuse