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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there are posts on raising chickens here and I have looked through them and they have alot of good info but not really what im looking for.

My wife and I have been discussing getting chickens for a while for fresh eggs, it is only myself, my wife, and our one year old in the house. I could give eggs away to family members or even sell them if over run ( and give them to my dog who LOVES eggs )

What do you guys think is a good starting number of pullets to get for a good supply of eggs? we go through about 2 dozen or more eggs per month but I think we would use more if they were overly abundant in the fridge.
 

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depending on the breed plan on getting 3 -5 eggs a week per hen.there are a few hatcheries that will do small orders,mypetchicken and meyer,will do as few as 3 I think but its according to where you are located on what minimum they will ship.they have to ship enough that they can use each others body heat for warmth .You can also get them already sexed so you dont have to get roos that you will have to butcher later.
 

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*** Forgives, I don't
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I have 6 hens and one rooster. Let one be a setting hen (to hatch eggs) You'll want to replenish as the hens age. Chicken and dumplings and/or fried chicken the rest.
 

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born to hold out
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i am currently in the process of starting a flock, i have chosen the dominiker breed of chicken. my reasons are these,it is classified as a homstead breed having been brought over during the early colonization of this country,it has good tollerance to both heat and cold. it is a calm bird and a very good egg layer it also serves well as a meat chicken with hens being between 6-7 pounds. Dont confuse this breed with barred rocks.
As to your question i would have to say space is a factor some say 1 sq ft per bird i allowed 2 and my flock will consist of 8 hens and 1 rooster. the average hen will consume 1 cup of feed per day and in my area a 50lb bag of feed is about 6.00 per bag so im looking at 9 cups per day. the breed i have chosen is renouned for its egg laying ability and i fully expect to recieve at least 4 eggs per day in the winter as long as i can feed them well. thats 120 eggs per month my family, under current conditions will use about 18 eggs per month which leaves me with over a 100 egg surplus to be sold under what you can buy them fo at the store the sale of these eggs will fully feed my flock and give me a cost free food source. In the summer months i fully expect max egg production from these birds. so if space isnt a probem id say between 4 to 8 birds would be a good number. choose your breed carefully, while it may sound crazy even the breed of chicken can be valuable the dominiker breed is not a commonly raised breed and fetches a preimum price over 2 dollars a chick. it may be feasable to hatch my own and sell them for a profit.That was my goal when i started my flock was to make it self supporting and i wont have any problem selling the eggs........good luck
 

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Bleach blonde on fire :p
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RIR are good layers we had 3 starting out for 4 people (2 adults and 2 kids) and were rolling in more eggs than we needed (eggs in the morinig every other day). We purchased ours from a local farm, they were 8 months old-but still laying everyday (and still is 2 years and 6 months later). We paid only a $1.00 a piece because they were the farms culls, they regularly do this when they hatch eggs and then don't sell all of the chicks or when they rotate there layers. Starting out with older pullets will help you get the hang of htings before getting little vunerable chicks that die very easily.

Try a local farm instead of a commercial facility, they are usally less "packed" and sell a smaller number of chicks and pullets.

We now have many more (chickens and eggs) than we can use and sell extras to our local community.
 

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I would check out www.backyardchickens forum.lots of info there and they are always willing to help.I started off gonna get just a few laying hens back in may.started out getting white leghorns and had way too many roos that got butchered so then I got a few barred rocks to go with them,Now I have 4 white leghorns,23 barred rocks,24 rhode island reds, 24 jersey giants,and about 20 assorted bantams.these were all straight run.so hope to do some culling asap cuz the feed is killing me.Wish it was just 6 bucks here.layer feed runs me about 12 dollars around here and the start,grower is more than that.But I was planning on doing the same as David and eventually selling eggs and chicks to pay for feed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just spoke with my dad who said his boss is selling 25-30 laying chickens for CHEAP, he said they may even give them to me and they are all good layers. SO it looks like I will start out with a few more chickens than I need but I can always sell eggs to strangers and give eggs to neighbors.
 

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Barred rock are also good birds but my continual favorite is the speckled English Sussex.
Good layers, large heavy bird and very docile. The bird was the favorite of Henry 8th so story goes.

I have about 30 birds and get ten to 12 eggs a day, depending on weather.

I say about because the ***** hit me every so often and the count can go down.......but that then is an excuse to get more.........
 

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I bought 6, 2 month old barred rock pullets from a guy who posted on craigslist. Now that they're all grown up we realized that we have 2 hens and 4 roosters instead of six hens. I'm keeping one of the roosters....the others are going to be dinner.....very, very soon :D:

Caveat emptor
 

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When I had hens a half a dozen, one more one less, provided plenty of eggs. ALSO, the hen seals the egg with a protein coating. If you don't wash the egg it will easily last a month without refrigeration. So they don't all have to go into your frig.

I also like Khaki Campbell ducks for egg laying, they produce more than hens and for a long time. They also do not need a pond.
 

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I have found 6 hens and 1 rooster should be more then enough for what you describe as your needs.

You might consider getting a kit from a hatchery, if you don't want to buy twenty-five at a time.

Murray Mc Murry used to (maybe still do) sell a kit with eggs and a small incubator. You can raise a smaller amount that way.

But buying twenty five (straight run) would allow you to pick the biggest and best looking putting the rest in the freezer.

I like either Rhode Island Reds or Jersey Black Giants.
 

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audentes fortuna iuvat
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My girls

I have 15 chickens, all hens. They are 12 black sex links, a hybrid and two silver laced wyndottes. I get about 12 eggs a day. I feed my doberman two eggs on his dogfood twice a day and he really enjoys them. It makes his coat shiney also. I don't even have to go into the pen and get my feet messy to collect my eggs. :thumb:


 

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The 25 baby chicks I purchased back in July are in their third month of life with no fatalities. Occasionally one of them gets a good scolding from one of the two mature chickens left after the last raccoon raid. Another month and hopefully they'll start laying. Feed is getting expensive-Layena 50 lb is $13.30 and Hen Scratch 50 lb. is $10.75. Once again the DFW area has been pretty dry so the pasture has just about been consumed.
 

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audentes fortuna iuvat
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Heres a few shots of my chicken pen. I redid the outside pen. It was on the front side but when I built my shop off the back of the trailer I still wanted to be able to drive around, plus I wanted to be able to stand up in the wire zone. So I filpped it around and made it bigger as well.

This was the original design and this was my original flock as well. I sold them off after about 8 years when they slacked off laying. That happens when they get old.


This is the new design. I would have done a few things different on hindsight, but thats always the way it is.




 

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audentes fortuna iuvat
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THEDISHDOC

That looks very nice, do you get many eggs from them?
I get 12 -13 a day but I don't think my 2 silver laced wyndottes are laying yet. We sell the eggs for $2.00 a dozen so the chickens are paying for their feed plus some. It's nice for the chicken operation to be free plus some profit. We have all the eggs we need, so many in fact I feed my dog 4 a day with his food. Two in the morning bowl and two in the evening. so they help with the cost of dog food as well. My birds are black sex links and they are very prolific layers for a brown egg laying heavy breed. Actually I bought 50 chicks and raised them up, sold all but thirteen for $10.00 apiece so I ended up with the remaining birds free plus had money to redo the backside of the pen. I had one rooster in the lot (I ordered all pullets) but I traded a guy my rooster that I didn't even want for two of his hens (his were a little younger than mine). (The silver lacced wyndottes) So I actually have almost nothing in the operation but my labor building the pen and as they continue to lay they will actually make me money. I wish I could say the same about my horses. They are NOT profitable. :xeye:
 

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Just use a 2x4
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I would check out www.backyardchickens forum.lots of info there and they are always willing to help.I started off gonna get just a few laying hens back in may.started out getting white leghorns and had way too many roos that got butchered so then I got a few barred rocks to go with them,Now I have 4 white leghorns,23 barred rocks,24 rhode island reds, 24 jersey giants,and about 20 assorted bantams.these were all straight run.so hope to do some culling asap cuz the feed is killing me.Wish it was just 6 bucks here.layer feed runs me about 12 dollars around here and the start,grower is more than that.But I was planning on doing the same as David and eventually selling eggs and chicks to pay for feed.
Backyardchickens.com has TONS of information. I followed your link, and now I'm hooked. LOL
 

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I would follow backyard chickens as well, and I LOVE the pen your made for your birds Thedishdoc... You are welcome to come and help me build mine. Just teasing, the boys and I built mine, and it took about 3 days. Not a easy task since I had no clue how to do it. But it got done and it houses 10 birds in it as we speak. After it was all said and done, I like the way it looks. But during the process it was very hard and frustraiting. You can also get birds on Craigs List, or ask around and the birds will come out of the woodwork so to speak. Have fun and enjoy the new project. Cyn
 
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