Survivalist Forum banner

Roughly how many chooks do you think I need?

  • 10-20

    Votes: 9 8.7%
  • 20-30

    Votes: 6 5.8%
  • 30-40

    Votes: 6 5.8%
  • 40-50

    Votes: 7 6.8%
  • 50-60

    Votes: 2 1.9%
  • 60-70

    Votes: 1 1.0%
  • 80-90

    Votes: 1 1.0%
  • 90-100

    Votes: 4 3.9%
  • 100+

    Votes: 17 16.5%
  • No freaking idea but you want to vote anyway

    Votes: 50 48.5%
1 - 20 of 69 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any chook farmers out there know how many Hens/Roosters do I need to eat 2 per week indefinitely? (ie, so they can breed around 100 new chooks a year plus how ever many are required to keep as future breeders)

I expect different breeds may be different numbers, so lets assume Rhode Island Red (an egg laying breed).

Any other replies for other breeds are of course welcome though!
 

·
Blessed
Joined
·
648 Posts
Well, I have approx. 25 hens that includes several breeds along with about 4 Roosters (3 more than I need but they were given to me). I get on average a dozen eggs a day. I also have 3 ducks that are laying about 2 eggs a day. If push comes to shove, I will eat the roosters, hens are tough meat.

I also have 7 rooster chicks that came with my guinea chicks to keep them warm in transit. Those are free to anyone that wants to come and get them and finish raising them to 6 months (the best time to kill a rooster for eating purposes).

Suzanne
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Well, my chickens lay about 5 eggs a week - if you had a rooster, all of those eggs could potentially hatch and be your feeder chickens.

So, a good broiler breed matures in 10 weeks - if you started saving and incubating your eggs now, in 10 weeks, you could start "harvesting" your chickens for meat.

I would say 2 roosters, and 10 chickens would be FAR more than enough - that would be 30 eggs for eating each week, and 10 for hatching. So, after your initial 10 week waiting period is over, with 10 chickens you could be eating 30 eggs and 10 chickens per week.

Make sense?

I usually get about a 70% hatch rate, so it might be more like 7 a week to eat, realistically. But that's still more than 2!:)

So, long answer to a short question - not that many! Really, a rooster or two and 5 chickens would do it, but if you have the space I'd go with 2 roosters and 10 chickens. You can always dehydrate the extra eggs, too!:thumb:


Any chook farmers out there know how many Hens/Roosters do I need to eat 2 per week indefinitely? (ie, so they can breed around 100 new chooks a year plus how ever many are required to keep as future breeders)

I expect different breeds may be different numbers, so lets assume Rhode Island Red (an egg laying breed).

Any other replies for other breeds are of course welcome though!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Oh, also, try some heritage chicken breeds! There are way more out there than just Rhode Island Reds - Americauna's are great birds, very quiet and well-tempered, and Barred Rocks are beautiful and are wonderful broody hens. Here's a link to the Livestock Conservancy group: http://albc-usa.org/cpl/wtchlist.html - I think it's great to keep the old breeds alive

Sorry, that got a little off topic
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,023 Posts
Well I have a variation from 12 to 130 lol...

Anyone else got any numbers for me?
The most chichens I have EVER raised was about 15 just for eggs, my kids had eggs fights we had so many.:)

Seriously...ask Crutch, he's a chicken expert

(PS, don't tell him I sent you, we DO NOT get along at all)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh, also, try some heritage chicken breeds! There are way more out there than just Rhode Island Reds - Americauna's are great birds, very quiet and well-tempered, and Barred Rocks are beautiful and are wonderful broody hens. Here's a link to the Livestock Conservancy group: http://albc-usa.org/cpl/wtchlist.html - I think it's great to keep the old breeds alive

Sorry, that got a little off topic
Ta, I'm saying rhode island red because that what we have at the moment, and thats what the local chook farm has (and they sell their old chooks for like $1 each..)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Coyotes? Dogs? Foxes? Two legged predators? Storms? Pecking problems?
Allow plenty for the unexpected.
Currently our chooks are kept in an enclosure that limits the risks from dogs and foxes.

Never had any die from a storm, we dont get particularly severe storms around here.

Do have the occasional pecking problem...
 

·
member
Joined
·
231 Posts
I think folks are off track here from the OP's question. How many initial and ongoing chickens would it take to eat 104 chickens per year, counting breeding time, laying time and hatching time and optimal eating time. Eating eggs are a benefit but the actual eating of the birds are what I'm wondering about.

I know squat about chickens but am considering and would like to know how many I would need to have now to eat 2 a week should it fall apart in a month or two.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
Some things to think about.
An egg will hatch in 21 days.
You definitely need to hatch in batches or they will not get along. You will want to do all your processing at the same time due to the setup and so forth.
Two batches a year would be fine but you may think 3 or even 4 would be better.
Your talking roughly 100 birds.
Hatch extras because you will lose several for different reasons and it never hurts to give some away as long as you don't feed them too long (day old chicks maybe).
Winter is very hard on new chicks. Prepare for heating them usually.
What will you do with extra eggs?
The MAIN concern is what they will eat and how much free-grazing they will have. More free-grazing is great but up your loss to hawks, dogs, foxes, etc..
I expect that 10 hens and two roosters should meet your needs but it will take some planning. 1 rooster will get the job done but if something happens to him you will need to replace him quickly. This is usually not hard to do.
This is considering your common dual-purpose bird. Special hatchery meat birds will mature much faster but they will eat you out of house and home.
Already commercial feed prices are out the roof and you can be sure they will get much worse.
Best scenario if you don't want to incubate your own eggs is to have a few good broody hens that do that for you. But remember that they quit laying when they go broody and sometimes it's hard to get them started back so figure a couple months out of egg service on the average.
It takes a little over 6 months for a hen to mature to egg laying size, sometimes more, depending on the type bird and the weather.
You do NOT have to have a rooster to get an egg but you do have to have a rooster to get a chick. (lots of folks don't know that)
It usually works best to have a single breed for a couple of reasons.
Everything you ever wanted to know about chickens can be found here. http://www.backyardchickens.com/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,497 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Some things to think about.
An egg will hatch in 21 days.

Thanks, didnt know that :)

You definitely need to hatch in batches or they will not get along. You will want to do all your processing at the same time due to the setup and so forth.

I dont want to do all my processing at the same time, as i'm assuming some kind of scenario with minimal power to store (refrigerate) the meat. I would process individually on the day.

Two batches a year would be fine but you may think 3 or even 4 would be better.

How many can a chook do before they become strained?

Your talking roughly 100 birds.
Hatch extras because you will lose several for different reasons and it never hurts to give some away as long as you don't feed them too long (day old chicks maybe).
Winter is very hard on new chicks. Prepare for heating them usually.

Winter isnt that bad in my AO fortunately :)

What will you do with extra eggs?

Good question, and no idea. Worst comes to worst I could just throw them out, but i know thats wasting the chook food the chooks used to create it. Maybe it would be a better idea to get some meat chooks and some egg chooks? or do meat chooks still lay eggs?


The MAIN concern is what they will eat and how much free-grazing they will have. More free-grazing is great but up your loss to hawks, dogs, foxes, etc..

The few we have at the moment are pretty much free range, and they get locked up into their pen at night. We do have foxes, but not many hawks. They are fed chook food as well though.

I expect that 10 hens and two roosters should meet your needs but it will take some planning. 1 rooster will get the job done but if something happens to him you will need to replace him quickly. This is usually not hard to do.
This is considering your common dual-purpose bird. Special hatchery meat birds will mature much faster but they will eat you out of house and home.
Already commercial feed prices are out the roof and you can be sure they will get much worse.
Best scenario if you don't want to incubate your own eggs is to have a few good broody hens that do that for you. But remember that they quit laying when they go broody and sometimes it's hard to get them started back so figure a couple months out of egg service on the average.

Will they all go broody at the same time leaving me with 0 eggs for a while? or will some go here and some go there? (assuming I have a variety of ages)

It takes a little over 6 months for a hen to mature to egg laying size, sometimes more, depending on the type bird and the weather.
You do NOT have to have a rooster to get an egg but you do have to have a rooster to get a chick. (lots of folks don't know that)
It usually works best to have a single breed for a couple of reasons.
Everything you ever wanted to know about chickens can be found here. http://www.backyardchickens.com/
Glad this old thread got dug up :)

See my above replies in bold..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
272 Posts
After reading all the posts I think if I were in your shoes here is what I'd do.
I'd catch the next sale on chickens or find a local farmer and I would stock my freezer for the next three to six months. I would can another three months supply. And I would buy roughly 30-50 birds to raise planning to butcher all but a dozen or so in six to eight months (since you are talking Rhodies). It's spring and they should do well on through the summer meaning you would have your layers coming on right at winter.
With a little light on short days and a fair amount of protection from wind and cold you should be pretty close to what you want, I think.
 
1 - 20 of 69 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top