What are the best types of chickens for our goals? For lighter breeds, like the White Leghorn, chickens that are allowed to forage outside during the day should have at least 3 square feet per bird, so a 4′ x 8′ coop could house 10-11 birds. I’ve varied from three to thirty birds, and I’ve found my personal favorite flock size is about five or six. This is my fifth year . One meat chicken will eat about 15 pounds of food in the course of their life (about 12 weeks), so hopefully that will help you plan ahead as you estimate how much chicken feed you’ll need. Once they have access to greens, they also need grit. They are social creatures, and don’t do well alone. The whole chicken will make about 3 cups of chicken- this is about 2 cups of white meat and 1 cups of dark meat. So, if you prefer white eggs, they are not for you. Older hens that have stopped laying aren’t very tender though. The second major consideration is how much space you have for your chickens. By adding a few chickens at a time you can find the ideal flock size is for your personal circumstances. A homesteader who works full time doesn’t necessarily want to spend their weekend mucking out a large chicken coop. His flock was quite old and on the way to freezer camp, so he sold us five old layers which in the end he did not charge us for. So, let’s say the average is 6 grams. However, in some states, you can sell whole chickens directly to restaurants if your poultry operation is small enough in scale. It's possible to make money with chickens even if you only have a small flock. Different breeds of chickens lay different amounts of eggs over the course of a year. Thank you. That being said you will need to get 40 fertilized eggs you hatch or 24 chicks you raise to maturity for the next round after you slaughter the first round. Are the numbers viable? It was in 1869 that D.A. In general the heavier laying breeds will also make decent meat birds. Ultimately, ... Good layers and good meat. The first consideration is your location. I am living in Panama and have started raising chickens for the meat. Maybe about 10 chickens? Almost a year since I’ve lost any! Starting an egg business? Are chickens that are considered good layers best for eating when it comes that time. The owner of this website, BackyardChickenChatter.com, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking BackyardChickenChatter.com Review to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com This occurs at no extra cost to you, and we appreciate your support. After that, he selectively bred the resulting chickens for barred plumage and legs that had no feathers at all, also called clean legs. Raising chickens in the backyard can not only be a lot of fun but can also help a person to earn a bit of extra money on the side. Below is the protein content of different cuts of chicken: So, let’s say our average chicken can provide 170 grams of protein, divided by 4 people, it’s 42.5 grams of protein per person. Updated: April 14, 2020. One meat chicken will eat about 15 pounds of food in the course of their life (about 12 weeks), so hopefully that will help you plan ahead as you estimate how much chicken feed you’ll need. My hope is that by the end of this post, you’ll have a very good understanding of what you are getting into and I hope it will make it easier and more enjoyable for you since there is really a lot of value in growing your own meat. The space needed by chickens depends on whether it’s free-range or … I am hoping one of the buffs is a rooster. Daniel Nebdal made a great, right answer. It is critical for meat chickens to continue to get a high quality feed, so consider the grass as a supplement. This is a great article, it’s been really helpful. In total, that works out to 1 hen The only major difference is their feather colors. If you want to achieve a steady supply for your family (and probably sell the rest), then raising them in a cage or coop is much easier and affordable. All 38 unique nutrients meat birds need each day at the proper levels are included in the bag, no need to supplement. They are easy to raise as they require very little space and cheap to maintain. If you use the spiral mating system you can get started in the first year with as few as three hens and three roosters, but obviously you numbers will fluctuate during different times of the year. Some producers prefer to raise only pullet chicks (females). Click here for information on reviews, sponsored posts, and contact information. Also, pretty decent egg production with 150 eggs per year. For chicks shipped through the mail, however, a minimum order of 25 chicks is typically required. There’s room for a couple extra in your coop, right? Check out this post for some suggestions on where to purchase them: https://farmingmybackyard.com/buy-chicks/. I don't track this as well as I should, but I would guess that our family of four eats about 10-12 pounds of meat per week. They prefer space to roam, rather than confinement, although sometimes they need to be confined. A recommended choice for both commercial meat businesses and backyard chicken growers. When raising our backyard chickens as the food supplier for our family, we have two main methods: caged (using chicken coop) or free-range. You can purchase these from your local farm store or you can order them online and have them shipped to you. Every year we raise a years supply of meat chickens to feed our family of 6. At night, they need protection against predators, so they should be kept in a chicken coop or shelter. Now, how many chickens you need for a homestead do you actually need? In this guide, we will answer that question, along with various tips and techniques to ensure success in growing your backyard chicken for meat.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'backyardchickenchatter_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_5',102,'0','0']));eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'backyardchickenchatter_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_6',102,'0','1'])); Thinking of growing your backyard chickens to supply your household? Or you find you’d actually rather have the chickens on the other side of your lot. However, for bulk meat like boneless thighs, we will figure by the pound. Yes, even older chickens who aren’t laying can be great fun to keep around as pets and entertainment. Since as mentioned, we are going to need both the chicken meat and eggs, here we will discuss two different chicken breed types: meat-only (standard), dual-purpose (meat and egg production), and egg-layers. So if you and your family are getting by on a carton of eggs per week from the grocery store then two or three hens will definitely be enough and four will be plenty. So, you have this idea to keep chickens. Chickens that are confined should be given at least 7 1/2 square feet of space, so a 5′ by 10′ coop would be big enough for about 6 chickens. How to Train Chickens to Lay Eggs in the Nest Box? If this is your first time getting chickens I recommend you start with a small flock. However, if you prefer better tastes and/or if you want to raise your chickens in a more humane condition, you can certainly try raising them free-range. Check out our book, Backyard Chickens: How To Have A Happy Flock! Join the free email course and learn how to start gardening (even if you have a black thumb!) However, they grow relatively slow (16-21 weeks harvest time) and need large amounts of food. I am 64 and thinking of raising some meat chickens. There are 3 of us living in the house. I have 12 now and each one has a name! The answer is a sounding yes. There was an error submitting your subscription. I started with six. Older birds lay fewer eggs, which you need to plan around in advance. Just wondering, we want to start out with 3 or 4 chickens, and we are vegan so… is there any way to not get eggs? This way you could keep your 20 chickens. Welcome to our Raising Chickens 101 Guide, a series of chapters especially geared to helping beginners! Expensive and relatively small, only up to 7 pounds and take 16-20 weeks before you can harvest the meat. A broiler chicken should be fed high protein complete feed. Tips When Raising Chickens For the Freezer. In those few weeks of raising meat chickens, we … For backyard chickens, you can feed them with supplemental foods including leftovers to supplement commercial pellets and reduce costs. In my city you can have three hens without a permit, and more birds with a permit. So, you have this idea to keep chickens. S o you’ve decided to keep chickens in the backyard. In some cases, you might find that you need to raise 50, 100, or even 200 chickens in … And that doesn’t lessen as they get older. 10. It can be a good idea to replace 1/3 to 1/2 of your flock each year, so you keep a range of ages and maintain a healthy flock structure. I'd like to receive the free email course. Many states require that meat chickens be processed in a USDA-approved facility in order to legally be sold to the public. Purina ® Meat Bird Feed with 22 percent protein contains targeted amino acids to support rapid growth and help broiler chickens reach market weight efficiently. By choosing the right breeds for your area and marketing them correctly, you can make up to $250 a week from your flock. I have done hours upon hours of research and made a final decision that I would like to raise chickens. If you are going to sell your meat and eggs, there is an increasing demand for meat and eggs that are free-range, since there are growing concerns about living conditions in battery coops. If you want one type for both purposes go with a large, heritage breed. You can also purchase a rotisserie chicken to use in your recipe. 2. How many chickens do I need for my family? It’s easy to put together a cheap and basic chicken coop for three hens. Unless you’re brooding chicks, you don’t need to keep a coop toasty warm, but I do suggest keeping your coop around 40° F. So if you want your birds to produce through the winter (in cold climates specifically), keep your coop’s temperature within your chicken’s comfort zone for best results and happy hens. Again, white and brown leghorns are similar except for their feather colors. The males can reach 6 lbs in 16 weeks, and their meat is decent in both taste and tenderness. Where you get your chicks from is your decision – but know that the type of bi… They will teach you a new way of life, and you will be happy and laughing for the rest of your life! Everyday First Aid for Backyard Chickens! Is there a chicken with a good temperament that is considered a good layer for it’s duration as a layer “and” good eating after it’s laying term? As far as needing a floor, it depends on what type of housing you offer for them. Portable eggmobile. Or maybe you already have a flock. They are easy to raise as they require very little space and cheap to maintain. If you are raising your own breeding stock, you will need to include roosters in your flock. The general rule of thumb is to get 2 chickens … Anyway, I picked up a case of chickens from Sam's, it weighed about 57 lbs.. We are getting 2 silkies, and 4 buff orpingtons. Simply because they can reach 12 pounds of weight in just 6 to 8 weeks. Chickens are perfect for a sustainable homestead. If your chickens’ coop is crowded, they won’t lay eggs. I had roughly 20 lbs. The question is, how many chickens do I need to feed a family of 4? The average adult needs 50 to 60 grams of protein and 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day to maintain their weight and health. (Roughly) 11 pounds per week x 52 weeks per year = 572 pounds of meat per year. Remember also, that most vaccines come with warning labels advising to not butcher poultry that have just received shots (they tell you to wait anywhere from 15 to 60 days) – not ideal for meat birds. The good news is, many people keep their own chickens and have successfully supplied their families with meat and eggs. And you find yourself wondering, how many chickens do I need, anyway? What they are famous for, however, is that both their meat and eggs are high-quality. But if there is going to be other food there, you probably don't need that much. Because we choose to raise our meat chickens GMO, soy, and corn-free, we purchase our feed from Blue Sky Organics, through my local co-op here in Phoenix. Meat chickens generally do not need a roost, and the Cornish cross broilers are so heavy in the breast meat that roosting will be difficult for them. So, it might prevent behaviors like nesting and dust-bathing, Physically caged chickens are weaker with reduced bone strength. Many factors are going to come into play when deciding how many chickens you should get for eggs. 4 x good laying hens have the potential to produce over 2 dozen eggs per week. Did I do that right? However, one should learn a bit about chickens and find out what he or she is getting into before investing in chickens. There are many many farmers who don't feed their chickens an oz of grain and their dressing out weight at 16 months is between 4 and 7 pounds. Most likely, you will buy your chickens as day-old chicks from a … In this guide, we will answer that question, along with various tips and techniques to ensure success in growing your backyard chicken for meat. As a basic rule of thumb you can plan on having three chickens per two members of your household. How many are needed if we eat chicken on a regular basis and use a dozen eggs per week? 5 Common Mistakes a Chicken Owner Should Avoid! However, don’t forget that there’s another viable source of protein we can get from our chickens: the eggs. You can do this too! Hi Kip! Other times, foraging in your garden is best. The eggs are also richer in vitamins A and E. Extra exercises will mean the chickens are less aggressive and prevent destructive behaviors produced by stress and boredom like being aggressive to each other, feather picking, and playing with their food, Your chickens will be more vulnerable to natural predators like stray dogs and foxes, so might not be a good idea if you live in areas with these animals, They might lose their way and never come back, so you have to install fences and/or other parameters around the areas they can wander. Meaning, this family of four will need 4 chickens every week or 208 chickens every year. It can lay between 250 and 300 eggs per year, so it can easily supply a family of four assuming each member eats 1 egg every day. The resulting birds were shown in Worcester, later that same year and are considered to be the ancestors of the modern Plymouth Rocks. Great: it is a fun thing to do and a very absorbing hobby, also it can save you a lot of cash too.This article will tell you how many chickens you need for your family. Let us discuss the technicalities. Because the fast maturing birds bred to produce meat are ready very quickly. One chicken egg will give us 4.9 grams to 8.2 grams of protein. You can raise three batches of Cornish cross chickens in the time it takes to raise one batch of heritage breed chickens. , What is the breed of the white chickens with black speckled feathers in the picture at the top of this post? They are specifically made for meat chickens. Once you’ve had them for a while you may find that there are certain design features of your coop that you hate. If you want to free range your birds, you will need at least 200 square feet of pasture per bird or they will eat it right down to the dirt. I raised my first batch of meat chickens (also known as broilers) 8 years ago. But one of the first questions you face is how many chickens do you need? Or, if you have decided on how many chickens you want to keep, how much space do they need to eat, drink, sleep, nest and scratch? I had been buying organic chicken whenever possible (which was difficult because our local grocery stores didn’t carry anything of the sort, so it meant a longer trip to a health food store to buy chicken… Unless you’re brooding chicks, you don’t need to keep a coop toasty warm, but I do suggest keeping your coop around 40° F. So if you want your birds to produce through the winter (in cold climates specifically), keep your coop’s temperature within your chicken’s comfort zone for … At absolute minimum, the birds will need 3 square feet of indoor space (including 1 foot of roosting space), and 10 square feet of outdoor space. If, however, you live in an area without too many predators around and you can manage the hygiene and security, it’s going to be worth it. Check out our book, Backyard Chickens: How To Have A Happy Flock! The experience was more educational than I expected. Chickens are similar to pets in that they need care and attention. Congratulations! Now check your email to confirm your subscription. Or you are hoping to breed your own stock. Congratulations! The kids get attached to the birds, so it works for this time in our life. However, you must choose the right breed and also implement proper growing management in place. It’s up to you. It’s much easier to make changes for a small flock and then size up than it is to start with to many birds and realize you’ve gotten in over your head. Build the chicken coop or cage at about 3 sq ft (0.28 m 2) per chicken. However, famous for producing the most delicious meat and also for their tenderness. Leghorns are famous for their egg production quality and can produce 280 eggs a year (so can easily meet the need of a family of four. If you don’t want chickens free-ranging all over your property, you’ll need to build a run to contain them during the day. How much water do they need? It actually depends on a number of factors. She wants to know how many meat birds, that I would want. You can save money at the grocery store without a time intensive garden or committing to raising livestock. So, we have to ensure the “profitability” of this project.eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'backyardchickenchatter_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_4',103,'0','0'])); Let’s assume we have a family of four, each member is going to eat at least one chicken per week. I placed my 10 chicks in my mini-coop, a double-decker structure with roosting bars, nesting boxes, a ladder, and a fully enclosed run.. Until 3 weeks old, the … S o you’ve decided to keep chickens in the backyard. Meaning, this family of four will need 4 chickens every week or 208 chickens every year. As chicken keepers, we want to do an eggcellent job when caring for our feathered friends. The first thing you really should do is research the zoning laws in your area. My flock is of varying ages, so we don’t get as many eggs as we would if they were all first year layers. Instead, look at getting a couple of attractive chickens of an heirloom breed – their lower productivity will work for you, and they’ll make a beautiful and unusual addition to you backyard. One chicken egg will give us 4.9 grams to 8.2 grams of protein. Chickens need shelter from the outdoor weather and predators. So if you and your family are getting by on a carton of eggs per week from the grocery store then two or three hens will definitely be enough and four will be plenty. However, what you need to keep in mind is that you will probably be raising a higher volume of meat chickens than egg layers, so your coop size will need to increase dramatically. Success! With your chickens, lots of variables will play in to how many eggs you will get from them. Purina ® Meat Bird Feed with 22 percent protein contains targeted amino acids to support rapid growth and help broiler chickens reach market weight efficiently. Some people buy new stock every year or two and send the old birds to freezer camp (aka the soup pot). But more is better! And the answer may change for you depending on your goals or management styles. So we are starting small with 6. Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. Eggs from free-range chickens are richer in omega-3 and have less cholesterol than caged eggs. “Caged” chickens refer to any chickens contained in a coop cage without any access to the outdoors, while we can label chickens as “free-range” when they have outdoor access at least some of the time. A decent dual-purpose choice if you want a steady meat and egg production all-year, even during the winter. Raising Meat in Batches. of pulled chicken. All 38 unique nutrients meat birds need each day at the proper levels are included in the bag, no need to supplement. 4 x good laying hens have the potential to produce over 2 dozen eggs per week. Better plan on about nine chickens. Hopefully that will help you plan ahead as you estimate how much chicken feed you’ll need. Use 1.5 pieces boneless chicken breast per person if you are serving other meats and dishes. Keeping chickens is one of the best ways of growing great tasting food. I'm thinking 4 butts, six whole chickens, 12 racks of ribs, and a brisket flat. If you’re going to keep your chickens in their coop and run, you should aim to give a minimum of 2 to 3 square feet per chicken inside the chicken coop, and a minimum of 8 to 10 square feet per chicken in an outside run. Goal: I still can’t bring myself to ever eat one. Just using the breasts or the whole chicken? Processing Time: 16-20 weeks. But yes, some space is still required. 5 of that usually comes in the form of a broiler chicken and the remaining 5-7 pounds is an assortment of beef cuts. It actually depends on a number of factors. Breast: 54 grams of protein, or 31 grams per 100 grams, Thigh: 13.5 grams of protein, or 26 grams per 100 grams, Drumstick: 12.4 grams of protein in one drumstick, or 28.3 grams per 100 grams, Wings: 6.4 grams of protein in one wing, or 30.5 grams per 100 grams, It’s easier to raise caged/coop chicken, the mortality rate of free-range chickens are double that of caged chickens. Set up coops or cages for your chickens. Even freshly hatched chicks will show obvious signs of comfort when in the company of another chick. They don’t require a big, roomy area. How many chickens do you need for your family? Leghorns produce white-colored eggs (even brown leghorns). Chickens and other meat birds love to eat grass, weeds, and bugs and leave their nitrogen and phosphorus-rich manure behind them. Are Chicken Eggs With Blood Spots Safe To Eat? Go with as many birds as you can adequately house! The general rule of thumb is to get 2 chickens … I cooked for some of us at an impromptu "mini-reunion" last year and made pulled pork, chicken and baby backs - it was all well received, especially the pulled pork. Better plan on about nine chickens. Want the best of Farming My Backyard’s chicken wisdom compiled in one easy to access source? Can 16-20 chickens. Please try again. eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'backyardchickenchatter_com-banner-1','ezslot_3',105,'0','0'])); If each family member consumes an egg every day, then that will translate to 28 eggs per week, or 1456 a year. When deciding which chickens to buy, this is something you will want to check for each breed you are considering. However, not recommended if you are aiming to build a commercial meat business. How I make $1,000 a month from just 15 chickens! Even if you have a ton of space you still may not want a huge flock depending on your goals, available time, or diet. And if you have more and can rotate that’s even better too. You are standing in the feed store starting at all the adorable fluffy chicks, wondering how many you should bring home. Comes in below 35* and goes off at 45*. There are a few ways you could go about this. So, is achieving those numbers actually viable in your backyard? One rooster can serve anywhere from two to ten hens. How many eggs do I need per week? Approximate Weight: 7 lbs. A family of six? A flock of about 12 is perfect for me too. In the summer you should keep about 15 egg-laying hens and about 5 roosters. Subscribe for our newsletter and get the free email course Intro To Backyard Chickens as well as a free printable checklist to walk you through step by step! Nice! If you do not want eggs, the ornamental breeds (such as the Sumatra) will lay less often. Dark meat comes from the thighs and drumsticks. My sister has just gotten some meat birds. Therefore, think about how many eggs you currently buy now each week and then simply do the math. We had a friend who had layer chickens, (Comets we think) who always talked to me about his chickens. Raising Meat Chickens Is All About Priorities. I’m assuming your reason for keeping your backyard chicken-besides your passion- is to save a little bit of money. If you don’t go through many eggs, and just want a half-dozen or so per week, I don’t recommend keeping a single chicken. Unfortunately, many of us struggle to handle chicken health or behaviour issues, … Probably around six young laying hens. We cover how to get started raising chickens, chicken breeds, building coops, baby chick care, protecting chickens from predators, collecting eggs, and more. Family of 4 we want to start raising chickens and need some advice. How do they make ground chicken? Location. Updated: April 14, 2020. It takes about 2 pounds of feed to produce 1 pound of body weight on a growing meat-type bird. Buckeye chickens are a great choice if you live in colder climates, for example in the northern U.S. Chickens are social animals, and need to have at least one or two other chickens around. How much feed do chickens need? Commentdocument.getElementById("comment").setAttribute( "id", "abdabab78fbda0586c4daa85f541d009" );document.getElementById("e8cc9fcdcd").setAttribute( "id", "comment" ); Here on Farming My Backyard you can expect advice on simple living, urban homesteading, and living a more eco-friendly life. If you eat chicken once a week you’d need 52 throughout the year. Which breed you select, the age of the birds, climate, lighting, stress, nutrition, coop conditions and such all play a part. You can also purchase a rotisserie chicken to use in your recipe. Three Rare Chicken Breeds You Need To Raise; Are Heritage Meat Chickens The Best? so you can pin it to your Chicken Board!! Or you realize maybe chickens aren’t right for you after all. The first thing you need to know is that raising meat chickens is actually a seasonal thing. We now have a total of 20 birds but I am guessing we have too many … In chicken tractors that are moved daily, a floor is not necessary. Deciding how many chickens you need can vary depending based on a lot of factors. 1 cups of dark meat feed to produce over 2 dozen eggs per year assuming that you be... 15 chickens keep chickens space would they need care and attention of six hens. From 4 to 8 ounces tractors that are considered good layers best for eating and those for eggs! Would be 60-80 square feet, total at a time you can adequately house finding... Must choose the right breed and also for their tenderness scraps, and great if you want one for. Eat grass, weeds, and need less room than regular sized chickens weeks of meat... 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