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  #1  
Old 04/05/10, 09:27 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Georgia
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How many Chickens for 2 Dozen Eggs per week

My family currently eats 2 dozen eggs per week. I am working on building a coop and run so I can get some good laying hens, and am not sure how big I should make the coop because I'm not sure how many chickens I will need to get 2 dozen eggs per week.

I am thinking 5, but am not sure if this will be enough. I'd rather have too many than not enough.

Could someone help me determine how many chickens I should get, and also let me know how many nesting boxes I should build for them? Once I know this, I'll know better how big to make the coop and run. The coop is being made from salvaged materials from a BBQ house that is falling down, it's about 20 feet by 10 feet, and I am thinking I can get a 10 foot by 10 foot coop and some good nesting boxes made from the wood that's not rotted away. But I don't know if this would be big enough, if it's not, I do have an old log cabin with good flooring I can salvage more boards from but I hate to go tear it down yet if I don't need the wood yet.

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  #2  
Old 04/05/10, 09:43 AM
Rocktown Gal's Avatar  
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If you have 4 hens that lay, then you should get 28 eggs a week. It is better to have a few more just in case.

As for the nesting boxes...3 - 5 hens will use the same box. All my hens seem to use the same box and I have about 15 hens in that one house.

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  #3  
Old 04/05/10, 10:06 AM
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LOL, I had 3 hens, all different breeds, and I was overrun with eggs! They all laid EVERY day; I only had 2 eggs maybe once every 3 weeks (they would rotate their "days off")

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  #4  
Old 04/05/10, 10:12 AM
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It depends on the breed of chicken. Heavier hens usually don't lay as well as Leghorns. Sex-link hens are usually pretty good layers. Most hens lay every other day.

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  #5  
Old 04/05/10, 10:15 AM
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Location: Missouri
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Sex-links are great for consistant eggs. I have 7layers right now and I get 7eggs probably 5-6 days of the week.

A good guide for coop space is 4square feet min. per bird of indoor space to reduce pecking and over crowding

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  #6  
Old 04/05/10, 11:32 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Georgia
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Thank you everyone for the help!

I found a guy via Craigslist that has Rhode island reds and bantams already laying. Which would be the better breed? He has 4 bantams and 10 reds, or should I look for something else?

I was thinking the reds, but only because that is what my grandmother used to raise and she always had plenty of eggs, but then again she always had 20 or more chickens in her coop.

So maybe 7 chickens, and at 4 square feet per chicken, this would make 24 square feet for the coop? I'm not very good with math, a 10 by 10 coop is 100 square feet? So if I had a coop that was 5 by 5 it would be 25 square feet, and this would be big enough for the seven chickens, with say 3 nesting boxes? The log cabin has a wooden ladder in it that will be used for the perch, so if I build an 8 by 8 coop (the ladder is 9 feet tall, this would allow it to angle out a foot or so for them to climb up easily), this is big enough for the perch and 7 chickens with room to spare?

I'm sorry I am not very good with math at all, I am not sure if my calculations are right or not.

Also I am clueless about sex-links, heavier hens, leghorns etc. I don't know what all that means, I just know my grandmother raised rhode island reds, for eggs and cooking, and the guy at the feed store is very helpful when it comes to selecting feed and our vet makes housecalls if needed. I'm trying to read the forums to learn as much as I can, I can build anything, I can milk goats and cows, I can slaughter chickens, pigs, fish, deer etc., but I am clueless about actually raising farm animals. Everything I have learned, has been when I have helped others with their own farm tasks in return for free fresh food, seeds, plants, tractor repairs etc (I barter a lot). My mom slaughters 2 pigs once a year and I help her with that in exchange for a ham, but some of the people I help, like her, their environments for their animals, although they are sufficient for raising....well I wish to be a bit more humane about where my animals live.

My husband laughs at me sometimes, I can do everything one needs to do when it comes to running a farm, I can plow, put in posts, build a barn......but once I get the manual labor tasks done, I am clueless. This is the year I go from just gardening to actually raising some farm animals, but now that I am ready to actually build for MY animals instead of others animals......well, no need for a huge barn with a huge fenced in area when I plan to start with just a pig or two, a few goats and some chickens. I can add later, but I don't want to spend 2 more years building a barn lol.

Again thank you for the help! I now know better where to start on the coop, and hope to have it and my pig pen completed this week.

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  #7  
Old 04/05/10, 11:48 AM
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I would choose RR over Banties. Our Banties are so flighty, you can hardly get near them. Make sure that you are getting young hens. Hens start laying at about six months. Many people sell year-old hens. These still make good layers. Hens two years and over won't lay nearly as well and start having health problems. Check out the hatcheries online for descriptions of sex-links. There are several kinds.

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  #8  
Old 04/05/10, 11:52 AM
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Location: Missouri
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Sex-link chickens are crossbreeds that you can tell the sex by coloring at point of hatch. They are known for being middle weight, good feed to egg ratio, pretty good temperament.
Leghorns are what the grocery store white eggs come from. They are birds that eat less, are good with confinement, and lay tons of eggs.
Rhode Island Reds are pretty good birds. I haven't personally had them but my parents had them at one time, and they were nice birds.
Banties can be good birds, You do have to socialize them early and handle them lots. When my mom was growing up she had a banty hen that would ride on her bicycle handbars, and would sit on her shoulder anytime she was home. She had a major dislike for banty roosters though.

I would angle the roost ladder a little bit more.

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  #9  
Old 04/05/10, 12:06 PM
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I would choose the RIR as that is what I have. I also have golden comets and and cochrins. They are all great layers for me.

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  #10  
Old 04/05/10, 12:25 PM
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RIR will give you large eggs, almost daily per hen. The banties will give you small eggs.

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  #11  
Old 04/05/10, 12:26 PM
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Buy 5 RIRs and you should easily have your 2 dozen weekly except when they moult. (Keep a spare carton or 2 of backups in your fridge if you have the room and use the oldest 1st; you will never eat an egg not fresher than what you can buy.)

I love my talkative little Leghorn; she's averaging 6.5 eggs a week. I never expected more than 3 eggs a week from my other 2 mutts (EEer and Maran mixes) but they're up to 4.5 each which means I about 16+ weekly from 3. They get 16% feed and range by choice; I suspect their "home life" contributes to their output.

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  #12  
Old 04/05/10, 12:54 PM
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I got 6 sex link pullets august of last year, they started laying exactly at 18 weeks was getting 5-6 pullet eggs a day, then winter hit and was getting 4-5 eggs a day, am now back up to 6 eggs a day. Am hoping when first molt hits the chicks I got will have started laying by that time. I have so many extra eggs that people are buying some from me at work. Now I have no extra eggs (my excuse for getting more chickens)

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  #13  
Old 04/05/10, 01:35 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Georgia
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Thank you again for the help everyone, I will go with the 5 reds and keep looking on craigslist to see if I can find 2 or 3 leghorns.

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  #14  
Old 04/05/10, 02:58 PM
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Location: Eastern WA
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When you build your coop, build it bigger than you need. It will be easier to keep clean and when you just HAVE to have a few more chickens, you'll have room without having to build another coop!

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  #15  
Old 04/05/10, 10:22 PM
Katie
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Twining, Mi.
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You could always try ducks instead of chickens. I have 4 ducks & 1 drake & get an egg everyday from each duck since end of January without any heat or artificial light. We love our ducks, very comical to watch too.
Actually just got 3 more ducklings but these won't be as heavy of layers as what I have already.

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  #16  
Old 04/05/10, 11:47 PM
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Location: Washington
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Yep. RIR's would be my choice. We have banties (which kinda means a dwarfed version of one breed or another, though some breeds are simply smaller), and they do lay smaller eggs, about the size of a healthy stone, but not near as big as a standard breed. Feathersite lists and shows all the different breeds there are to choose from, including leghorns, RIR's, Sexlinks and many more. You could familiarize with the many breeds there - though in time, after you've become a chicken collector like the rest of us, you may regret your ever wandered over!

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  #17  
Old 04/06/10, 07:54 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: SW Michigan
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I, myself, think I'd go with 6 RIR to begin with- next year get 6 more- the next year get 6 more, and send the original 6 to freezer camp! In other words, rotate 6 birds out every year- that way you'll have some established birds, and some learners. I'd go with a 10'x10' coop, 3 or 4 nest boxes 24" off the floor, use your ladder as a roost bar across 1 wall off the coop. Whatever you do, just have fun, it's not rocket science!

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  #18  
Old 04/06/10, 10:45 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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id get all 10 rir chickens but thats just me i like to have more cause you know once you start getting fresh eggs you will eat more than the store ones at least i eat more of my fresh eggs than i use to eat store eggs i use about 6 eggs a day just for breakfast just for myself

and as for mine i have nice 15 hole nesting box but they would rather lay there eggs on the side of the building in each corner but when i put straw in the box they all seem to go in to it and pull out the straw and then dont even go back to it lol stupid chickens but its ok cause they dont really mess with the eggs on the ground

10 chickens can use one box some times more i had 40 chickens and 5 nesting boxes and they would all try to lay in 1 box

but ya just have fun with it and learn as you go there chickens they really only need feed water and a place to sleep at night and they will be fine i know lots of people just leave then free range and if you do that you dont really need to feed them much if any

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  #19  
Old 04/06/10, 02:40 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Georgia
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Again thank you for the help everyone. I will be going to pick up the reds this week once the coop is completed, and I have also found a place to get 2 week old chicks for just 1.99 each.

I already have a rabbit hutch that I built hoping to have rabbits, but since I have not found any rabbits yet, could the chicks be raised in the hutch until they are old enough for the coop?

As for ducks, we do have a pond, and ducks would be great to have just for the kids to enjoy as playpets, but I don't want to jump in over my head. This year we are trying for one or two pigs (I completed the pig pen this morning WOOT) the chickens, and hopefully 2 milk goats but one farmer told me to wait until fall for goats, when the prices go down.

I want to also raise quail, I have a wooden building for them to reside in already. The wooden building would make a great chicken coop but my husband doesn't want them too close to the house, and the building is about 20 feet from the house. He also says the chickens would ruin the building, but in my mind, the building would make a GREAT coop, it already has shelves that are just the right size for nesting boxes. But he did agree to let me cage quail in it, so I will be getting quail eventually also.

I also have a greenhouse (12 by 10) that I use to put some of my potted yard plants in during the cooler season, it also would make a great coop if it weren't so hot here, it's right beside a magnolia tree so I could make them a huge and safe run using poultry netting and bird netting but my husband said the greenhouse would get too hot for the chickens, even with door and windows left open (it does have electricity and a fan in one of the windows). The greenhouse I could use, but I wouldn't want my chickens to get too hot and die, so that's why I am building the coop from scratch.

If there were a way to make the greenhouse safe for chickens, I would MUCH rather use it so I could get many more chickens than just 5, people around here are always looking for fresh eggs and they'd be great for bartering for veggies. Right now I just store my gardening tools in it, and move about 5 or 6 plants in the winter....it was my MILs and we inherited it when she passed away, but it basically sits unused for the most part. The tools could be easily moved to the wooden building and the plants could easily come into the house when it gets too cold for them.

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  #20  
Old 04/06/10, 03:49 PM
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Location: West Texas
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I have 13 barred rocks (not sure if they are all consistent layers, old girls) & 9 silver laced wyndottes (great layers) & im getting at least an 18 pk a day from them.

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  #21  
Old 04/06/10, 04:41 PM
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You can never have enough chickens!!! You will learn this very quickly. Personally I love the red sex-links, barred rocks, cuckoo marans -woosiest rooster I've ever seen , black australorps and buff orpingtons. These all lay pretty brown eggs and are very friendly. I have a few white leghorns and they are laying machines. These are NOT friendly birds that run up to you for treats and lovings. They will always run away, no matter how much you try to tame them down. I don't think I've ever even heard of an outright friendly leghorn. I have them cuz they are laying machines and will start breeding them next year for people who don't care if their bird is friendly or not.

I definitely think you should try a couple black australorps- pretty, friendly, and are known for laying all year long without artificial light in the winter. I get almost an egg a day from mine.

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  #22  
Old 04/06/10, 04:58 PM
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These are NOT friendly birds that run up to you for treats and lovings. They will always run away, no matter how much you try to tame them down. I don't think I've ever even heard of an outright friendly leghorn.
The Leghorns I raised from chicks as a child were very calm. Which is 1 reason I wanted Leghorns now. When this one sees me coming out to the barn, she's the 1st running to me--yakking all the way. I didn't raise her but she's very friendly--probably my friendliest.
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  #23  
Old 04/06/10, 05:30 PM
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very cool katydidagain. I'm glad to know that there are some friendly ones out there. Hopefully I'll get some friendly ones this year from the school hatch.

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  #24  
Old 04/06/10, 08:49 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Georgia
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Well I went to get the chickens tonight, and what I have for starters are 3 reds, 1 silkie and a chick that is 6 weeks old.

My husband forgot to leave me more cash to buy 5 to 7 reds so I was only able to buy 3 reds tonight, and I will be going back to buy more this weekend.

The silkie, well my 16 year old daughter fell in love with the silkies and although these belonged to the mans wife, and weren't technically for sale, she sold a silkie to my daughter for 15.

The chick, I don't know what kind it is, the guy gave it to my 9 year old daughter for free, because she fell in love with his chicks lol. He told me the name of it but I forgot it, he said it will look like a "web" when it grows up, and Marcia has named it webs. The silkie is named Snow, and my 5 year old named one of the reds Taylor.

I will say these chickens look EXTREMELY healthy, they are super duper fat, with no missing feathers and no gunk around the eyes. The chickens my grandmother raised were scrawny, with lots of missing feathers, so I was expecting these to be a bit scruffy too. They are not scruffy, they are actually beautiful!

My mom and step-dad is coming down tomorrow to visit and so they can check out my pig pen and see if I built it correctly. He's going to help me build a temporary 8 foot by 4 foot chicken tractor for the three reds to house in until I can get the coop finished. Rightr now the 3 reds are in my rabbit hutch, but I'll have their tractor done by tomorrow evening.

The silkie is in a poultry transport cage I found at the salvation army last year, she will move to the hutch when the tractor is done. The chick is in a 10 gallon aquarium and will move to the transport cage tomorrow.

Then I will finish the coop and let the silkie have the tractor and the chick the hutch.

I wasn't planning to get 3 types of chickens, and technically the silkie and chick are the kids lol. My oldest is anxious to get on ebay now so she can find a harness for her silkie so she can walk it on a lease......I do not even know if such a thing exists but she says she's seen a movie where a chicken was on a lease??????

The children are very excited to have the chickens, and me, I am very excited to hopefully have fresh eggs soon!

The guy who I purchased the chickens from, his coops are a simple design yet had everything in place to protect from predators. His coops are side by side, each are 8 foot by 20 foot, and holds a lot of chickens. I think I may go with his design, he let me take photos with my cell phone to show my husband, and it'll be much easier to build than a chicken house would be. Basically his coops are 8 by 20 boxes, with the back section enclosed with tin on top, boards on sides, nesting boxes on left side, perch on right and a hanging feeder hanging in the middle. This is large enough for 40 chickens, and although I do not plan to get 40 chickens this year, it will give room to grow. And I love the way additional coops can be built right onto the first, so that I can expand easily if I ever find some leghorns.

For now I am happy to have some chickens, and I do hope to buy a few more this weekend. And I am extremely happy to see my oldest getting into "farming". She hates the outdoors, and would rather stay inside and read a book, she never gets excited about animals and she NEVER spends her money on anything other than books or for trips to the mall. For her to foot the payment for a chicken is amazing, she absolutely fell in love with the silkies, her reaction to the reds were "ewwwww mama why do you want those" lol.

Right now I am trying to explain why the chick and silkie can't come indoors....they are caged in the shop with windows open right now (to keep cats from stressing them) my kids want them as house pets lol. I'll get some photos of them tomorrow, the silkie is a funny lil creature. It's funny looking, and all the way home it kept making a noise that had me laughing so hard I was in tears, it's a trip lol.

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  #25  
Old 04/06/10, 09:16 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Western NC
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Originally Posted by MariaW View Post
The guy who I purchased the chickens from, his coops are a simple design yet had everything in place to protect from predators. His coops are side by side, each are 8 foot by 20 foot, and holds a lot of chickens. I think I may go with his design, he let me take photos with my cell phone to show my husband, and it'll be much easier to build than a chicken house would be. Basically his coops are 8 by 20 boxes, with the back section enclosed with tin on top, boards on sides, nesting boxes on left side, perch on right and a hanging feeder hanging in the middle. This is large enough for 40 chickens, and although I do not plan to get 40 chickens this year, it will give room to grow. And I love the way additional coops can be built right onto the first, so that I can expand easily if I ever find some leghorns.
That's the same idea I have started for ours. Its just a bit smaller for less chickens. I've got them in but still working on the final roof (just got a tarp/plastic now) and I've got a few more boards to finish on the back.

Mine is in the best "sunny" spot we have so I've notice these nice hot days we've got that I need to make some kind of shade, they are all hugging the back wall to get shade in later afternoon.
The one thing I've done wrong in my design is my door. I need to make the door bottom higher off the ground and put a board under and inside to keep the bedding from pushing against the door, sometimes allowing it to not shut all the way...

good luck...

btw mine is 12x8 and 7 ft tall on high end
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  #26  
Old 04/06/10, 10:39 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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some one got bit by the chicken bug lol only talking about getting 5 or 6 for eggs now wanting to get more dont worry happens to most people on here i started out with 6 when i was like 12 or 13 from tsc that dad paid for and before long i got more and more and more just got rid of 60 in march now i dont have very many

getting 50 meat birds tomorrow and then going to put in an order for 100 more so far im getting 25 RIR 25 easter eggers and 25 barrel rocks and 25 white leghorns and before winter get rid of the ones i have now

good luck you might want to start going to hatchery web sites and check out some other breeds lol but most of them you need to buy 25 to have them ship them but meyers hatchery has a small order but shipping is more money

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