Deciding on the number of chickens you need for your family can be tricky. This is because many factors like the breed of chickens and the type of need your family has play into it. This article deals with questions like How many chickens do I need for a family of 5? What are the factors I should consider when deciding the number of chickens? And what breeds of chicken are best for me?
What Factors Should You Consider When Calculating the Number of Chickens, You Need?
Before you calculate the number of chickens you need for the consumption of your family, consider the following factors.
- How many eggs do each of your family members eat for a day?
- The current prices and rates of each chicken breed
- Do you want chickens only for eggs or for meat too?
- Which chicken breeds are able to produce eggs all year round and have the best feed conversion rates
- how many chickens is your farm space able to support?
The breed of the chicken you choose is an important factor when calculating how many chickens you need. Some chickens are able to give you a steady supply of eggs all year round. Others are not so dependable. Some chickens are versatile for both eggs and meat, and some are more specific. So choose a breed that suits the type of need your family has.
The Rhode Island Red will lay 4-6 eggs per week, the Sussex will lay 4-5 eggs per week, and the Leghorn will lay 5-7 eggs per week.
Your farm conditions, the health of the chickens and the diet you give the also determine the number of eggs you receive. A balanced diet of proteins and calcium and some free-range to express their natural instincts will ensure a steady supply of eggs.
The number of chickens you should raise for your family also depends on the time you can spend to take care of your chickens, labor and resources you have like space and housing requirements.
How Many Chickens Do I Need for a Family of 5?
If you want to raise chickens only to supply eggs for your family, then you can meet your needs with 4-7 chickens. I would personally recommend that you take the greater number and raise at least 6 or 7 chickens. This is because there could be days when one of your chickens will not lay. Having more chickens will cover your needs well.
Raising extra chickens is always an advantage unless you are limited with your space and resources. The few eggs that are above your daily consumption rate can always be stored for at least two weeks and used later.
On the other hand, if you are raising chickens for the purpose of meat, you will need at least 20-35 eggs to feed your family of five. And of course, here, too, the exact number is affected by the size of the chickens you raise, how much important chicken is to your family’s daily consumption and if you also need eggs from them.
How to choose the right breed of chicken for your family
Choosing the right breed for your little farm is essential to maintain efficient output and happy chickens. Some breeds only thrive in a free-range setting, and others fare well even when caged up.
Some breeds will give you one or two eggs a day without fail, while others are not so dependable. If you have limited resources, then it’s best to choose a breed that has the best feed conversion rate, or you will not see any profit in growing your own chickens.
Some breeds of chickens are bred exclusively for meat. If eggs are only what you are after, then choose a breed that is specific for meat, and you will have more efficient meat production.
The climate you live in and the shelter you are able to provide them also affects which type of chickens you should choose. Some breeds are docile and can easily adjust to climate changes. Understand the special characteristics of a breed and its origin before you decide.
Read this for the best breed of chicken for laying eggs.
Read this for the best chicken breeds for meat.
How Many Chickens Do I Need for a Family of 5: Summary
If you want enough eggs for a family of five, then 4-7 chickens should be enough to meet your needs. The number varies slightly according to the breed of chicken and your resources. If you also expect meat from these chickens, then 20-35 chickens would be able to provide you with chicken meat. Decide on the breed of chicken based on what you expect from them; either eggs or meat, or both.
Also read: Are chickens stupid?
*All pics are courtesy of Unsplash.com