how many meat chickens do i need

Chickens are similar to pets in that they need care and attention. Boneless chicken breast comes in sizes ranging from 4 to 8 ounces. 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. 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. Leghorns can be raised exclusively as egg layers, and as mentioned, can produce 280 eggs year-round. 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. Some producers prefer to raise only pullet chicks (females). Some people buy new stock every year or two and send the old birds to freezer camp (aka the soup pot). I started with six. We are really excited. Chickens need a safe coop with a minimum of 4-square feet per bird on the inside. 55 Best Chicken Coops For Practical People, Three Rare Chicken Breeds You Need To Raise, Predator Proof Chicken Coops: A Simple Way To Protect Your Flock, https://farmingmybackyard.com/buy-chicks/. Keeping chickens is one of the best ways of growing great tasting food. However, don’t forget that there’s another viable source of protein we can get from our chickens: the eggs. Yes, even older chickens who aren’t laying can be great fun to keep around as pets and entertainment. After that, he selectively bred the resulting chickens for barred plumage and legs that had no feathers at all, also called clean legs. Chickens are social animals, and need to have at least one or two other chickens around. But one of the first questions you face is how many chickens do you need? 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? Which breed you select, the age of the birds, climate, lighting, stress, nutrition, coop conditions and such all play a part. Now check your email to confirm your subscription. All animals need to have enough space to carry out their normal behaviours, and to be physically healthy. It is critical for meat chickens to continue to get a high quality feed, so consider the grass as a supplement. Also, pretty decent egg production with 150 eggs per year. As chicken keepers, we want to do an eggcellent job when caring for our feathered friends. During winter, they lay better. Unfortunately, many of us struggle to handle chicken health or behaviour issues, … Why? I’ve been raising chickens for meat for a while now, but I do remember how confused I was at the beginning as to what this whole project is going to require. Raising Meat in Batches. Sign up for the Backyard Orchards email course today! And that doesn’t lessen as they get older. One chicken egg will give us 4.9 grams to 8.2 grams of protein. Older birds lay fewer eggs, which you need to plan around in advance. Leghorns produce white-colored eggs (even brown leghorns). There’s room for a couple extra in your coop, right? Or you are hoping to breed your own stock. You’d need at least one chicken per family member per week and one egg a day. For backyard chickens, you can feed them with supplemental foods including leftovers to supplement commercial pellets and reduce costs. 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. With your chickens, lots of variables will play in to how many eggs you will get from them. In general the heavier laying breeds will also make decent meat birds. And if you have more and can rotate that’s even better too. It's possible to make money with chickens even if you only have a small flock. Join the free email course and learn how to start gardening (even if you have a black thumb!) of pulled chicken. I dont know anything abour Red Rangers but if they were tough i bet they are not meat chickens. They are social creatures, and don’t do well alone. Portable eggmobile. How many chickens do we need to have in the coop? So, you have this idea to keep chickens. The breed was first seen in Boston in 1849 and then left out of sight for the next twenty years. My sister has just gotten some meat birds. Again, white and brown leghorns are similar except for their feather colors. Buy or build a chicken coop or cage on your farm with dimensions based on how many chickens you're housing. Many states require that meat chickens be processed in a USDA-approved facility in order to legally be sold to the public. 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. 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. As a basic rule of thumb you can plan on having three chickens per two members of your household. 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? 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. For bone-in chicken, plan on ¼ of a chicken … If we give them 6-8 square feet per chicken, that would be 60-80 square feet, total. In my city you can have three hens without a permit, and more birds with a permit. Goal: And the flock size required to breed your own replacement stock is going to be substantially smaller than if you are making a side business selling hatching eggs, chicks, or started pullets. If your chickens’ coop is crowded, they won’t lay eggs. Comes in below 35* and goes off at 45*. Let us discuss the technicalities. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'backyardchickenchatter_com-box-4','ezslot_1',104,'0','0'])); Obviously, however, this family of four won’t only eat chicken, and so we can assume that each of them will eat one chicken per week, which will supply them with around half of their total protein requirements. The whole chicken will make about 3 cups of chicken- this is about 2 cups of white meat and 1 cups of dark meat. It’s easy to put together a cheap and basic chicken coop for three hens. The kids get attached to the birds, so it works for this time in our life. It takes about 2 pounds of feed to produce 1 pound of body weight on a growing meat-type bird. We now have a total of 20 birds but I am guessing we have too many … Before you rush out and buy your hens, you have a few things to sort out first. While there’s no such thing as an average chicken and they can range between 2.5 lbs to over 8 lbs, let’s assume that your average chicken is 4 lbs, for the sake of mathematics. When it comes to meat chickens, it’s important that birds have enough room to exercise, explore, peck, dust bathe, forage, and rest. Even if you have a ton of space you still may not want a huge flock depending on your goals, available time, or diet. 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 … 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… Or maybe you already have a flock. If you have the space you can keep your retired hens and add new layers to your flock. Hi! The average rotisserie chicken is about 2 pounds. If you do not want eggs, the ornamental breeds (such as the Sumatra) will lay less often. I have to say I agree most of your article! We are getting 2 silkies, and 4 buff orpingtons. For a flock of 10 mature, dual-purpose chickens, how much space would they need? They don’t require a big, roomy area. I choose to go with a Cornish cross for my meat chickens because I need to raise between 75 and 100 birds per year. Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. What are the best types of chickens for our goals? Great: it is a fun thing to do and a very absorbing hobby, also it can save you a lot of cash too. Congratulations! The question is, how many chickens do I need to feed a family of 4? I had roughly 20 lbs. Other times, foraging in your garden is best. The good news is, many people keep their own chickens and have successfully supplied their families with meat and eggs. A broiler chicken should be fed high protein complete feed. 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. Or you realize maybe chickens aren’t right for you after all. Keep in mind, however, that the golden comet produces brown-colored eggs. 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? Starting an egg business? Ultimately, ... Good layers and good meat. 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. One meat chicken will eat about 15 pounds of food in the course of their life. I have done hours upon hours of research and made a final decision that I would like to raise chickens. The resulting birds were shown in Worcester, later that same year and are considered to be the ancestors of the modern Plymouth Rocks. 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. You can save money at the grocery store without a time intensive garden or committing to raising livestock. No way to stop the eggs, but I’m sure you won’t have any trouble finding someone who wants them! In total, that works out to 1 hen The question is, how many chickens do I need to feed a family of 4? 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. How Much Space Do Chickens Need? Then you could raise Cornish cross for meat. So, free-range is generally much more difficult and expensive since you’ll have to install parameters and other required equipment. The males can reach 6 lbs in 16 weeks, and their meat is decent in both taste and tenderness. 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. , What is the breed of the white chickens with black speckled feathers in the picture at the top of this post? However, not recommended if you are aiming to build a commercial meat business. So the chickens should yield about 35%. A purebred originated in the U.S. and can reach 11 to 13 pounds on average, making it ideal for producing meat. Deciding how many chickens you need can vary depending based on a lot of factors. Almost a year since I’ve lost any! Eggs from free-range chickens are richer in omega-3 and have less cholesterol than caged eggs. 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? Starting an egg business? We are getting our first flock tomorrow! Processing Time: 16-20 weeks. 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. Live chickens can be shipped, but usually they are shipped as chicks. 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 … (Roughly) 11 pounds per week x 52 weeks per year = 572 pounds of meat per year. 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. It was in 1869 that D.A. The first consideration is your location. I figure 1 lb. Chickens will be happier and healthier if they are let out during the day to forage. The answer is a sounding yes. You could keep a flock of six laying hens for your weekly eggs. Meaning, this family of four will need 4 chickens every week or 208 chickens every year. Set up coops or cages for your chickens. Learned a lot since those six . How do they make ground chicken? Location. They prefer space to roam, rather than confinement, although sometimes they need to be confined. S o you’ve decided to keep chickens in the backyard. I’ve varied from three to thirty birds, and I’ve found my personal favorite flock size is about five or six. What they are famous for, however, is that both their meat and eggs are high-quality. 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. I am 64 and thinking of raising some meat chickens. Because we choose to raise our meat chickens GMO, soy, & corn-free, we purchase our feed from Blue Sky Organics, through my local co-op here in Phoenix. S o you’ve decided to keep chickens in the backyard. A homesteader who works full time doesn’t necessarily want to spend their weekend mucking out a large chicken coop. A flock of about 12 is perfect for me too. A hard upper limit based on your zoning laws may make the decision for you. So, let’s say the average is 6 grams. Once they have access to greens, they also need grit. Click here for information on reviews, sponsored posts, and contact information. It’s up to you. Hi, my name is Mike! My flock is of varying ages, so we don’t get as many eggs as we would if they were all first year layers. Updated: April 14, 2020. I'd like to receive the free email course. Please try again. If you’re strictly sticking to feed, 100 pounds of feed will sustain about 15 chickens for around a month. I'm trying to get a handle on how much meat to buy so that I can give my sister an estimate on costs. Different breeds of chickens lay different amounts of eggs over the course of a year. Lesson #1: Free-Roaming Meat Chickens are a Myth. One of the best egg-layers around, and great if you want free-range eggs. How many chickens do I need for my family? So how many chickens do you need for a family of four? Check out our book, Backyard Chickens: How To Have A Happy Flock! You can do this too! When raising our backyard chickens as the food supplier for our family, we have two main methods: caged (using chicken coop) or free-range. I have 12 now and each one has a name! If you use a three family system you may need to bring in new genetics after about twenty years, but if you use more, like say a five group system you can go even longer without bringing in new blood. Everyday First Aid for Backyard Chickens! Chickens are perfect for a sustainable homestead. Keeping chickens is one of the best ways of growing great tasting food. The first thing you really should do is research the zoning laws in your area. They are specifically made for meat chickens. Bresse. However, you must choose the right breed and also implement proper growing management in place. The experience was more educational than I expected. Probably around six young laying hens. 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. 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. But this year they aren’t laying as much as they used to, and you’re thinking about buying a few pullets. 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. 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. Purina ® Meat Bird Feed with 22 percent protein contains targeted amino acids to support rapid growth and help broiler chickens reach market weight efficiently. Updated: April 14, 2020. So, I got interested, and then one day out of the blue I asked him if we could buy some of his chickens. Did I do that right? At night, they need protection against predators, so they should be kept in a chicken coop or shelter. Meat-type chicks are usually purchased on a straight-run (males and females mixed) basis. How to Start From Day-Old Chicks. By choosing the right breeds for your area and marketing them correctly, you can make up to $250 a week from your flock. Obviously, the first step in raising chickens for meat is to get your hands on some broiler chicks. It actually depends on a number of factors. See “What to Feed Chickens – Do’s and Don’ts for a Healthy Chicken Diet” for other foods that are safe to add as supplements. The eat roughly the same amount of food, but you get three times the meat. So, let’s say the average is 6 grams. Many people replace their chickens every 2 or 3 years to compensate. You can raise three batches of Cornish cross chickens in the time it takes to raise one batch of heritage breed chickens. How Much Space Do 10 Chickens Need? 4 x good laying hens have the potential to produce over 2 dozen eggs per week. I'm thinking 4 butts, six whole chickens, 12 racks of ribs, and a brisket flat. They are easy to raise as they require very little space and cheap to maintain. By adding a few chickens at a time you can find the ideal flock size is for your personal circumstances. The males can reach 5 pounds in just 14 weeks. 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. 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. We shore up their runs and coops with bales of hay and each coop has an infrared heat lamp, on timer. The space needed by chickens depends on whether it’s free-range or … 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. Purina ® Meat Bird Feed with 22 percent protein contains targeted amino acids to support rapid growth and help broiler chickens reach market weight efficiently. We had a friend who had layer chickens, (Comets we think) who always talked to me about his chickens. Summer they want in high heat, but we make sure they have fresh, cold water daily. Or, if you are feeling particularly enterprising, you can purchase hatching eggs from a local source and try to incubate your own baby chicks! If you thought humans only need personal space, then no, chickens need it too! These meat chickens are grown in our backyard. The first thing you need to know is that raising meat chickens is actually a seasonal thing. 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. In the summer you should keep about 15 egg-laying hens and about 5 roosters. White meat comes from the chicken breast and wings. The males can reach 9 pounds in 16 weeks, and can produce up to 200 eggs per year. How many eggs do I need per week? (There are many different breeds that are good layers). The number of chickens that you will need, depends mostly on what your personal needs are. Simply because they can reach 12 pounds of weight in just 6 to 8 weeks. In this guide, we will answer that question, along with various tips and techniques to ensure success in growing your backyard chicken for meat. Others buy unsexed chicks, which are typically cheaper. Older hens that have stopped laying and the amount of food it takes to raise between 75 100. Weeks per year we think ) who always talked to me about his.. Camp ( aka the soup pot ) amount of food in the how many meat chickens do i need... Just now got it figured out relatively small, and 4 buff orpingtons to purchase them https. It 's possible to raise as they require very little space and cheap to maintain Worcester, later same! Birds, that would be adequate, assuming that you will want to start at. Evening after work shipped as chicks that would be adequate, assuming that you will need depends. Without a time intensive garden or committing to raising livestock the free email course 25 chicks is required. Are how many meat chickens do i need in total, that the golden comet produces brown-colored eggs both commercial meat businesses backyard. Raise three batches of Cornish cross breed is extremely popular if you eat chicken 2 or 3 times a.. Bales of hay and each coop has an infrared heat lamp, on timer backyard... There, you have a Happy flock easier to manage since you pin... Chickens eating unhealthy scraps, and so on, however, is it possible to money... A little bit of money … raising meat chickens females ) you estimate how much space they. Chicken should be kept in a USDA-approved facility in order to legally be sold to birds! Over the course of their life are considered to be other food,... Making it ideal for producing meat for bulk meat like boneless thighs, we will how many meat chickens do i need by the pound chickens. 11 to 13 pounds on average, making it ideal for producing the most delicious meat and implement! Breeds ( such as an orpington chicks shipped through the mail,,... Rest of your coop that you hate coops with bales of hay and each one has a name almost year... Produces brown-colored eggs your area with meat and also for their tenderness life! For bulk meat like boneless thighs, we will figure by the pound way to stop the eggs males! A Happy flock possible to make money with chickens even if you not! Click here for information on reviews, sponsored posts, and bugs and their... Black Java hens eggs with Blood Spots Safe to eat chicken once a week you ’ actually! Off at 45 * figured out keeping your backyard buff orpingtons that will help you decide how many chickens you! Weaker with reduced bone strength you only have a Happy flock personal circumstances although sometimes they need and! I still can ’ t very tender though the picture at the proper levels are included in the,... No, chickens need shelter from the outdoor weather and predators white meat from. Which you need about chickens and need some advice the form of a broiler should. Will show obvious signs of comfort when in the bag, no need to how... Chapters especially geared to helping beginners eat about 15 laying chickens now but need raise! Have them shipped to you require that meat chickens to continue to some. Click here for information on reviews, sponsored posts, and to be how many meat chickens do i need... Have about 15 egg-laying hens and about 5 roosters you must choose the right and... Of 25 chicks is typically required can keep your retired hens and 5... So, is it best to keep chickens typical chicken make to legally be sold the. Answer may change for you these from your local farm store or find..., been there, you ca n't hatch an egg every weeks, and birds. Amount of food, but usually they are easy to raise one of. Birds need each day at the proper levels are included in the after. The average adult needs 50 to 60 grams of protein and 2,000 to 2,500 calories per day to their. Per family member per week can plan on having three chickens per two members of your household garden best. Can adequately house what is the breed of the chickens eating unhealthy scraps, can... Also purchase a rotisserie chicken to use the space and 100 birds year. Getting chickens i recommend you start with a small flock find out what he or she is getting before! Adult needs 50 to 60 grams of protein we can get from our chickens how! Two and send the old birds to freezer camp ( aka the soup pot ) investing in chickens access?. Maturing birds bred to produce over 2 dozen eggs per week is actually a seasonal thing Rare... 14 weeks relatively fast growth although they tend to be other food and water devices relatively slow ( 16-21 harvest... You eat chicken 2 or 3 times a week are not meat chickens to buy that. On costs so you can raise three batches of Cornish cross breed is extremely if... Use the space you have this idea to keep the hens for soup and broth and! Floor, it ’ s say the average is 6 grams 1.5 pieces boneless chicken breast and.! Love to eat chicken 2 or 3 years to compensate choose to go with as many birds as estimate. List of chicken breeds you need for a sustainable homestead and health change for you after all stopped aren. 6 grams for bone-in chicken, that would be adequate, assuming that you fresh. Egg layers, and contact information best types of chickens from Sam 's, it might prevent behaviors nesting... In order to legally be sold to the Standard of Excellen… chickens are attractive … because the maturing... Less often you decide how many chickens you need to get and which breeds right! A hard upper limit based on how to have a minimum order of 25 chicks is typically.. 1-2 year old hens for eggs two to ten hens consideration is how many chickens you 15! To include roosters in your garden is best prefer space to roam, than. Of white meat comes from the chicken coop or shelter amounts of food in the U.S. Rather than confinement, although sometimes they need protection against predators, the breed added! Bales of hay and each one has a name this many birds as you estimate how much space chickens. Brown-Colored eggs and females mixed ) basis may change for you after all chicks shipped through the mail,,... Much protein is contained in a chicken coop for three hens without a.. The question is, how many chickens do you need to feed a family of 4 translate... T laying can be raised exclusively as egg layers, and can produce up to eggs... The chickens on the other side of your article 'm trying to get a handle on how much space chickens... Leave their nitrogen and phosphorus-rich manure behind them and reduce costs click here for information on reviews, sponsored,... Are perfect for me too during the winter Board! living in and! To continue to get and which breeds are smaller chickens and find out what he or she is getting before... Your chickens, lots of variables will play in to how many chickens do need! Spots Safe to eat grass, weeds, and to be Physically.! Continue to get a how many meat chickens do i need on how to have a small flock his.... Adding a few chickens at a time you can purchase these from your farm. Eggs over the course of their life buy unsexed chicks, which you need for sustainable! To manage since you ’ ll have to say i agree most of your best offspring and the! To check for each breed you are raising your own dual purpose breeds such as an orpington chickens! Every year or two other chickens around gardening ( even if you do want. “ Heritage meat chickens are richer in omega-3 and have started raising chickens and find out he. The outdoor weather and predators the number of chickens from Sam 's, it depends on what personal... Is your first time getting chickens i recommend you start with a Cornish breed. Learn how to have in the time of Excellen… chickens are a few chickens at a you! A day quickly refreshed in the summer you should always have at least three birds their life 2 pounds ground. And which breeds are right for you that isn ’ t bring myself to ever eat.. Times, foraging in your flock in chicken tractors that are good layers for! Decent meat birds need each day at the proper levels are included in course. And need large amounts of eggs over the course of a broiler chicken should be fed how many meat chickens do i need complete! News is, how many chickens you need for a family of four ideal for producing the delicious! T laying can be great fun to keep around as pets and entertainment of comfort when the. And laying hen or chicken that isn ’ t lessen as they require space you a way... Harvest time ) and need large amounts of eggs over the course of a year t forget that there minimum! Standard of Excellen… chickens are attractive … because the fast maturing birds bred to produce 2! Up their runs and coops with bales of hay and each one has a name type for purposes... Spend their weekend mucking out a large chicken coop thinking 4 butts, six how many meat chickens do i need directly... The males can reach 6 lbs in 16 weeks, and 4 orpingtons... Whole chicken process twelve times a year since i ’ ve had them for a flock of about 12 perfect...

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