How Many Chickens Should I Buy?

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 17 July 2020

Backyard chicken keeping has become enormously popular! Folks are realising just how charming and delightful chickens can be PLUS the nutritional benefits of free range eggs and supporting cage free chickens is nothing short of fabulous! With just a bit of care and effort, you can have your very own farm fresh eggs every morning. And, nothing beats a farm fresh egg! So, okay, you've been bitten by the chicken keeping bug… now what? Just how many chickens should you start with?

Healthy backyard chicken flock with rooster

Egg requirements

Consider first how many eggs your family typically consumes on a weekly basis. And, will you need egg-stra eggs for baking? Will you be anxious to egg-speriment with new egg-citing egg filled recipes? That’s a whole lot of eggs, I know. Anyway, ideally, in the average suburban backyard, you will want to get three to five chickens to start. Considering the fact that a single laying hen lays an egg approximately every twenty-five hours, she may or may not lay an egg every day even under the most exemplary conditions. So, on average, a good laying hen will bless you with about six eggs per week, thus with three to five hens, you’ll get a whopping bounty of eighteen to thirty eggs each week. Wow! Although, if this seems a bit overwhelming, be sure to egg-spect word to get around quickly and neighbours to be knocking on your door to get some of those farm fresh eggs!

Penthouse chicken coop and run


The next thing you need to consider is “free ranging” time. Are you able to let your girls out to free range, everyday? Take some time to gauge the available space you have, survey your backyard and pick the perfect spot. The number of hens you have and the amount of time you can let them out will determine the number of hens and the size of the coop you buy. Backyard Chicken Coops have coops to suit all circumstances. For egg-ample, you can use the Penthouse to house 2 hens or 10 hen, because it has a large run area that can be used for safe foraging, and is great if you are away on the weekend! The same can be done with the Taj Mahal and the Mansion chicken coops, they can be used just a cozy and secure hutch of an evening, or as a full time resort with a run everyday. You could also add some easily set-up poultry fencing to rotate your flock's foraging area and fertilise your lawn!

So, when it comes to deciding on how many chickens you should get, start small, and add; add; add! Gauge the space you have in your backyard and how much time you have to let them out and enjoy! For more egg-cellent info about getting started have a peck at our Complete Beginner's Guide here or make sense of all the chook breeds available here.

As well as deciding how many chooks to choose, there are so many breeds to consider when starting your own flock. It can be eggstremely overwhelming to find the perfect breeds for you and your family. From looks, to traits, to egg-laying talents - where should you begin?

Cluckily, our friends over at Chickenpedia have created an amazing Chicken Breeds Course. This extensive online course shares useful advice on choosing the right chickens for you as well as size & frequency of eggs laid. You’ll even learn about their individual personalities, and be able to use their family-friendly compatibility scale through this well-structured program. It really is a great way to find your perfect backyard buddies which is why I highly recommend them to all of my readers! The courses are beginner-friendly and filled with vital information to help you raise a happy, healthy flock.

As chicken keepers, we want to do an eggcellent job when caring for our feathered friends. Unfortunately, many of us struggle to handle chicken health or behaviour issues, especially in the first few years of having a flock. Chickenpedia have a full range of comprehensive online courses that cover everything you didn’t know you need to know and then some more! From healthcare to raising baby chicks to feeding and behavior, get the knowledge and confidence to successfully look after your chickens.

As a member, you will get access to ALL their fantastic courses. So, no need to wing it, become a confident chicken keeper. Click here to check out Chickenpedia today!

Sources and further reading