How Many Egg Layers for Your Family

Fresh Farm Eggs

If you are considering keeping backyard chickens to provide fresh eggs for your family, it’s important to know how many hens you’ll need. If you don’t have a source for excess eggs you’ll want to make sure you don’t have too many hens. Maintaining a flock also means an extra chore, the more birds you have the more work there is, so it’s best to start sensibly.

The rule of thumb is two standard size hens per family member. This will keep your refrigerator stocked with an ample supply of eggs on a weekly basis.

Note:
Although starting with a small flock, make sure you buy or build a coop that will give you the opportunity to add more birds later. More space is always better than not enough. Expanding coops size can be an expensive afterthought.

amy elizabeth, TBN Ranch

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About tbnranch

amy elizabeth, writer, author. Lives in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert on a small hobby farm. Raises laying hens.
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6 Responses to How Many Egg Layers for Your Family

  1. kford2007 says:

    I was actually thinking about this the other day. I live in Florida and am thinking of adding a couple of chickens. Where would be a good resource to find out what breed of chickens are best for where I live?

    • tbnranch says:

      Me of course! I will be more than happy to help you choose your hens. First a few questions, How many? Are they for eggs or meat? Is there a rooster in the plan? White, brown, or blue eggs? Standard size hens or Bantams? Free run, in a coop, or coop with a run? Your reply to these questions will help me choose the right hens for you. 🙂

      • kford2007 says:

        Well, there are four of us but I am the main egg eater. I’m looking at maybe 2 or 3 hens. They are for eggs only. No roosters. White, brown or blue eggs. Makes no difference to me but I’d like a decent size egg, not small. I’m looking at a coop with a small run. I would like friendly birds, not ones who take to flight. I have a rather small backyard so I guess the birds would have to be on the smaller size. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to pull this together but I’d like to get some ideas ahead of time. Also, if you could tell me the best food for the types of chicks you are recommending. Thank you! 🙂

      • tbnranch says:

        I suggest no less than four chicks, keeping in mind that you may not have a 100% survival rate. A standard size 4 -5 lb hen will provide a nice size egg, and most of the chicks you see at the feed stores for sale are brown egg layers with the exception of the Leghorn. Considering you live in a warm and humid climate, it is best to avoid the heavy breeds, such as the Rocks and especially the Orpingtons. I have had little success with their tolerance for heat. Avoid all the breeds that are classified as broody, they can be difficult to raise for the beginner. Rhode Island Reds are good layers, easy to find at feed stores, but can be bullies, especially in captivity. I like the Dominique hens the best, they are always nice, heat tolerant, non-setters, and excellent brown egg layers.

        My website http://tbnfarm.com/wp/ may be of help in the planning of your ideal set-up. Everything you need is available there through Amazon, including chicken coops. Helps
        me too as I get a few bucks for any purchased retail! Well, pennies is more like it, lol.
        It’s a good plan to get everything set up and ready to go before buying chicks! As far as
        chick food, you’ll need to decide if you want to feed organic or regular chick starter
        crumble. Your local feed store can help you with all your questions on feeding, it’s really pretty simple. Another website you should get acquainted with is backyardchickens, everything you could ever want to know is there. There is a link on my right side bar under Chicken Resources to the website, sign up and read the forums!
        Whatever you need, I’m here to help every step of the way! amy elizabeth

  2. bulldogsturf says:

    I like the advice you give… I enjoy this blog…

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