Ever heard the term Chicken Math?
I hadn’t either until I got my first chickens.
It appears there is this weird phenomenon where you set out to have a specific number of chickens and through various reasons you end up with anything other than that number.
I originally got 4 chickens. When they were about five months old one was killed by a hawk, so then I wanted to replace her. But ended up adding 4 more, so we had 7.
Then we had a hen go broody, so I gave her 5 eggs to hatch. I was expecting only 2 to hatch… all five hatched. Then nature took its toll and 4 of the 5 didn’t make it. That was fine because 8 seemed like a good number.
Well then when we moved to the farm, we discussed adding more chickens to get our laying flock up. Since the chick we hatched was a rooster we only had 7 layers and only got 5 eggs consistently. We decided 12 layers was a good number.
Back in July we finally decided to add to the flock, but get ready for more Chicken Math. We found Lavender Orpington Pullets to add to our flock. I didn’t want to deal with more roosters, since Perceval was such a jerk, so we spent a bit more to get already started pullets. So we brought home 8 pullets. Bringing of number of chickens to 16, so much for just 12 layers.
Unfortunately we were dealing with a terrible heat wave and we lost 3 of our older hens to the heat. I will admit, I didn’t handle it very well, and I still get a bit sad thinking about them. Hormones don’t help! Two of the three were from the original chickens I purchased, so I had gotten very attached to them. So then we were down to 13 chickens (4 layers, a rooster, and 8 potential layers).
So then morning sickness kicks in and we lost a month. Then we notice a strange sound, an extra crowing in the morning, then another, and another. It quickly became clear that 7 of those 8 pullets were in fact roosters… Any guesses how happy I was?
About this time we were planning for P.Allen Smith’s Poultry Workshop, which meant more chickens. The plan was to get about 9 chickens, two set of Dorking breeding trios and Andalusian breeding trio. So we started looking for homes for the roosters, while we also planned for our new breeders.
Well we got there and the only Dorkings they had was a breeding pair, but they had Minorcas and Ameraucanas! I was super excited and we came home with 8 Minorcas (7 hens and a rooster) and 4 Ameraucanas (3 hens and a rooster). Now we had 25 chickens, hey it could have been worse!
Thankfully within a week we found a guy who wanted to 7 Lavender Roosters, so we are currently at a more reasonable 18 chickens.
However, guess who is still scouring craigslist for more chickens, yep this crazy lady here!
In my defense, due to age of the new hens and molting, we are only getting 3 eggs a day. That is crazy and we desperately need more layers.
Wish me luck!
Update: We have since lost an Ameraucana hen to internal laying, which caused a huge infection.