How Many Chickens For a Family To Supply Eggs And Meat?


If you have the space for a coop outside, then raising some chickens could be a great idea for your family. But you might be wondering how many chickens you need. Here is a handy table that shows how many chickens the size of your family should have.

Family sizeNumber of chickensEggs per week
1315-18
2315-18
3420-24
4630-36
5735-42
6945-54
71050-56
81260-72

There are a lot of factors that go into deciding how many chickens you need to keep your family fed. If you use a lot of eggs, then you will need to increase how many chickens you keep at home. For families with restrictive diets, you can get away with fewer chickens. Please remember the golden role of not keeping less than three chickens. It’s essential for their social wellbeing.

This table is based on an average of three chickens per every two members of the household. The actual total you will need entirely depends on how often you eat eggs. Consider how many eggs you need each work and work out how many chickens you need based on that.

How Many Eggs Per Year the Average Hen Lays

As long as your hens are kept happy and healthy, they should regularly produce eggs. It takes around 18 weeks for your hen to lay her first egg. In the first year, a healthy hen will yield between 200-250 eggs. The production of eggs will start to decrease as the hen ages, and she will stop producing eggs after 6 or 7 years.

Housing, weather, breed, and nutrients can all affect egg production. A hen that’s producing an egg every day 80-90% of the time is thought to be an excellent rate.

How Many Eggs Per Year the Average Family Consume

The average family typically consists of two adults and two to three children. The average American eats around 280 eggs per year. Although your family’s consumption may vary, if one member of the family has a vegan diet, their egg consumption drops to 0.

Families that bake their own goods are likely going to use even more eggs. Using the basis that three hens per two members of the family will ensure you have a constant stream of fresh eggs.

How Many Chickens Do I Need For A 4 Member Family?

For a family of 4, it is recommended to keep around 4 to 6 chickens. Some breeds of chickens like the Leghorn will produce on average 280 eggs per year. This means that four leghorns will lay on average three eggs per day and six leghorns, almost five eggs per day.

Although chickens tend to lay eggs most days, there will be some days they don’t. By having a couple of extra chickens, you can eliminate the risk of no egg yield. If you have chickens that lay a lot of eggs like Rhode Island Red, you can expect 20 eggs per week from 4 chickens. If you keep six chickens, you can increase this to around 30 each week. Depending on how often you consume eggs will be the biggest factor in how many chickens you should have.

How Much Chicken Meat for a Family of 4?

Aside from eggs, you can also raise your own hens for their meat. Different breeds of chicken are better for meat as they can grow bigger, but they will produce fewer eggs. The most popular breed for keeping at home is the Cornish Cross which can reach 5 to 6 pounds in weight after six weeks.

Each family member will typically consume one chicken per week. So you will need four chickens per week to feed a family of four. You will need to care for them properly to make sure they grow to be healthy.

How Many Chickens for a Single Person?

Even if you live by yourself and don’t consume that many eggs, you should have at least three chickens. Chickens are very social creatures, and they create a hierarchy that’s important to their ecosystem. If you keep a single chicken, it will very likely get lonely, which can affect its health and its egg production.

The rule of thumb is to have at least three chickens so that their social needs are met. This may lead to an excess of eggs, but you could package them up and give them away. People may also be willing to buy the eggs from you as these hens are far from the battery cages most eggs come from.

If you are planning to eat the chicken’s meat, then on average, a single chicken is enough for 4-5 days. Depending on your diet, you will need 1-2 chickens per week to ensure you have enough protein for each day.

What You Need to Know About Chickens At Home

During the winter months, you may see your chicken’s egg production reduce to only a few times a week. Harsh may even lead to your chicken’s egg production dropping to 0. This is due to the cold and the shorter days.

Some people add an extra hen or two to their coop to raise the production of eggs during these times. This way, you can build up a reserve of eggs to see you through the winter months.

The most productive season for egg-laying is the summer, and you may find that your best chickens are laying an egg every single day. Typically 4-5 times a week is more normally even in the summer. 

Fresh eggs will last for around 3-5 weeks if they are kept in the refrigerator. The quality may start to drop after a month or so, but the eggs will remain edible. They can also be frozen if you have space for extra in your freezer.

If you are concerned about keeping three chickens and you live alone, then you may want to consider an heirloom breed. These are chickens that have been bred for their looks, and their egg production is less frequent. 

A chicken’s best egg-laying years are the first two years of its life. After that, its productions will start to slow down until its sixth or seventh year, when it will stop. It’s a good idea to replace chickens every 2-3 years and keep a good mix of young and old hens.

Lastly, chickens are living creatures and not machines, so egg production can vary. If your hens stop laying eggs, it’s a sign that something is wrong. So check their living area and what you’re feeding them. Chickens need to be kept happy and healthy to keep delivering eggs.

Greg

Greg has been interested in homesteading for years. He produces part of his food by himself. And tries to live the most sustainable lifestyle he can.

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