Chicken math explained

Chicken math is well known among those who raise these birds. For most of us, something happens after you’ve watched your brand new chicks grow to pullets. The amount of chickens you intend to get doesn’t seem to be enough.

Then we meet other Chicken owners.

“Ooooooo your Black Copper Maran is beautiful.”

“I want to have some Silkies too!”

That’s how it starts for most I imagine.

For us, in March we started with 19 chicks. Ten Buff Orpingtons, five Welsummers (all female) ordered from the hatchery and four additional wild cards from the local farm store: Americauna and Mottled Java breeds,

A few Buffs didn’t make it shortly after arrival and the rest of the Buffs, except for one, turned out to be roosters instead of hens.

Our first time raising chickens has been interesting.

I tried keeping a rooster, Jackson. I adored him. I would bring my camping chair into the run and he’d come along and sit in my lap. By the time he reached 6 months, he was a jackass. I was attacked everyday. And while I know he was doing his job, protecting his ladies, I grew tired of our daily dance.

I still have a day job and I currently don’t have the capacity to manage a flock, three dogs, a stressful job and a rooster who couldn’t wait to kick my ass everyday.

He had to go.

So I posted him on Whidbey Island Backyard Farmers Facebook Page and hoped for the best.

Last week, I had a taker. She needed a rooster for her 30 hens, now we just had to catch him without injuring him our ourselves.

It took two days, about three pounds of sunflower seeds, a sheet and my husband’s capturing skills before we could secure him for travel. Within a few hours, Jackson was on his way to a larger haram. Far more than what he deserved, but honestly, I was happy he didn’t end up as Coq au Vin.

A few days later and I find myself scrolling through the Backyard Farmers Facebook page. People were downsizing and trying to find home for adolescent chickens. And as I was down quite a few chickens, I was willing to help out.

Fast forward 24 hours and my husband and I are sneaking two Plymouth Barred Rocks and two Silver-Laced Wyandottes into the chicken coop with the other ladies.

15 chicks-3 chicks+4 chicks-5 roosters-1 rooster (3 months later)+ 4 hens= beautiful flock of 14

That folks is how chicken math happens.

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