Chicken Math is a funny sort of math. When the Family and I first talked about adding chickens to our menagerie I said 4 chickens should be the perfect amount to start with. Definitely no more than 6, but 4 would be good. Then a friend of a friend was needing to re-home her flock of 6 laying hens. Ok, 6, we can do six. Then my mom tells me, “Oh you have got to raise some chicks. It is such a neat experience.” I find a local hatchery and we head down on nothing more than a fact finding mission and return home with 2 Easter Egger chicks, for the sake of experiencing raising chicks. See, I am a mom, and as a mom I am always looking for new learning experiences for my kiddo, so I saw this as just that, a great new learning experience.
On that order, our plan to start with four chickens grew to six and then grew again until we were at eight. Chicken math. But wait, we are adding a new twist. Since we had to cull one hen, the Hubby said we can replace her. I already know the type of chicken I’d like to add, in fact, I have a list of breeds and color varieties within those breeds that I would like to one day add to our flock. At the top of the list are the Black (French) copper Marans
As they are layers of deep, rich, chocolate brown eggs.
With our current egg basket filled with cream, tan and green eggs as well as the hopeful promise that our like grey Easter Egger chick may be a blue egg layer, the addition of another, richly colored egg would be so fun.
The Family and I agree, we are done raising chicks in the house, too much mess, smell and work in our little space. So I call the hatchery to ask what they have available for Marans. The Girls are about 9 months old now, the Nuggets are fast approaching 3 months old. He says he has a few hens that are about 4-5 months old and that they should work in well. I love the idea of getting the hens at this age, yes they are a bit more expensive than a chick, but he spent his time and energy raising them so I won’t have to. Plus, by 4-5 months old you can be more confident you are getting hens and not roosters. Double plus, at that age they should be very near laying, if they haven’t already started. Sounds like a Win, Win, Win to me.
I promptly began my research into bringing another hen into our flock. Everything I read says don’t bring in just one at a time, give the newbie a friend to be quarantined with for those first 30 days. Bringing in at least 2 birds at the same time, gives the newbies a buddy, a friend to lean on and helps deflect some of those hard pecking beaks as the pecking order gets re-established. We are still working on getting the Nuggets integrated into the flock. It is easy to see how much better off the chicks are having one another to be with as they slowly try to find their places among the Big Girls. I share all this information with my Adoring Husband who rolls his eyes and gives my his characteristic brush off. I know this game all to well, so I drop the subject.
It wasn’t until the next day when a friend of his stops by for a brief visit. As he is telling his friend about our chicken adventures (the friend used to keep chickens too) I hear my wonderful Hubby tell the friend we will be getting two new hens to add to the flock! Yay! I am so excited at the prospect of adding these two pretty hens and their gorgeous eggs to our flock. Oh yeah, that also means our original planned flock of 4 will soon be growing into a vibrant flock of 9. Chicken Math strikes again!t
You know what will inevitably follow? A chicken run upgrade. The coop will be a max capacity, but the run could stand to be stretched out a bit, and I have been thinking about doing that far longer than I have been thinking about increasing our flock numbers. It’s true, chickens are the gateway livestock and I am completely addicted. Please, no intervention, I don’t want to turn back now.