How many chickens do we need?
by Glen Hamner
(Republic of Panama)
How many chickens do we need? I am living in Panama and have started raising chickens for the meat. There are 3 of us living in the house.
I would like to eat chicken 2 or 3 times a week. How many chickens do we need to have in the coop? We now have a total of 20 birds but I am guessing we have too many for our needs.
We don't have a freezer other than what is part of our small fridge(not much space). My thoughts were that we would just butcher 2 at a time, eat one and put the other in the freezer every week.Answer
I lived in Panama for 7 months and loved every minute. I know it can be difficult to have a freezer in some locations, due to energy consumption and power outages.
That being said, most people who raise meat chickens, buy the number of chickens they want to raise feed them for 6 t0 8 weeks (according to type of chicken) and butcher them all at one time.
Then they freeze them. I understand what you are wanting to do is to have a certain number of chickens and be able to go out pick 2 to 3 each week butcher and eat.
The difficulty of this is that you will have to manage several different chicken runs. If you want 3 chickens per week and it takes 6 weeks to raise the chicken, you possibly could get away with 4 to 6 chicken runs.
The reason for this is you have to keep adding to your flock to replace the chickens you are butchering. And adding chickens to an already existing flock can cause all sorts of problems(diseases, fights, starvation etc.).
I am not saying this can't be done but if you do this it will be a lot more difficult than it first looks.
When I was there you could buy a high energy efficient freezer they are expensive but well worth the money.Return to Raising Chickens Home Page