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.

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.

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Why not can your chicken meat?

by: Karen Porter

I just saw a you tube video that explained precisely how you to can. This way you could keep your 20 chickens. Have a canning day once Every two months. Can 16-20 chickens. Then you will only have to go through the process twelve times a year.

That being said you will need to get 40 fertilized eggs you hatch or 24 chicks you raise to maturity for the next round after you slaughter the first round.

If you have some good laying hens you might want to keep them around for a while. They don't start to lay until they are mature.

You only need two or three to produce regularly. Up north here in Florida winter months don't produce as many eggs.

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