Those of you familiar with raising chickens probably have heard of “chicken math”. If you’re not, it goes like this…

You’ve decided that you want to have a small coop in the back yard with a couple of hens. Maybe 2-3. Maybe you’ve planned ahead: you build/acquire a coop, the feeders, the run and the finally the hens. Maybe you went to the feed store to pick up dog food and “ohmygodlookatthosechicks!” and you ended up needing to build a coop.

So a few months go by and your hens are laying, and you think “we really eat more eggs than this, this isn’t as hard as I thought. Maybe a few more.” You find someone with hens but they have 4 and you really only needed 2… but those other 2 aren’t breeds you have and sometimes hens die for no good reason… Maybe I can sell the eggs!”. Now your 2-3 hens has turned into 6-7. A little time goes by and you hear a story about a lone survivor hen that had her entire flock eaten by a raccoon! Wont you take her in? And you do. You’ve got 8.

Time goes by and you see a picture of a silver laced wyandotte, or a silkie, or a speckled sussex and they’re just so pretty! Spring hits again and you’ve been doing this a year. You’re a pro. You’ve suffered a loss or two and you’re down to six, and you go to buy layer feed and it’s chick season again and guess what? They have wyandottes and Easter eggers and you remember how pretty that photo was and how cool it would be to have blue or green eggs. The kids would think blue eggs are amazing! But you’d better get 4 in case they die or one is a rooster. On the way out you notice schedule says tomorrow they’ll have specked sussex. A week later, you’re at 12.

This is chicken math.

For your viewing pleasure, this is a photo I found on Pinterest (not my hen, but I would give the photographer credit if I knew where it came from!)