If you don’t keep chickens and have never kept chickens, you have probably never heard of chicken maths.
I had never heard of chicken maths or chicken math as our American friends call it, before I kept hens myself.
To be honest, it is not something you learn. Just the act of keeping chickens automatically makes you openly partake in chicken maths.
Resistance is futile. Once you get chickens, chicken maths will just become second nature.
A normal person or a non chicken person sees 100 hens. Chicken people see 10.
Some say it is a 1 to 4 ratio. If you have 8 chickens you really only have 2 and so on. So say, 50 hens fly into your coop. Really it is only 12 and a half.
Half? I hear you cry. Well, a silkie isn’t a full chicken is it? Or a pekin. Even bantams could class as half a chicken they are so small.
One plus one equals 108.
If they’re not laying they don’t count
Cockerels don’t count
End of lay don’t count.
I you have 76 chickens, 10 lay dark brown eggs, 15 lay ordinary coloured eggs. You have 17 blue layers, 11 white layers, seven pink and 15 olive eggers, you actually only have six chickens. That’s right.
The worst bit is when you go and buy your first two (eight) hens, you get them home and realise your coop was only meant to house five animals. You keep that coop because, the 17 (68) eggs in your incubator will need somewhere to go when they are juveniles and you invest in an extra large coop so that your hens are happy and have plenty of room to roost.
Until you make it your life’s work to fill the coop.
Then you find a new breed. A Polish frizzle for example and it would be stupid to not have a couple (6) of them to start some kind of breeding programme.
The Breeding programmes of every breed you own means you need more coops to keep the eggs pure. Another incubator or two and more coops or the young pullets.
Don’t get me started on ducks. Duck maths is practically the same as chicken maths and. I am not going to lie, goat maths may be happening right now.
Huge thanks to Joanna Compton, Helen Fowler and Keri James-Aiken for the use of their chicken photos. They have flocks that I am now aspiring to. I have many, many more chickens to acquire.