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How Many Chickens Should A Beginner Start With?

If you have no previous experience looking after chickens, it’s best to start with just two or three hens. All hens, note - no cockerels.This will introduce you gently to the routines of egg-collecting, coop cleaning, and hen feeding.

Apart from that, though, chickens are very good at looking after themselves. They tend to stick together in a loose flock, even if foraging in a garden or meadow, and they always know when it’s time for bed. All you need to do is make sure the coop is open, and they will retire at dusk.

This is too many chickens for a beginner!

It’s not recommended to start with just one hen, though. Chickens are sociable animals, and although some breeds get used to human company and can become household pets, that’s not something a complete beginner should consider.

Once you have some experience with hens, you can start to boost the humbers - if that’s what you any. Many owners are perfectly happy with just two of three birds, and the 9 to 15 eggs that will lay - most weeks, at least.

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Robyn, 1 February 2023

I’ve heard you should start with a minimum of to help them form a flock and establish a pecking order and social hierarchy. Two might be too few for them.