# chicken math

It’s been a little over a year since we got our first chickens. Since then it’s been a bit like a math story problem. It goes like this:

A family started out with six chicks. Over the next few months, two of them were eaten by a fox. Then they acquired three more chicks, but two of them were roosters, which were eaten by the family. Several months later, the family got six more chicks, but as they grew the family realized that at least two were roosters, possibly up to four. Meanwhile, one of the original hens suddenly died without any symptoms. Wanting to have about a dozen hens eventually, the family got six more chicks, all believed to be females. How many chickens does the family currently have?

Let’s start with the oldest, which we call the “large chickens,” all hens (2 Rhode Island Reds + 2 Buff Orpingtons, 3 of which are from the original group):

Buffy, Little Red, Irridessa, Queenie

Sometimes if we are gone most of the day or don’t get out to look for eggs, we find this:

I always wonder how they decide which nest box they are going to lay an egg in, and if there’s a line on days like this, just like a busy bathroom.

Next are the “medium chickens” (3 Speckled Sussex + 3 Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, now 10-12 weeks old):

Steve built a small separate coop since they had outgrown the crate in the garage and were too small to throw in with the large chickens. We have just started letting them out of their coop when we are able to watch them outside. They have beautifully colored feathers, especially one of the speckled sussex roosters named Hookbeak the Bold (a pirate-like name given because his top and bottom beaks don’t line up perfectly and he was the first to jump out of the coop). It’s up for debate whether or not we keep him.

Now for the “small chickens.” There are six, hopefully all females (2 Isa Browns + 2 Golden Laced Wyandottes + 2 Americaunas/Easter Eggers, now about 3 weeks old):

This Isa Brown baby is the most easily held. She pretty much walks into our hands while the others run away.

I don’t think we can go to any of the farm stores for a while or we might end up with a few more.

And if you haven’t figured it out yet, the answer is 16!

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