small chicks in a basket

Counting Chickens Before They Hatch

People who count their chickens before they are hatched act very wisely because chickens run about so absurdly that it's impossible to count them accurately. -Oscar Wilde

Perhaps it makes me a lousy homesteader, but I never know how many chickens we have running around this place. When I’m curious about a general number, I simply have to ask a child. They must be more patient than I am is all I can figure.

Now, daily egg totals are a different story. There is a figure that I’m deeply interested in.

Which do you count more, the chicken or the egg?

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  1. Having only a dozen hens, it is easy to keep tabs on both birds and eggs 🙂 Unless you’re my hubby…I had a late appointment and asked him to lock the back door of henhouse after working in the barn. He did, but neglected to count the birds. I went out the next morning to let the girls out, and found one poor hen had been hunkered down on the ramp to the back door all night! It wouldn’t have been so bad if we hadn’t had an unusual 5 inches of spring snow that night, lol. Other than a few ruffled feathers, she appeared none the worse for wear 🙂

  2. Hi Quinn, I count the eggs hands down! I keep track of that on a calendar, and whether we have molting, outside temps and the amount of feed per flock and compare egg production to that so I can monitor how I am doing as farmer! (We have about 100 including roosters, and I sell the eggs to our local organic produce group). Now, when it comes to broilers we raise to sell, I have to have an accurate count to line up customers come butchering day, so I do count them too and keep track of how many from each batch don’t make it to butchering, it is WAY too hard to make 75 chickens in a tractor hold still for me to count, and they haven’t mastered counting off my twos for me yet 🙂

  3. When I had twelve and eighteen, I counted every day, but at least twice someone slept outside because I miscounted. Once we got past about 25, I quit counting. I always write on the calendar how many eggs I got today (x-white, x-green, x-brown).

  4. I count both! We have a very mixed flock, to I know there should be 2 whites, 2 blacks, 3 tan, 2 brown. But I keep a tally of the eggs we get too. And date them!

  5. Ha! This post really made me smile on a day when I was feeling pretty ick with a virus! Since I only have 7 chickens in 2 colors I can manage counting both.