Whether you are new to chicken keeping or a seasoned veteran, chances are you have heard the term chicken math. Chances are even higher than you have calculated some of your own chicken math, even if you were not aware of it! So what is meant by chicken math and how did this term become a common term within the chicken keeping world? In its simplest terms, chicken math is the addition to your flock in quantities and maybe even other species that are beyond what you originally planned.

mh blog chicken math peekaboo

They’re so little and cute at first, but then we realize that chicks grow fast and need more space. These little ladies spent the winter growing out in a greenhouse.

Perhaps you planned to have 6 birds but now somehow have 14, 22, 30. Or maybe you planned to only have chickens but have mastered advanced chicken math and now have ducks, rabbits, and a cow! My personal theory on chicken math is not only are chickens a lot of fun to keep, they are relatively low maintenance, and do not take up much space, so it becomes very easy to say “what difference would a few more make?” Chicken math can be perpetuated in many different ways; perhaps a broody hen hatched some eggs, you incubated eggs yourself, Meyer Hatchery had a sale, or you were gifted some birds.  Throughout your chicken keeping adventures, your knowledge and experience will grow, and chances are very high that the quantity of your flock will also grow. Here are some examples of my own chicken math:

  • First flock of 14 chickens + 6 chicks = 2 goats
  • 32 chickens + 1 guard dog = 2 bantams (but bantams only equal ½ a chicken)
  • 50 (ish) chickens + 12 sale chicks = too many brown eggs
  • 21 chicks (needed some more color in the egg basket) = 10 broilers
  • 12 adolescent chicks (but they were a gift so they don’t actually count towards a total) = not knowing how many chickens I have

There is no exact rhyme or reason to chicken math, but that is part of its beauty! How has your flock grown in unexpected ways? Please share your own chicken math in the comments!