How Many Chickens Do I Want and Need?

So, how many baby chicks should we get in the spring? Seems like an easy answer, but it's really not. 


I tried to go about this is an orderly way, but sometimes that's not possible. We are going to be providing eggs for two households which have a total of four adults, and we want to have the ability to expand if needed. We estimate that between the two households we will need about a dozen eggs per day. On average a chicken lays an egg about every 25 hours but that varies widely by the breed, the age of the bird, the seasons, nutritional status, and other factors. All in all, how many eggs will I get from X number of chickens has quite the variable. 

So, I'm not 100% sure exactly how I settled on 24 laying hens, but that's the number I'm currently working with. I would also like some chickens for broilers - and this works out wonderfully. Delaware chicks cannot be sexed, so when I order my chicks - there should be 50% males, and 50% females. So, we figure that we'll order about 50 chicks and end up with our 24ish laying hens, and our 24ish broilers. 


That number is starting to sound bigger, and bigger the more times that I say it. There may be new calculations in my future.