Chicken Math

Have you ever heard of chicken math?  It’s basically where you plan for only so many chickens and end up getting way more than intended. A little definition I like is :

Chicken math; chik’-uhn. māth  (noun) The phenomena in which no matter how many chickens you expect to own or for which you build your coop, you will end up with more than that number, even when you take into account chicken math.  Courtesy of PamelaTX at

Well – not me.  I knew that the most I wanted (at least here at this house in FL) was 6 hens.  I feel successful in only buying enough chicks to bring me up to that number this spring.  I was tempted a time or two though.

What I didn’t realize is that sometimes the chickens can just show up!

I heard Mark yelling when he stepped outside this morning and when I went to check it out – I saw a mother hen and nine 8 week-old chicks wandering about the yard.  We were all amazed at this sudden mysterious demonstration in chicken math.  (Our yard borders a farm so we’re assuming they came from there.)

I quickly grabbed my camera and went out to snap some pictures.  And proceeded to terrify our new friends.  They ran for the back fence and huddled there with much peeping and clucking.

The mother promptly flew over our back fence while I tried to grab that first picture.  I wish I’d had it in a different setting to be able to get a clear shot of her but this is what I got:


After she flew up and over, she stayed on the other side clucking anxiously for her little ones.  We really weren’t sure how they were going to get over until one by one, we saw them squirm their fat little bodies through the chain link of the fence.

All except four chicks who couldn’t seem to figure out what to do.

And then pop!, there were three chicks as one worked up enough courage.



Then two and then one.

A boy in minion pj’s watching to see what the chicks would do. This one’s my sensitive, nature kid.

And the last one just couldn’t do it.  She got upset and ran for cover under a bush.  Luckily, we have a back gate that we opened wide and tried to gently flush her out.  The chick saw the opening and ran for it and was quickly able to find her mother and siblings.

Funny enough, they were back in our yard and under the bush again this afternoon.  We might have just inherited some more chickens.

Chicken math.  I always thought it was something you chose to do to yourself – not something that could just happen to you.


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