I bought a coop that was recommended for 8 chickens before we bought our chicks. I ended up ordering 15 chicks, so I bought a second coop of the same size (roughly 4x5' + 3 1x1 nest boxes), thinking 40 sq ft for all 15 chickens would be enough. What I'm finding though, is that most frequently all 15 chickens are going into one coop at night, instead of splitting up. Occasionally 1-3 chickens will stay in the other coop, but it is not nightly. So I'm wondering if there is anything I can do to encourage them to split up a bit, to even up the impact on the coops, and so that the are less agitated in the morning.
This leads to another question. Both coops open up into a run 12x12, 7' high with metal roof, 1/2" hardware cloth top to bottom. I've been closing them into their coops at night, and opening the coops in the morning. I'd like to leave the coops open so that they can come and go between the coops and the run as they please. Some days I do this, and there doesn't seem to be a problem (it's been in the 60's here this week). When it is really cold / freezing, I feel the need to shut them into the coops to help contain some warmth. I do keep a window open on each coop to help with ventilation, which I think I will close if I keep the doors open, and it is very cold.
Any thoughts on the 15 chickens in 2 coops situation, and/or keeping their coop doors open at night?