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What size coop do I need?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all! I am new to BYC although I have been reading many articles the past couple weeks I finally decided to join and get answers to my own personal questions.
I just got 4 chicks, and am going to build a chicken coop in the next couple weeks. I'm not sure if I am going to get more, but I might. So I need to build a coop for like 4-8 hens. I was talking to people army local feed store who own chickens and they were tell me the coop itself does not have to be big because they will only be in there when they sleep and they sleep shoulder to shoulder. Is that right? They are going to have a big run and possibly the whole backyard depending on how my dog does with them. I'm just curious how big it needs to be for my babes to be healthy.

-Rachel
post #2 of 7


Hi and welcome to BYC. I believe the suggested minimum coop space is 4 sq feet per bird (and 2 ft per bird for roosts). This is based on the fact that during harsh weather, your flock may not wish to be outside. If the space is not sufficiently large, then problems such as pecking etc can arise as a result of stress on them not having sufficient space. 

 

Chicken maths will catch up with you, i promise, so I would advise building as large a coop as you possibly can - it saves a lot of hassle in the long run. I personally like using garden sheds as coops, but thats just my view. The coops section will help (and possibly overwhelm) you with inspiration.

 

All the best

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you!! So is there a thing as too much room? Like if I build a coop for 8 hens, and end up only having 4 or 6 is there too much room inside for them? On a cold night will they have a hard time keeping warm?
post #4 of 7


No, no such thing as too much room! They will roost, and if they are cold, they'll likely huddle together - the coop could be the size of a football field as long is it is free of drafts, protected from the elements and well ventilated. 

 

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Okay sounds good! Thanks CT!
post #6 of 7


You are most welcome Rachel and good luck with your build!

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #7 of 7

@CTKen.....They only need 1 foot of roost length per bird,

and that's generous......they actually sleep on less, but the extra is good for the roost time pecking shuffle.  

 

@racheldeane13  you can't have too much space, climate can change things, but the 'smaller coop being warmer' is a myth.

There's 2 great articles linked in my signature about Space and Ventilation....good reads for a newbie to start learning.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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