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Coop space question!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I plan to have around 20 chickens (in the future). I've read a lot of different resources on coop size and space and all that, but it just kinda makes my head spin a bit! I'd get 5 or 6 chickens the first year, then same for the next 3 years until I have around 20. I say 5 or 6 because I figure I'll probably lose a couple along the way, hopefully not though.

 

So would an 8' x 10' coop be enough for 20 chickens? I plan to attach a much larger run as well (size undetermined right now). Should I go bigger with the coop? If my flock were to "accidentally" grow a little larger than 20 birds, would an 8' x 10' coop no longer be enough?

 

I plan to mount the nest boxes on the outside of the coop so it doesn't take up space inside! The nest boxes would go on one of the 8 ft sides and the roosts would be on the other 8 ft side, so there should be plenty of roosting space. I will probably go with a ladder-type roosting area. Large doors on the back 10 ft side for easy cleaning. I would keep a dust bin for them to bathe in inside the coop also, and an extra feeder and waterer.

 

I've read this article: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need and other similar articles, I just sort of need confirmation I guess! lol

 

Thank you in advance!

~Nikki :)

 

 

Current pets - I have 2 boy kitties, a snowshoe and a brown tabby!

 

Future pets - Adopt 1 or 2 rescue greyhounds, adopt a bonded pair of house bunnies, get a nice "little" flock of chickens (around 12-16, all different breeds!) and some serama chickens as pets! And cats, of course! :P

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~Nikki :)

 

 

Current pets - I have 2 boy kitties, a snowshoe and a brown tabby!

 

Future pets - Adopt 1 or 2 rescue greyhounds, adopt a bonded pair of house bunnies, get a nice "little" flock of chickens (around 12-16, all different breeds!) and some serama chickens as pets! And cats, of course! :P

Reply
post #2 of 7

Bigger is ALWAYS better!  My birds have more space and it's not too much, so building as large as possible is best.  Mary

post #3 of 7

Bigger is better, especially if weather will keep them in for days at a time. Covered runs help to stretch their shelter sq footage a bit. Ladder-type roosts can be a challenge. You need at least a foot vertically and horizontally between the rungs to give the birds enough room to maneuver and so that the birds on the lower rungs don't get pooped on.

post #4 of 7

An 8x10 coop is going to give you the bare minimum space requirements for 20 birds.  I would make it larger or have fewer birds.  You will not likely ever see anyone complain about problems with too much space but you will see lots of threads about problems resulting from to many birds crammed into to small of a space.  Problems that are much easier avoided then solved. 

wife to long suffering husband who has built more miles of fence, barns, coops and enclosures then one man should have to, two teenage boys, current flock of 13 assorted hens, 1 big red roo and a list of other assorted farm animals. 
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wife to long suffering husband who has built more miles of fence, barns, coops and enclosures then one man should have to, two teenage boys, current flock of 13 assorted hens, 1 big red roo and a list of other assorted farm animals. 
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post #5 of 7
IMO, too small. Our coop is 8' x9' (actually 8' x 18' half is storage), we have 6 chickens. In that space I'd maybe add 2 or 3. Crowding causes behavior problems and is harder to keep clean.

We do have a large covered run where they spend most of their time but there are times they choose to be in.
2 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Black Sex Links,. 1 Golden Retriever, 1 "old man" cat and 2 Betta.
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2 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Black Sex Links,. 1 Golden Retriever, 1 "old man" cat and 2 Betta.
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post #6 of 7
In Sweden you are going to see some snow. Chickens don’t like change. When they wake up to a new world all white, well that can keep them confined to the coop for several days. It’s not so much that they don’t like snow, it’s more that they don’t like change. After a few days mine will go out walking in it, but it can be a few days. I’ve seen them wade through 9 inches (225 ml) of snow to check out the compost, but not the first couple of days. With these, the snow fell during the day while they were out so the change was gradual enough they never bothered to go in.



Chickens don’t mind cold weather but they do not like a cold wind at all. It was 4 degrees Fahrenheit (- 16 C) when I took this. I just left the pop door open and gave them their choice. If a cold wind had been blowing, they would have been inside.



Where you are your chickens will be confined to the coop for some stretches during the winter. If you can keep snow out of at least part of your run and put up wind blocks to protect them from the wind, an 8’ x 20’ is probably big enough for 20 full sized chickens. They might even be OK if they cannot get to the run for days at a time but I’d be concerned they might start getting bored and start picking on each other.

This is not one of those cases where you are either going to be fine or it will certainly be a disaster. You are in the range where it could go either way. I think some effort to block wind and snow in the run might be a real good idea. That would probably help you a lot more than adding a little more room in the coop.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for your info! I will definitely go much bigger when I do start!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post

Thank you for all that info! I won't actually be having chickens in Sweden, I'm American and planning on getting back to the states in a few years. Hopefully somewhere in the south! Just trying to learn as much as I can in the meantime, so I can avoid rookie mistakes when the time finally comes to raise my own chickens. :)

~Nikki :)

 

 

Current pets - I have 2 boy kitties, a snowshoe and a brown tabby!

 

Future pets - Adopt 1 or 2 rescue greyhounds, adopt a bonded pair of house bunnies, get a nice "little" flock of chickens (around 12-16, all different breeds!) and some serama chickens as pets! And cats, of course! :P

Reply

~Nikki :)

 

 

Current pets - I have 2 boy kitties, a snowshoe and a brown tabby!

 

Future pets - Adopt 1 or 2 rescue greyhounds, adopt a bonded pair of house bunnies, get a nice "little" flock of chickens (around 12-16, all different breeds!) and some serama chickens as pets! And cats, of course! :P

Reply
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