Originally Posted by katiegoodrow
We just have two. I can't believe these coops are marketed for 4 birds. But that makes perfect sense, because the floor of the deck is so close to the top of the coop it's acting as their roof and I have to admit it looks pretty cozy up there. Adding a separate roosting area sounds like the best solution. They are at least smart enough to sleep in there when it rains but stayed out most of the freezing winter!
The issue with the number of birds quoted as being able to be housed in a given pre-fab unit is that they base the spacial needs of birds on those used for commercial production - conditions which are beyond overcrowded. It's really unfortunate because those who don't already have the knowledge regarding space per bird, etc are going to rely on what is quoted on a package. You would think that something that is marketed as being "for chickens" would be designed with at least one factor that is actually appropriate for chickens, right -- but in the case of these things there isn't a single part that is.
ETA - as for the freezing winter -- as long as they are up out of the wind (ie under the porch) there is no difference between them being inside the coop or outside of it on a roost.....in fact, the outside is actually better in some ways as these units are very poorly ventilated and would quickly gather humidity which, in winter temps, lends itself to higher risk of frost bite, etc. The fact that they were sleeping outside of it shows they are smart--chickens are nearly as fragile as we sometimes think they are.
Edited by Ol Grey Mare - 3/12/16 at 4:59pm