Originally Posted by lazy gardener
Agree with CTKen. Further ?'s How much roost space do you have? Are they roosting, or bedding down on the floor? How close to the wall are the roosts? How much ceiling space above the roosts? How tall is the coop on the inside? What are the roosts made of? Any windows? How much ventilation (square inches). Crowded birds are going to be birds that will develop aggressive habits that may only be fixed by putting them in the stew pot. Crowded birds are also going to be very prone to health issues. Assuming that your nest boxes are outside of that 24 s.f., when all is done and said, your coop will be maxed out with 6 birds. Personally, I think you and they'd be happier with 4 in that limited space.
Thanks for the feedback. Space is as noted. 24 SQ feet, with 4 additional sq feet of nesting boxes. The run is about another 200 SQ FT, and is always open to them. We have on occasion let them out to roam the rest of the yard, but that isn't fenced in so we watch pretty closely as they do that and make sure we are out there with them.
Currently the birds bed down on the floor of the coop, all huddled up, they have yet to use the roosts. The roost itself is something that I made with sticks that I had from yard work. I saw the idea here somewhere on the forums, but no piece of the stick is larger than 2" diameter. The roost is built as a ladder, and leans up in the coop. The top rung is 1 FT away from the wall, and has 2 or so feet above it before the roof of the coop. The other end is closer to the nesting boxes and sits about 18" from them. It has about 3 FT headspace above it. Overall, interior height of the coop is 5 FT on one side, and 4 FT on the other.
The coop itself does not have windows, but there are large vents between the walls and roof on two sides. Total is about 396 SQ IN of vent space, which also lets in a lot of light.
I am happy to learn more about this, as this is my first go with the chickens. When planning my coop size the research I did said that not as large a coop was needed if they had full access to an adequate run. Right now I have a lot of birds, but that number will intentionally reduce. When ordering my birds I got straight runs, and got some more for a friend to add to their flock. I am hoping for about 8 birds in the end. The number of roosters with determine that however.
Thanks so much for you insights. I am anxious for any others.