post #11 of 11
You might follow the link in my signature to get some of my thoughts on room. That could help you decide how to manage them. I don’t believe in magic numbers for chickens. We are each unique in many ways and there are a lot of different things that change requirements. I understand someone with no experience needing some guidelines, but these are starting points, not destinations, and are overkill for many of us. Still, I’m a big proponent of providing as much room as you can.

You just mention a run. I don’t know if you plan on having a coop with that or not. People tend to departmentalize run space and coop space but chickens don’t think like that. They don’t care if space is in the coop, the run, or both. It’s total space available that counts for them, wherever it is.

It’s not just about square footage either. The quality of the space makes a difference. If chickens are overcrowded you can easily get behavioral issues, some serious. Sometimes chickens just need to avoid each other. With enough square footage they can do that, but having something that blocks the line of sight can also help, something that they can hide behind. If they can go into the coop while the others are in the run or the run while the others are on the coop gives them an ability to avoid the others. Something else to help them avoid is to have roosts or perches high enough so they can get up away from the others.

Another space stretcher is to elevate the coop above the run. That’s very commonly done in small backyards. What do you plan for a coop?

The tighter you crowd them the harder you have to work. Chickens poop a lot and it builds up. In a small space it can really build up. If it builds up and gets wet it stinks. By crowding your birds you will probably be doing a lot of poop management. Do you want to do that on your hands and knees? You might want to think about the height of the run. I like to stand up in mine without banging my head.

I spent a year in London many decades ago and traveled around your country then and since. I understand your comment about your small yards, or as you call them, gardens. But before you totally dismiss not having enough room, go out and measure how much room you do have. Don’t give up too easily. You may find you have more room than you think.

Good luck! I hope you can overcome your challenges.

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

Reply