Originally Posted by theEgglayers
On May 28th I decided that I wanted to raise chickens, on June 1st I had a flock of 11 young birds, 2 weeks to 4 weeks, living in a dog kennel in my garage.
Now I am in need of assistance in the next steps. I am here at BYC to get the help, support and community that myself, and my flock, will need to survive my excited ascent into chicken husbandry.
My first road block, as it may be, is that I need to get the chickens out of my garage. So I have a book, it says 3-4 sq ft per bird in an open space, or 7-10 sq ft for a confined space. What is a coop with a run attached considered? If I have a coop, that is 6 ft by 5 ft and an attached run that is 6 ft by 12 ft, is that enough space for that many chickens, and how do I know if I can add more :)
I'm not sure about the "3-4 sq ft per bird in an open space , or 7-10 sq ft for a confined space"...seems kind of backwards to me. The most often quoted "rule of thumb" is 4 square feet of coop space per bird and 10 square feet of run per bird. This really varies with type of chicken, personalities, climate, how much free ranging they will get, etc.,...the variation normally leans to more space per bird to keep them happy. Adhering to the that "rule",...for a coop 6x5 feet in dimensions around seven birds would fit in there. For a run of 6x12 feet, you could fit about the same number chickens in there....around seven. The two (the coop and the run) are usually calculated on a separate population density. This is for normal/large size fowl. Bantams you could have more.
Climate has a big impact on housing. If they are crowded into a coop too small for their numbers and they have to stay in there for an extended period of time (freezing weather, etc.) then they will become very unhappy and start causing problems...pecking, bullying,fighting, murder, etc.,. Same situation can happen if they're simply confined to too small of an area regardless of weather. Overcrowded is...overcrowded.
ETA: I would certainly add no more to the population for the size of housing that you've stated unless all the birds were bantams. Also, the "rule" is really more of a guideline than a rule and some people get away with a high population density. Just starting out I would recommend against pushing the envelope. ;)
Edited by Intheswamp - 6/4/16 at 6:38am