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How many chickens can this coop and run house? - Page 2

post #11 of 16

No harm, no foul (fowl?).

 

Since you question was related to size, and since these forums get reviewed over time and read by a lot of folks......this might be a good place to post a reminder.

 

Chickens, and for that matter, almost all animals, including us, require a minimum amount of space to be comfortable. "I need my space"? As for farm animals raised in confinement, generally the goal of commercial producers is to get as much bang for the buck from structures as possible......so they pack in as many animals as they can get away with before the social issues caused by crowding becomes counterproductive. For laying hens in confinement, that is generally thought to be about 4 SF per adult laying hen. Again, that number goes back at least 100 years. Commercial egg producers have pushed that envelope up a lot to the point of packing birds into cages with less than 1 SF per bird......no run. But they have to do all sorts of unmentionable things to the birds to accomplish that. Nothing we would ever consider doing.

 

Yet it can be confusing. There are so many conflicting stories, not to mention all the small commercial houses made for backyard growers that have totally unrealistic claims of capacity. I am amazed at how far up the ladder these conflicting stories go. Here is information lifted from an Internet chicken guru as far as his recommendations for the basic design of your coop:

 

Basic Design:

One square foot per chicken if they have at least three square feet of outdoor space.
Build large enough to handle future growth.
Three square foot per chicken minimum if their house is permanent and they won’t have access to the outdoors (not recommended).

 

A lot of the rest of what was posted on that site looks correct (deep litter, etc.) but I would be curious where he got his space requirement numbers. They seem awfully extreme to me.

 

If followed literally, by my calculations, the OP would be able to house 6 adult birds in the coop pictured. Really?

 

In short....... "stray from the known and proven formula that works, you pay the price".


Edited by Howard E - 6/4/16 at 6:33am
post #12 of 16
It never hurts to have an extra coop or some place to contain chickens. That’s not a great size but it does give you some flexibility. I’d suggest after you get your new coop built you replace the floor of that with ½” hardware cloth or some similar mesh wiring. Then you can use that as a broody buster if you need to. Some wire has little sharp nibs that can injure their feet but that is usually just on one side so make sure the smooth side is up. You could also use that as a mini-grow out coop if you add more chickens in the future or just isolate a chicken from the flock, say if one is injured and needs to heal.

How old are the chicks, or more importantly, can they get through the openings in the run wire? That looks like 2x4 welded wire which should be strong enough to stop ground-based predators except bears, but the chicks might be able to go through it. You might want to put a finer mesh around the bottom foot or so. Be aware that climbing predators can get into that run.

Before you build your new coop you might follow the link in my signature about space. I’m not a believer in magic numbers, there are so many variables that no one magic number can cover us all. Reading that might encourage you to build something larger than the bare minimum and might give you some hints on managing them.

Good luck! I think you are going to enjoy the adventure.

 I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

 

"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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 I grow a little impatient when people seem to think that they are unique in the world. Of course they are. Just like everyone else.

 

"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
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post

It never hurts to have an extra coop or some place to contain chickens. That’s not a great size but it does give you some flexibility. I’d suggest after you get your new coop built you replace the floor of that with ½” hardware cloth or some similar mesh wiring. Then you can use that as a broody buster if you need to. Some wire has little sharp nibs that can injure their feet but that is usually just on one side so make sure the smooth side is up. You could also use that as a mini-grow out coop if you add more chickens in the future or just isolate a chicken from the flock, say if one is injured and needs to heal.

How old are the chicks, or more importantly, can they get through the openings in the run wire? That looks like 2x4 welded wire which should be strong enough to stop ground-based predators except bears, but the chicks might be able to go through it. You might want to put a finer mesh around the bottom foot or so. Be aware that climbing predators can get into that run.

Before you build your new coop you might follow the link in my signature about space. I’m not a believer in magic numbers, there are so many variables that no one magic number can cover us all. Reading that might encourage you to build something larger than the bare minimum and might give you some hints on managing them.

Good luck! I think you are going to enjoy the adventure.

Thank you i'm going to start building a 5 foot by 4 foot coop next weekend with a larger run. Im unsure of the age of my chicks but i'd estimate that they are anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks old. I've had them in their coop for a couple of days and they are just loving it but they were able to get out of the run so i put some smaller wire fencing about a foot off the ground and since then i haven't had any escapees. Thank you all for posting your knowledge on my coop so now i'm going to build them a bigger coop so i can keep my small flock happy and healthy.

post #14 of 16

Good size and good plan. Keep us posted!

 

I see you are in North Dakota? As a matter of irrelevant trivia, North Dakota State has one of the better collection of historic chicken house plans available for download. The smallest I found was 6' x 8', with most being larger.......much larger. And these are the type of plans farmers would have used from 50 to 80 years ago. Not sure I would build one today, but interesting to look at to see how they did the roost bars, nest boxes, feeders, waterers, windows, doors, etc.

 

https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/extension-aben/buildingplans/poultry

 

Most buildings back then were made prior to plywood or plywood siding. The nearly universal siding material they used was car siding or drop siding. While common then, it is not now. Available, but not common and about 2x to 4x more expensive than plywood. I looked at it and decided gold bars might be cheaper. But if you could find an old building of this type to salvage.........that stuff is very good for a chicken house.

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 

Update: I've figured that building another coop that is the same exact size as the one that i already built and then attaching them to each other via taking off one of the walls and screwing the two coops together would be a cheaper approach at building a bigger coop. I calculated that that would give me about 14 square feet. I am also going to extend the run to ensure my chicks have plenty of space. Also i forgot to mention that i'm almost 95% sure one of my chicks is a roo and i cannot have roosters where i live so there will be plenty of room for just 3 chickens in this new and improved coop and run. My question is, would you put fencing/netting on top of the run?

post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndchiks View Post
 

Update: I've figured that building another coop that is the same exact size as the one that i already built and then attaching them to each other via taking off one of the walls and screwing the two coops together would be a cheaper approach at building a bigger coop. I calculated that that would give me about 14 square feet. I am also going to extend the run to ensure my chicks have plenty of space. Also i forgot to mention that i'm almost 95% sure one of my chicks is a roo and i cannot have roosters where i live so there will be plenty of room for just 3 chickens in this new and improved coop and run. My question is, would you put fencing/netting on top of the run?

well I have coons and such that come up to the house about 4 pm,  so I put Hardware cloth over everything.

Hens: 4 Black Jersey giants, 3 BO,  2 BR, 1CX, ...1 mix roo  ... labor day chicks 5 BJG mix, 1 BO mix .. . Halloween chicks: 2  barred rock mix and 4 cornish cross mix.... Turkeys: 1 BBB hen ,  4 Narragansett jakes  Yummy.....

1 dog 2 cats

If the hen defends her chicks beneath her wings; how much more shalt thou be safe beneath the wings of God ...Psalm XCI 

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Hens: 4 Black Jersey giants, 3 BO,  2 BR, 1CX, ...1 mix roo  ... labor day chicks 5 BJG mix, 1 BO mix .. . Halloween chicks: 2  barred rock mix and 4 cornish cross mix.... Turkeys: 1 BBB hen ,  4 Narragansett jakes  Yummy.....

1 dog 2 cats

If the hen defends her chicks beneath her wings; how much more shalt thou be safe beneath the wings of God ...Psalm XCI 

Reply
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