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Coop vs run size

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi there,

Just started keeping chickens this spring after inheriting a coop and run from a neighbor who decided not to keep chickens anymore. I'm planning to keep more than the three ladies I ended up with, to a maximum of 6 (that's the limit according to the city). I keep reading different things about the size I need. The current coop has very little roosting space (4x3) but lots of lay box space attached to both sides (4 lay boxes making it 6x3). Question is this: do I really need a larger coop if the run expanded to 6' tallx6' widex10-15' long? I do let them free range for a few hours every evening but would like to be able to go out of town and leave them enclosed from time to time. I can build a giant box for the run, but I'm lost about how to modify the coop to make it bigger. Seems a waste to buy a new one. How much sleep and laying space do they really need?
post #2 of 6

The standard recommended minimum space requirements are 4sqft per bird for the coop and 10 sqft for the run (and 1 ft per bird for the roost). If the run is much larger, and at least partially covered / protected from the elements, then a slightly smaller coop may work. but ideally, the more space, the happier your flock. 

 

You could certainly remove 3 of the nest boxes, if you intend keeping no more than 4 chickens, which would free up some space. 

 

All the best

 

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Sorry I wasn't clear, the best boxes are added space to the coop. it's 4x3, then both ends have cut outs and the nest boxes were attached to the outside. But I suppose that's neither here nor there- 1ft per bird to roost is something I've never read before and I definitely don't have that. Guess I need to figure out a new coop if I want more birds! Thanks!
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by pheebster View Post

1ft per bird to roost is something I've never read before and I definitely don't have that.

They probably will only use 8" a bird give or take most of the time, but in extreme hot weather they will spread out much closer to that 1 foot center to center if they have the room to do so, while in cold weather they will pack in like sardines in a can using closer to 6" of roost per bird...
post #5 of 6
Chickens hate being crowded and tend to act out in very nasty ways.

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post #6 of 6

Can you post a photo of the coop? 

 

The amount of run space you propose does not sound bad, and even more so if you can give them the run of the yard for a few hours each day. Hopefully you won't mind what they eat while in the yard and what they leave behind when they do?

 

You have already mentioned enough things to suggest the thing was built by someone who knew nothing about raising chickens. (A coop that small needs only 1, maybe 2 nest boxes at the most). So too many nest boxes and not enough roost space? There may be some other things out of whack with it that a photo or two might reveal.

 

There may be a good reason why your gifting neighbor got out of the chicken business? On the other hand, with a few tweaks, it may work very well. Hard to say until one could see it.

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