How much room do chickens need

What is important is how much space is available when they need it. Whether that space in in your coop, coop and run, or they sleep in trees and...
By Ridgerunner · Dec 1, 2013 · Updated Jan 24, 2015 · ·
  1. Ridgerunner
    I don’t believe in magic numbers for chickens. We keep them in so many different conditions, in different climates, with different flock make-ups, use so many different management techniques, and have different goals so no one magic number will cover us all. Summer in Miami may be different from winter in Nova Scotia, for example. I find that the tighter I crowd them the more behavioural problems I am likely to have, the less flexibility I have in dealing with problems, and the harder I have to work.

    The behavioral problems from overcrowding could be anywhere from them being loud, feather-picking, bullying, fighting, all the way to cannibalism. Flexibility is not just dealing with behavioral problems but maybe integration and broody hens, predator problems or many other things. As an extreme example, say you have damage to your run where you cannot safely keep your chickens penned during the day. Do you have to miss a day’s work or not take your kids to school to deal with it immediately or can you lock them in the coop until you have time to deal with it on your schedule? As for hard work, think poop management. The smaller space they are in the more you have to physically manage the poop.

    What is important is how much space is available when they need it. Whether that space in in your coop, coop and run, or they sleep in trees and totally free range doesn’t matter. If all you use your coop for is to provide a safe place for them to sleep and you commit to getting up when they do 365 days a year so you can open the pop door, you really don’t need much space in the coop itself. The space available is the coop plus the run or maybe free range. But the more you commit yourself to a specific way of managing them, the less flexibility you have. For instance, how hard will it be to find someone to take care of your chickens when you go on vacation if they have to be there at dawn as opposed to 9:00 a.m. being OK?

    I understand that people without experience need general guidelines to go by. There are several rules of thumb to help people get started. A popular one on this forum is 4 square feet per chicken in the coop along with 10 square feet per chicken in the run. This is geared toward people with a small backyard flock in suburbia, not a big flock in a rural setting. It will keep most people out of trouble in a wide range of climates and using different management techniques. That means it is overkill for a lot of people as far as the bare absolute minimum they could get by with, but occasionally it proves to be a bit tight. Still it is a good starting point.

    Some of the things that make up the space requirement are, in my opinion:

    1. Personal space for the birds. They have different personalities and different individual requirements. Some are very possessive of personal space and some can share. Each flock has its own dynamics. There are breed tendencies but individual birds of the same breed can have totally different personalities.

    2. Access to feeder and waterer.

    3. Being able to put the feeder and waterer where they will not poop in it when they roost.

    4. Roost spacing. They not only need to have enough room to sleep on the roost, they need to have enough room for them to spread their wings and fly to the roost and to sort out who gets to sleep next to whom and who gets the prime spots once they get on the roost. When they get on, they may jump from some midway support or fly directly to the roost, but either way, they like to spread their wings. And some chickens seem to enjoy blocking the entry points if there are limits. When they get off, mine tend to want to fly down, not jump to a halfway point. They need room to fly down without bumping into feeders, waterers, nesting boxes, or a wall.

    The more chickens you have the less roost space per chicken you need. They don’t take up a lot of room when they are roosting once access and maneuvering room is provided. But I find that mine can be pretty vicious on the roosts as they are settling down, especially when I am integrating. I find it helps to have lots of roost space, not the bare minimum.

    5. Poop load. The larger area they have the less often you have to actively manage the poop. They poop a lot while on the roost so you may have to give that area special consideration, but mucking out the entire coop can be backbreaking work plus you have to have some place to put all that bedding and poop. In my opinion, totally cleaning out the coop is something that needs to happen as seldom as possible.

    You can help manage poop load by using a droppings board but that commits you to regularly scraping the poop off and dealing with it.

    6. How often are they able to get out of the coop? How often they are allowed out of the coop may depend on a lot more than just weather. Your work schedule, when you are able to turn them loose, what time of day you open the pop door to let them out or lock them up at night, all this and more enters into the equation. The 4 square feet recommendation assumes they will spend extended time in the coop and not be able to get in the run occasionally. What that extended time can safely be depends on a lot of different factor so there is no one correct length of time for everyone.

    7. Do you feed and water in the coop or outside. The more they are outside, the less pressure on the size of the coop.

    8. The size of the chicken. Bantams require less room than full sized chickens. This has to be tempered by breed and the individual personalities. Some bantams can be more protective of personal space than others, but this is also true of full sized breeds. Young chicks need less space than mature adults but in a mixed age flock, extra room is important.

    9. The breed of the chicken. Some handle confinement better than others.

    10. The number of chickens. The greater the number of chickens, the more personal space they can have if the square foot per chicken stays constant. Let me explain. Assume each chicken occupies 1 square foot of space. If you have two chickens and 4 square feet per chicken, the two chickens occupy 2 square feet, which leaves 6 square feet for them to explore. If you have ten chickens with 4 square feet per chicken, each chicken has 30 unoccupied square feet to explore. A greater number also can give more space to position the feeders and waterers properly in relation to the roosts and provide access. In general the more chickens you have the less space per chicken you need.

    11. What is your flock make-up? Adding one rooster to a flock of hens does not greatly increase the required space needed, though it sometimes helps flock dynamics if they have more space. But adding a second or additional roosters can greatly affect the amount of room they need. Often multiple roosters will split the flock into separate harems with each rooster claiming his own territory. That reduces conflict.

    12. What is the maximum number of chickens you will have. Consider hatching chicks or bringing in replacements. Look down the road a bit.

    13. Do you want a broody to raise chicks with the flock? A broody needs sufficient room to work with.

    14. The more space you have, the easier it is to integrate chickens. Chickens have developed a way to live together in a flock. It’s called the pecking order. But establishing that pecking order can sometimes be pretty violent. One method they use to take most of the danger out of establishing the pecking order is that the weaker runs away from the stronger when there is a confrontation or they just avoid the stronger to start with. They need room to run away and avoid.

    15. The more space you have the more flexibility you have dealing with problems or altering your management techniques. That’s just basic.

    I'm sure I am missing several components, but the point I'm trying to make is that we all have different conditions. There is no magic number that suits us all. I generally cringe when I see a post asking “How many chickens can I shoehorn into this size space?” I think the better way to look at it is to first decide how many chickens you want, then ask “How can I provide sufficient space?”

    Some people consider giving chickens extra space to be coddling the chickens. Let’s examine that. If I give them extra space I have to deal with fewer behavior problems, I have more flexibility in managing them or in dealing with problems that come up, and I don’t have to work as hard. Is that coddling the chickens or is that not going out of my way to make my life harder than it has to be?

    For more discussions on the coop sizes and flock management see the Coop & Run and the Managing Your Flock forum sections.

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Recent User Reviews

  1. firsttimechickenmamainRI
    "Thanks for this!!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jun 28, 2019
    Great help, now my husband needs to work on a coop extension, complete with a higher roosting bar so the pecking order can be maintained...
  2. DixxieChick
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jun 27, 2019
    This is a well thought out article. Thank you for taking the time to write and share it with us!
  3. NoodlesMama
    "Great article"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jun 2, 2019
    I love how this takes into consideration everyone has different needs. Right now I’m getting teased by my neighbor for over providing space for my chickens but come fall when my chick order comes and is ready to join the flock it will be just right with a little wiggle room. Meanwhile he had to give some of his away due to crowding issues. His loss was my gain because of all the “wasted” space I had I was able to accommodate the birds he needed to rehome ASAP. He teases me but we keep chickens for different reasons, where he is only concerned with production I keep mine for pets and eggs. I spoil mine where he is more bare bones. At the at the end of the day each of us will do what is best for our individual flock’s needs as well as well as what experience has taught us works.


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  1. townchicks
    Such a good article. I, too cringe when I see posts asking how many chickens can I put in this space. My girls have a small coop, 2sqft per bird, but they only sleep or lay eggs there, and they have a 120 sqft covered run, and access to an additional Approx 200sqft poultry net covered yard every day. That's for 3 birds. I am planning to add another 2 to 3 hens in a year or two, as mine get older. I know the coop will need to be bigger, but a least the run and yard will be fine. I look at my run though, and try to imagine 10 birds in there, and I just think, no, not enough room. Another very good point, is what about when you want to leave. Most farmers don't even get the point of petsitters, way to many animals and daily chores, but us suburban and urban chicken keepers still want to take our vacay, and not many petsitters will commit to being there at dawn. Thus, my completely enclosed run is designed so the girls can still be safe, and the pop door can be left open all night. I still close the pop door when I am home, however. Just to be extra safe.
  2. ChicksforZ
    Can you have 2 smaller coops and a common fenced run or should there be only one coop?
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    1. Molpet
      I have two coops in one poultry yard after hatching is done... they tend to move into one coop
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  3. 3riverschick
    I don't get number 10. So if I have 7 large fowl, how big does my cop have to be? It seems the author is saying something other than the oft quoted rule of "4 sq. ft. per bird inside".
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    1. Ridgerunner
      That's the whole point of this. There are way too many variables for any square feet per chicken rule to have much meaning.
  4. ChickenCanoe
    Great write up as always.
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  5. t3wine
    Great article, thank you!
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  6. Walkbarefoot
    I am new to chickens... I have 10 who are 5 weeks old and am getting ready to move them from my basement to my garage. We have a 5 x 6 coop and a 20x20 enclosure. I am looking for something that I can enclose them in to move them around the yard so they have access to grass and bugs. We have a TON of hawks, eagles and a couple of neighborhood cats, so I want to keep them enclosed to keep them safe.
    I just bought a 7.5 x 7.5 dog kennel that I was in hopes of moving around the yard... Do you think this would be enough room? They are not going to live in it by any means. Just a way to allow them access to some fresh grass.
    My theory is they never can have too much room, but that is killing me when it comes to making a decision... We have 2 acres and I plan on moving this kennel around so they have access to fresh each day.
    Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide me. Great article!!
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  7. aliciaFarmer
    Thank you so much for writing such a great article and sharing your wisdom and insight. My coop is 8x16ft with another covered open air 10x16ft area and 10x24ft run with the future ability to free range beyond that. I currently have 21 girls and planned on getting 15 more and a couple of roos but now see the potential errors in my thinking. Thank you again -- I needed this!
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  8. renk777
    I needed this! I have a roo with some gnarly feet and posted on here for help. Responders were great and we've tried to figure out the cause and a treatment plan. In the end, coop size came into question and it was determined I don't have enough space :( Both of our coops are inside a larger run that's roughly 20' x 12'. One coop is a typical TSC rated for up to 8 birds...though I feel 6 would be more comfortable. We only close that one at night or when integrating new flock members. The other is a 4' x 6' coop intended for 8 - 10 birds to sleep. But during the winter, they were all cramming themselves in there so we added a 3rd roosting bar and moved the food / water into the run. We currently have 12 chickens though we had over 20 last summer at one point. It didn't feel crowded because they free ranged in yard during the day and roosted in various locations within coops/run at night. We downsized a bit before winter and again this Spring to reach 12 birds...between 2 a 20' x 12'ish run. The advice was that I didn't have enough space for my birds and I was devastated; I really appreciated the commenter's advice but was sad that I'm a bad chicken mom. We try so hard to give ours the best food and care possible. But when I calculate total space divided by 10, I don't think 12 birds is too much. They have a choice of 2 coops and are opting to occupy one together. It opens automatically at sunrise and closes at dusk. Based on your article, I'll never have over 20 birds again in this location but I feel a little better about our current setup with 12 birds than I did the past few days! Thank you!
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    1. Maugwa
      My story is similar to yours. I had built a 4' x 6' coup with an 8' x 16' run (actually a little bigger because the coup is 3' off the ground and the room under it is part of the run too), and figured this was plenty for eight birds. I now know it's only suppossed to be big enough for six, they say, but my thinking then was it was a little longer and a little wider than one I found on line that was supposed to hold 8 -10. I bought then six Golden Comet chicks, sex linked pullets, and two straight run Rhode Island Reds (one of which is my only rooster now), one day while working out of town in a town 80 miles from home in a town with a Tractor Supply, Cheyenne, on my way home. But I'll be darned if my girlfriend didn't that very same day take a trip with some of her friends to a town with a Bomgar's 35 miles in a different direction, and decide to get four Barred Rock pullets, and six Buff Orpingtons pullets on her way home too.

      So now I have 18 chicks and not enough room. They all were fine in my office in a horse tank brooder I hauled in for the first three weeks (Well one BO died a few days old, don't know why, trampled maybe?). At that point I put them all in the finished 4' x 6' coup with a heat lamp, it was still snowing some days and below freezing most nights in Wyoming last April, but they had more room than the tank in my office.

      All the while that this is going on, weather permitting, and after work, or weekends, I'm working on a duplicate coup/run on the other end. When I was done, I had two coups the same on both ends of an 8' x 32' run with a dividing door in the middle. They had all been using that same coup and the first half of the run for about three or four more weeks outside, but they were all still pretty small around two months old when the second coup was ready. I had been letting them out in the run after it warmed up some, and they knew how to go to bed on their own.

      Then one day in May, everything was ready, I opened the door connecting both halves of the runs together and gave them all access to everything. They immediately explored it all, inside and out, but that night, they were all back in the original coup. Ok, I thought, and I split them into two groups and put half on each end. The half on the original end went to bed as always, but on the new end, they perched on some roosts in the run. I went out after dark and physically placed them in the new coup and shut the little door on them for the night. I done this for two weeks straight and never got one to go to bed on it's own. I started leaving the mid door open, seems they all prefer the same coop. They go right to bed over there. Probably how they were raised, I know, but it seems it can't be undone by now.

      I have almost two acres of six foot fence in my back yard. Some is chain link, and some is wood privacy. I also have a 100lb+ Red Bone Coon Hound who likes my chickens and protects my yard, so I decided to make some other changes last summer regarding my chickens. I eliminated all of the run but the first 12' of the original run, and the first 4' of the second run. I converted those parts of the runs to a three sided sheds open only to the East for wind, rain, shade, and snow, protection. The open side is still 1/2" hardware clothe and has a walk through door for me and one for the chickens. They go in there then up their ramp into the original coup. In the newer part of the second coup I have added a small additional nesting box 2' x 2' just 4" off the ground. There is still the 4' x 6' under the coup and 4' x 8' on the side with a ramp leading into the second coup. The nearly unused coup. I'm hoping to get a broody to show up soon, and hoping to move her in here in the nest near the ground (I don't want baby chicks on the tall ramp right away. But so far nothing is broody. I'm thinking that if I raise them in here maybe I can get them to use that other coup.

      Of the other batch, now 15 (one was culled, a pullet that turned out to be a second rooster instead, and one just went missing, no sign of dead chicken, or feathers anywhere -- a couple have flown over the 6' fence before, not many, or not often, but the few who have usually hang out by the gate, lonely and wanting in -- but not this one time apparently). Those 15 seem to like sharing that coup so I let them. When it's warm they have plenty of roosts in the run that is now a three sided shed and they sleep out there, but if cold, they go in the original coup. They don't seem to mind 15 birds in 24 square feet, so if they're happy, so am I.

      There is one, only one, Barred Rock, the tamest of them all, that every day goes into the new coup and lays her egg, lol, but she won't go in there at night. Other than those two or three weeks that I tried to force them to use this coup, she's the only one that uses it at all so far.
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  9. Fox2112
    We finalized the design for a full height 7 x 8 shed design that will be the coop. The chickens will have access to outside in a large pen most of the time and quasi free-ranging with additional pens and a large fenced in garden (we have a lot of property). I plan to rotate them often so they have access to fresh ground.
    We ordered 8 chicks but I'd like 2 more. People discuss area of a space, but doesn't the height come into account? Nesting boxes will protrude, feeder and waterer will be sleek, birds are cold-hardy, confinement-tolerant breeds.
    Think its enough coop space for 10 large birds?
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  10. chickenmeadow
    Good points, as always, to consider. Mine spend most of their time outdoors in the run (with possible future plans to free range with fencing in the meadow), the have choice to stand in the open or under a couple of covered areas. They eat & water outside & in. They have plenty of roost & floor space in the coop, so all is well. I've "mapped out" what my coop's comfortable limit is by observing day & night, will consider that before my own greed. Thanks for all of the reminders, your article is excellent. Best wishes.
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  11. Emmanuelle
    Nice! I was trying to convince my boyfriend to make a bigger coop. Now I have solid arguments for this. His main concern is heat however. We have really cold winter in VT and this year we had temperatures as low as -25F. Does anyone have recommendations as to how to manage the heat problem and increase the size of the coop at the same time. Also, another thing that comes to mind is freezing water. The waterer I have freezes over and over in the winter. I break the ice in the morning before work and change the water and then do it again in the evening. Suggestions?
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  12. Mark Cavalli
    What a great article very helpful for me soon I will be adding to my flock. I have some work to do now that I have read and understand more about what I am doing. Learned a lot thank you for your help.
  13. Peter.J
    Nice article
  14. kathlynr8
    Great article.
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  15. biophiliac
    Excellent coverage of this topic. Is there no way to Bookmark an Article? :barnie
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  16. Bek
    What a great article! This definitely help a newbie like myself when trying to deduce the "right" way. I'm sure I will be referencing this over and again as I work on plans for my first from-scratch coop build.
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  17. Katbird59
    I am in my third year and need to add to my flock. Great advice. Some a reminder and some really new and insightful to me. Thanks.
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  18. MIChickandGuinea
    THANK YOU for this really common-sense article about chicken space. I have read and read about this topic, and I have found two extremes - the agricultural extreme where farmers are trying to get the maximum number of egg producing hens into their barns, so the birds have very little space, and the hobbyist extreme where they say in no uncertain terms that each bird must have 4 sq. ft. indoors and 10 sq. ft. outdoors or else we are abusing our animals.
  19. Foristers
    Great article. Thank you. Initially I built my coop and run with the same basic numbers in mind - 4 ft2 for the coop and 10 ft2 for the run. My birds are "coop trained" which means that when the sun sets they instinctively know to go into the coop to sleep and when the sun rises they come out and start looking for food. While I think that the 4 ft2 per bird for the coop is plenty sufficient for this type of lifestyle, I think that the 10 ft2 for the run is just too small. (IMO)
    So to run down my numbers - I have 9 birds (all Buff Orpingtons). My coop is 8'x4' and the 6 nesting boxes protrude outward from that adding another roughly 6 ft2. (8x4) +6 = 38 ft2. Again this appears to be plenty of room for them at night while they are mostly sleeping (perched) anyway. The RUN is 13'x7' plus all of the room under the coop, or roughly a total of 123 ft2. According to the 10 ft2 per rule this should be plenty for 9 birds. The problem is that this is where they want to be for the vast majority of their waking hours. During the day they occasionally go inside the coop - out of boredom, to lay an egg, got picked on, etc. - but by far they are out of the coop in the run most of their waking hours. As most of you know the ground in the run is completely devoid of vegetation, which happened within the first week or two of having chickens. It is loaded with poop everywhere. While I haven't had any problems with disease, my gut feeling is that their run is too small. My gut says that it needs to be about twice the size that it currently is to be comfortable enough for all of the chickens to be able to move around, to explore and sometimes escape their place in the pecking order, and to reduce the concentration of poop. My winter project is to do just that - double the size of the run. --- It is again, just a hunch. There is no science or statistics behind it. I do not have a degree in poultry science and I have never organized a 5K run for chicken-spacial awareness. I am just a guy with some chickens and by observation I am beginning to think that I understand them better. Sometimes that's just how it goes.
  20. 3riverschick
    good article. Since I needed to keep my birds confined for extended periods (2-3 weeks) due to foul weather, I allowed 4 sq. ft. per bird n the coop for the large fowl Light Sussex. It worked great. I never had any behavioral issues. I do not have roosts in my cop. The Sussex never needed them and it let me keep the coop smaller for the same number of birds because I didn't have to allow for a flight path down off the roosts. . I just put in 4-6 inches of while bale kiln dried hardwood shavings from Tractor Supply and added as needed all winter. It worked great. the birds just snugged down in the shavings. That said, I had a wood floor on my coops. Laid down a layer of food grade DE on the floor. This enough so couldn't see the grain of the wood. The another layer of Sweet PDZ of the same thickness. Then very carefully ( not to disturb the underlayment) spread the shavings on the floor. Worked great and kept floor dry.
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  21. Jacob Duckman
    great article. Lots of details. I wish there was one for duck coops.
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  22. Elemes
    Good read!!
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  23. ChickityChina
    Thank you for this article! A good read and very informative!
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  24. RezChamp
    Thanks Ridgerunner. I enjoyed reading this article.
    Good one. Well and straight-up, clear and concise flexible guidelines.
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  25. chickenlickin8
    I like this article for its honest content. Everyone will have different results in chicken keeping based on where you keep your chickens, climate, flock health, etc. I have a small flock in my backyard coop. They never leave the coop and are very happy. They are given organic layer and I supplement their diet with veggies and fruits daily. Never had any issues of any kind thankfully and I rotate the flock every 2 years. Good luck everyone!
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  26. sunflour
    Well done.
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  27. mymilliefleur
    Very informative article, you make some excellent points. I can't agree more with this.
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  28. Mrs. K
    In looking at your picture, I see something you didn't mention. It is important for the roosts to be away from the ceiling and from the walls. It keeps birds much drier.

    And if I added anything, I think it is very important to have levels and roosts in the run, by adding platforms, one can make much more use of the vertical space.
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  30. misfitmorgan
    Nice post, and it does make a lot of sense.
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  31. lightchick
    Thanks for the tips!
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  32. Wyandottes7
    Excellent information!
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  33. Americano Blue
    great info
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  34. Newbeloveschics
    Nice post. Very informative. Thanks for posting.
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  35. RezChamp
    A lot of the info I read here is still applicable where I live.

    I've been around birds most of my life and experienced a great deal of what I read about in this forum. But, I always learn something new(ways).
    My birds get about a foot width of perch and about a square foot of floor space because they have free roam of their yard(in summer). For the ones that fly out, my yard(lawn&garden) and the horses' yards also "belong" to them. My coop is 5&1/2X11&1/2 inside but the "poop boards" serve a dual purpose...2nd storey of floor space.
    In the winter I put an "addition" onto their coop. It's saplings shoved into the ground, bent to form a semi circle and cover with cheap plastic tarps. I also add some clear plastic "windows"(for direct sunlight)guarded by stucco wire and/or chicken wire.
    It works........okay ...... I guess.
    Always looking for ways to improve.
    Thanks Ridgerunner.
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  36. caj1985
    Ridgerunner, as always you have used common sense and experience from good animal husbandry to address an essential area of planning. Love the comment on larger number of birds gives more free space when using same allotted space per bird. I hadn't thought of this application for standard geometry.
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  37. Zimbabwefarmer
    This is just the info I needed thanks!
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  38. Zimbabwefarmer
    Thanks guys - this article is so well-timed cause wifey wants me to get some more layers (we have six but also have a huge hungry family). Something deep inside me said that it wasn't a good idea - now I have the facts n figures to prove it to her - our little coop is just too small - the 6 are happy, stress-free and diseaseless - could all change if we were to dump another 6 in there hey...
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  39. DianaMallory
    I am glad I am not a newbie, I read this and yes it has some good points but for newbies asking questions they need basic guide lines.
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  40. AKNan
    We got ours in May from Meyers sent to Alaska. I saw a u tube video that showed an idea for a roosting poop tray. My husband made them and this works wonderful as they do most of the poop in the coop at night and right into the tray where they are roosting. Every other day I pull the one out and replace it with a clean one, I put straw in the bottom. They get dirty fast with 9 chickens.
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  41. rmurrayslcut
    Spacing is vital to control aggression and keep chickens active and healthy. A good environment, good food, good treatment all contribute to good egg production and a better experience for me, as well as the chickens.
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  42. gtourtel
    Thanks for the info.
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  43. chookenqueen1
    I have a coop that is 2 metres long by 2 metres high and have 5 adult heritage hens (which are quite large) with 4 more to be added shortly, The are let out of the coop every day and put themselves to bed every night. My husband works on the deep litter method which has no smell and we used it on the vege garden...It really depends on whether they free range or no I suppose. I hope this helps
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  44. johnnyj216
    Thanks Hooligans7.
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  45. Hooligans7
    johnnyj216, my BRs have become too heavy to do much flying (especially UP), and before they were a year old they started having trouble. So I installed a shorter intermediate roosting pole as a "step" to their nighttime roosting pole. It worked. Six large and heavy chickens manage to use that step to make it up to their 4.5-foot-high roost. You may want to consider an intermediate step for them and see if they figure it out. Be sure it is offset enough (like uneven parallel bars) so they can fly at an angle to each one.
    1. t3wine
      I also have an extra perch about 12 inch off the ground. The silkies sleep on it but they aren't allowed in until all the big girls are settled on the higher perch. They use the silkie perch as a step to get to their higher perch - about 4.5 ' high.
      jjulian812 likes this.
  46. johnnyj216
    Little concerned here; I've got 3 Plymouth Barred Rocks and 1 Black Austraplorp which are all 9 months old. Two months ago I integrated 3 new pullets (14 weeks) . They get along great, no problems up until a week ago. I noticed that my 3 Barred Rocks no longer get on the roosting bar unless I manually put them there. They will stay there until morning. Otherwise they just stay on the floor next to the door opening. Should I be concerned or just let it go?
      WannaBeHillBilly likes this.
  47. Mountain Peeps
    Great and helpful article!
  48. PhatChicks
    I have 8 Isa Brown chicks (3 months old) in a coop and run. The run measures 6 x 12 and the coop measures 5 x 5 x 5. While I think the run could be a bit bigger, it seems to work for the size they are now. As they grow larger, I will try to expand the run. My chicks have already had problems being over crowded in their brooder box because it took me extra time to get the run/coop ready. So now, if they are in each other's space, they tend to get mean quite quickly. My advice to any new chicken owners is the more space, the better as soon as possible.
      WannaBeHillBilly and Aji Dulce like this.
  49. Hooligans7
    On the other side of considering space allotment, for example, if you provide the space equivalent of a two-car garage for five hens with several roosting areas means you have the potential of unnecessarily widespread droppings, creating more work for yourself.
    But this doesn't mean the space can't work. If you don't plan to add to your flock, you can use a corner of the space to create an appropriately sized coop for the number of birds you have currently, then if you later decide to increase your flock, that is easily done by expanding the coop just enough to accommodate the increased population comfortably.
    My neighbor did that and it's working very well. He even built an adjacent "nursery" for pullets that weren't ready to join the others, but made it so they could all look at each other and become familiar safely.
  50. chickwhispers
    Great article! Makes one think! I agree the more space for them the less work for me!

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