4 square feet per bird?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cestial225, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. cestial225

    cestial225 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most people on this forum do 4 feet per bird right? If you free range during the day do any of you go with less room? Right now I have 13 chickens in an 8x8 coop. only 5 are full size, the rest are bantams. I plan on getting more before the summer is over but am unsure on how many I should realistically put i there. I mean I dont want to crowd them, but they free range 12 hours a day and during those 12 hours they dont spend any time in the coop at all. But then there might be a week or two a year when we are on vacation when they would be confined to the coop and run.
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes, that's what I do. My coop is too small for the number of birds I have. But I have a large run and they free range almost all day. The only time they really go to the coop is to roost and to lay eggs. On days I have to have them in there they are just fine. I think the close confines would cause a problem with boredom if it was prolonged but for mine it never is.
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Confined time can be a problem. Otherwise, if they go out shortly after dawn and stay free till dusk, you can go with much less space. They don't need that space when they're sleeping. When they're awake they get feisty when crowded.
    When crowding birds, ventilation is the biggest issue. If you have 1 sq. ft. ventilation per bird they'll be ok.
    If not, you'll have respiratory issues.
     
  4. cestial225

    cestial225 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My coop is vented all the way around the top so 64 linear feet. The run is not huge, 8x18 but they spend so little time in the run, just two hours a day from sun up till I open up the coop. Would I be crazy to house 30 birds in my 8x8 coop?
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    I would probably wait till after your vacation to put that many birds in there.
    Keep in mind when adding new birds, they need to be quarantined a good distance away for a few weeks.
     
  6. cestial225

    cestial225 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you quarantine birds you hatch from eggs bought from another farm?
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    I rarely hatch eggs from elsewhere but very few diseases are passed vertically from hen to chick so I don't worry about it.
     
  8. FuzzyButtz

    FuzzyButtz Chillin' With My Peeps

    I was faced with the same question not too long ago, and someone told me I could comfortably fit 25 birds in my 6l x 5w x 4t coop. I kinda giggled and went on my way. I'll never have more than 10 or so as I don't want them too squished, but I do free range from basically 11AM - 10PM with the door to the Run/Coop open while they're free ranging. I open up the coop and let them into the run around 7AM (though, sometimes I get lazy) and by 10:30PM they're all roosting and I just close up the coop. The only reason I don't let them free range until after 11 is because mine seem to be late-morning layers, and I don't want them to start laying around the farm and i'll never find their eggs!

    IMO, 30 might be a bit much.. do-able i'm sure, but I'd probably keep it more around 20 or so.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  9. Jwhitty

    Jwhitty Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok.... Question...? I'm down to the wire.. I'm about to build the coop... I'm getting 6 to 8 gold partridge brahmas... They're a big breed... What's the over all size of the coop I need to build?!?!? I'm thinking 10x8 would be enough.... Any suggestions ?
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2013
  10. FuzzyButtz

    FuzzyButtz Chillin' With My Peeps

    How tall will it be inside for the birds? That also makes a difference. How big will your run be? Will you be free ranging? Those are huge factors.

    As long as you have at least 1 ft of Roost space in your coop per bird and they are only in the coop at night to Roost (meaning sleep) and enough nest boxes for your girls you will be fine. 10L x 8W will be plenty, especially if it's at least 4ft tall and you're providing ample outdoor space. Rule of thumb, and I've come to learn this AFTER building my first coop - always build as big as you possibly can accommodate/afford, because it's hard to have "just a few" chickens, and if you encorperate a Rooster, it's always nice to have extra room if he's particularly annoying to the girls.
     

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