5x6 foot run big enough for 3 chickens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by alyssars1, May 24, 2019.

  1. alyssars1

    alyssars1 In the Brooder

    Mar 20, 2019
    Trying to figure out what size I need to build for my chickens. I'm planning on keeping 3 chickens. (Either 1 full size and 2 bantams OR 2 full size and 1 bantam... Depends on what ones end up being hens)

    I read online if you don't plan to free range, they need 10sqft per chicken. So that would be about 5x6 ft run. Is that plus the nest/roost area or all of it?

    I want to free range but it depends on how well that works out (if they don't try to escape yard, predators, etc). so I want to plan for them not free ranging if it doesn't.

    ETA: I was also thinking about making a portable covered play pen I could move around the yard if they can't free range.
    Hencraze24 likes this.
  2. Hencraze24

    Hencraze24 Songster

    May 9, 2019
    Sussex, WI
    It's a tight snug, but surprisingly, yes, it's barley big enough (10 square feet per bird)

    I'd make it at least 3 times bigger, however.
  3. crazy4ChickensNducks

    crazy4ChickensNducks Songster

    Dec 16, 2018
    west, michigan
    That is the bare minimum, I would go with at least 10x10
  4. chkva

    chkva Songster

    Mar 20, 2015
    That gives each bird the bare minimum... If you are going to free range you are going to need a safe area for them to go into at night. If they do not have a safe place to go to at night when free ranging, be prepared to lose several chickens to predators.

    If you are going to do a run, I would still have a safe place for them to go to at night. Something that locks securely or you will most likely lose all of your chickens or some to a predator.

    Most people have coops that they lock their chickens into at night and they don't just leave them out in the open in a run for predators to take them. I mean you can try it, but that's almost like putting a bird in a cage on the floor in front of a cat... The cat is going to attack it.
    trumpeting_angel likes this.
  5. JurassicBawk

    JurassicBawk Songster

    Jun 23, 2016
    Hixson, TN
    Since coop means different things to different people, I'm going to use house and run. For the house, the part with their roosts and nest box, you need 4 sq ft per bird, bare minimum. For the run, where they can get out and stretch their legs and exercise, then need 10 sq ft per bird, bare minimum.

    If you are starting from scratch, you might want to look into an elevated house in a run. I have a 10x10 dog kennel that's been reinforced with hardwire mesh as my run, and inside it is a 4x4 house that's 3 foot off the ground. So they can go inside the house, under it, on top of it, and still have 100 sq ft of space on the ground to play.
  6. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    5x6 is enough at a bare minimum for just the run, but it's always recommended to go above the minimum as you'll have fewer behavioral issues that way.

    Even for just 3 birds I'd go 10x10, though you could house the coop in that same space. For a coop I'd say 4x4, which would minimize your lumber costs (less waste) and give you enough space to maybe put a nest box inside, or a feeder, if needed.
    trumpeting_angel and aart like this.
  7. alyssars1

    alyssars1 In the Brooder

    Mar 20, 2019
    Thanks guys! I was thinking it seemed a little bit small. Which is crazy cause all the pre-made ones are smaller than that and they say they hold more lol. I'll go a bit bigger!
    trumpeting_angel likes this.
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Haven't you ever heard about 'truth in advertising'...and that it rarely exists?

    Go much bigger.

    There are 3 articles linked in my signature that all newbies should read before planning a coop.

    Climate can make a big difference....
    Where in this world are you located?
    Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
    Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
    It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
    trumpeting_angel likes this.
  9. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    They're big enough in the same way it'd be "big enough" for a human to live in a 10x10 space. Some people could do it without issue. Some people would become very cranky or depressed or be trying to move out ASAP.
    trumpeting_angel likes this.
  10. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Crowing

    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    My recent Flock of 7 Barred Rocks, were put into a 10' x 10' dog kennel around 5 weeks. 14 square feet per chicken.
    They got along Ok, but the runt hung out in the coop unless I was tossing Scratch into the pen. 20190423_172927.jpg .
    Around 8 months, I expanded the pen to 200 square feet. Around 28 square feet per chicken. What a difference. Fewer squabbles and the runt spent more time outside when I tossed out scratch. 20190424_113501.jpg .
    This week Wednesday, around 9 months of age, I expanded the pen to 300 square feet, about 42 square feet per chicken. I'm happy I did I think it's perfect. The runt will spend an hour or more outside the coop, she even dust bathe in relative peace. 20190522_173915.jpg . Yeah, I need some pavers around the base. 20190522_101347.jpg .
    In my experience with 7 full size Chickens 28 square feet per chicken is minimum pen size, 42 square feet, Perfect for my climate. 20190523_095628.jpg . Your results will vary. GC
    trumpeting_angel likes this.

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