a-frame coop: room enough for happy chickens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ericz, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. ericz

    ericz Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 16, 2011
    media pa
    hi all,

    i have this chicken tractor: <http://handcraftedcoops.com/large-portable-chicken-coop> (i hope it's OK to post that link...)

    the ad copy says it's large enough for 5 full-size hens or 7 bantams, but i wonder how happy that many birds really would be. right now i have a cochin bantam hen and a rhode-island red hen in there since last may, and even for them i think it seems a bit small.... at least in the ground floor. as far as the upstairs goes, the roost is just a bar raised up an inch off the floor... the bantam sleeps in her nest box, and lately it looks like the RIR is in there with her. they've been doing that since late summer, so i know it's not a keeping-warm technique.

    what do other folks with similar-sized chicken tractors do as far as adding on extra room for daytime foraging? can i add one more RIR hen or would that just be too crowded?

    don't the chickens want to be able to flap their wings and fly up onto a roost?

    could i satisfy that instinct by building an add-on area for the daytime, which will be taller to allow for a high roost, and longer / wider to give them some more scratching room?

    i travel a lot for work, but when i am home, and on the weekends, i let them run around the yard for a couple of hours, which they seem to love. but when this will not be possible, i want them to have enough room to be happy.

    thanks in advance for your time and advice.... i know i have rambled a bit.

  2. bfrancis

    bfrancis Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2010
    Okmulgee Co, Oklahoma
    Rule of thumb minimums: 4 square feet per large fowl, 2 sq ft per bantam. I, myself, go bigger per bird. The ads want you to have more for less, but it's good you've wondered about the happiness of your birds. You're not in the hatchery biz, so quantity doesn't matter. Have a good quality of life for your birds...especially if they get to stretch their legs on weekends. Build a bigger run for more, or go with less birds...just my opinion.

    Good luck with your flock! [​IMG]

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