Adding new birds to Coop. Enough Room?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ambe0487, Oct 10, 2016.

  1. ambe0487

    ambe0487 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Urbandale, IA
    I'm looking at adding some additional birds to my current 7 standard breeds adults and 1 bantam adult. My biggest concern is the days when I'm not home to let them free range and they are stuck in the coop and run.



    I have a Coop that is 6ft x 8ft and is 7ft high. The roosting bars are up on top of the nesting boxes and will be adding more for the additional birds. I also have a ladder that they can roost on and help them get up and down.

    Their run is 10ft x 18ft and they free range a couple hours a day. I'm wanting to add some additional space and activity for them in the run so when they are not able to free range.

    Right now I'm at 4 sft per bird in the coop and 22 sft pe bird in the run. Also, does he vertical space count in the coop since they have multi-levels?

    Coop
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Run
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Thoughts on how to maximize space better as well as the number of birds I should feel comfortable keeping in this area?

    Thanks!!!

    ETA...
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
  2. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i come up with 6 sq ft per bird by my math.

    4 sq ft per bird allows for 12 birds in your setup using the 4/10 standard, which is just a guideline, and more than that in your run using the same standard.

    I don't think the 10 sq ft in the run is adequate, IMO. But I prefer to free range, and only lock down occasionally, I don't like to.

    Some people get away with less space in the coop if they have more in the run or free range. As long as the birds have space to get away from each other you're fine.
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you let your birds outside during winter? That's the big question. I don't subscribe to the often reiterated 4/10 "standard". It's only called a standard or rule here at BYC and makes little sense. The bottom line is your birds will do better with more space. You only need a lot of space in a coop if your a person who keeps the birds in the coop during days. How a person manages their flock dictates if they need a large coop or not. Birds want space, I manage mine so they have a ton of space outside and only use the coop to roost and a place to lay eggs. I've a coop with half the foot print of yours and two roosting bars at equal height. It currently houses more than twice the birds yours does. The run they will be let out into in the AM is 1600 SQFT. They are very happy birds.
     
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  4. ambe0487

    ambe0487 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My math could have easily been off as I've not been worried about not having enough space until I was considering adding birds. I live in town and my yard is bordering to neighbors so I don't want to worry about them in their yard so I only let them free range when I'm out there a couple hours a day. They are in the coop from about 8 pm to 7 am each day.
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    The 4/10 average standard is for established flocks. Introducing new birds means you need even more room than that average. And introductions go more smoothly when done gradually. That means having a place to keep the new birds while the established flock is getting acclimated to them. Vertical space isn't as important to them as floor space.
     
  6. ambe0487

    ambe0487 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My birds are out of the coop from 7 am until Sundown plus they will free range in my back yard a couple hours a day. They use the coop to lay and dust bath only during summer days. Now that sundown comes earlier this time of year, they spend 2 hours or so inside [​IMG]
    the coop in with the light on after I close the coop. Our sun goes down about 7 and comes up around 7 so I like to give them a bit more light for their eggs.
     
  7. ambe0487

    ambe0487 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    These will be birds I've hatched and raised myself so they will be introduced slowly though out the yard and free range time first, then they go in the indoor and outdoor pen that is in the run (set above the run so it doesn't take actual run space from original flock). Then once they are 9 weeks or so they go into the integration pen in the run where there is a fence in between the new additions during the day. They have food and waterers that they will share during this time and are assessable from each side of the fence.

    In the yard
    [​IMG]

    Then in the upper in door/outdoor pen

    [​IMG]

    Then they are in the integration run at about 9 weeks

    [​IMG]

    The last group I introduced this way did really well and one from that hatch is actually top hen now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2016
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Have you been thru a winter yet?
    How much snow do you get?
     
  9. ambe0487

    ambe0487 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes I got my first chickens last winter to add to my ducks. Snow can vary here in Iowa and really depends on the year. Last year I made paths in the yard for them to walk through if it got deep.
     

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