Adding to my Micro Flock...how much space do I need??

krowl

Chirping
Feb 23, 2017
79
71
97
Carroll County, MD
I currently have a micro-flock...3 hens...they are perfect and it's super easy....long story but we are about to inherit another flock:yesss:...this will bring me to just under 20 hens....I am aware this will be a huge change (I think?) from my current micro flock...so as I prepare...someone fill me in on what I need to know about having that many chickens compared to what I have now...maybe I'm making a big deal out of nothing but I like to be prepared. I'm not the biggest fan of the current set up these hens have, so I will be redoing it all....Should I have multiple feeders and waters? How much Run space is suggested? My 3 hens are spoiled and ridiculously clean...these hens look a little rough...so my intent is to provide the best possible environment for this larger flock...:celebrate
 

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
Premium member
Jan 12, 2019
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The general rule of thumb is 2-3sf per chicken inside the coop and 8-10sf per chicken outside of the coop, more space is always better when possible. I personally always have two feeding and watering stations to prevent any low pecking order chickens from being bullied away.

It's kind of funny because at some point last year I counted my chickens wrong and I didn't realize I had 20 chickens, lol! I don't feel like it seems like too much to care for but there is a difference when going from 3 chickens to 20. Mostly just in the amount of food they eat and in turn, the clean up is obviously more. Good luck with your new flock!
 

floppysquirrel04

Songster
Jul 24, 2019
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Northern Ca
Congratulations! 3sqr feet per bird in the coop, more is better, 1 foot of perch space per bird, 6-8sqr feet per bird in the run, and one nest box for every 4-5 birds. One feeder and one waterer will be fine for that many, but more is better for picky birds. Also try to have a dust bathing area of about 5-8sqr feet.
 

rosemarythyme

Free Ranging
Jul 3, 2016
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The numbers above are minimal. If you can go above minimum, do so, especially in the run. I would have at least 2 feeders and waterers but depending on flock dynamics you may end up needing more than that.

Also you'll need ventilation of 1 sq ft per hen or 10% of coop floor sq footage, minimum - as you can imagine 23 chickens will make a lot more poop and ammonia than 3!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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I am aware this will be a huge change (I think?)
It will be a huge change.

I'm making a big deal out of nothing but I like to be prepared. I'm not the biggest fan of the current set up these hens have, so I will be redoing it all
How big is your present coop and run...and how will you change it?
Dimensions and pics would help here.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
7,378
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This will be a big change, and space IS the issue. It is more feed, more water, more eggs, more manure and bedding. And disposing of eggs, manure, and dirty bedding. In the summer, this could be a real problem.

Personally, if you are a farm setting, that is totally different than a backyard set up of 3 hens. I would not recommend 20 birds in a truly backyard setting. And to be honest, I would never take birds that I feel sorry for.

When you go to get the birds, do an in-depth inspection of their feathers looking for parasites. DO NOT take if anything has a nasal discharge, or sick and lethargic.

I am a believer in a coop, but also shelter in the run that offers protection from the wind and some shade. My run is full of perches, roosts, platforms that bird can get under or on top of, hideouts with pallets leaned against a wall. This allows birds to get away from each other and makes for a happier flock. Multiple feeders is a good idea. I generally use two for 12 birds, add a third when adding younger birds. I have never had any problem just having one waterer, but others have recommended it. My run is covered across the top with fencing.

You may wind up with one or two birds that just do not adjust to new flock. It might be that your set up, (even if it measure correctly) does not work for that head count. Be willing to remove some birds until you get a happy flock. Not all birds will work together, and wishing they would all get along, won't work.

Just curious, what are you going to do for coop and run? Obviously what works for 3 birds will not anywhere close to be enough for 20 birds.

Mrs K
 
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krowl

Chirping
Feb 23, 2017
79
71
97
Carroll County, MD
gla
It will be a huge change.

How big is your present coop and run...and how will you change it?
Dimensions and pics would help here.
I actually meant I will want to change the new chickens coop/run...its too small in my opinion for that flock...so before even taking them on, I already know and I am preparing to make everything bigger/better/more spacious as their current situation is not sufficient in my opinion....
 
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