another space question... 19 chickens 8x8?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ticks, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. ticks

    ticks Pheasant Obsessed

    Apr 1, 2008
    The Sticks, Vermont
    Okay, I had a thread about me having 16 chickens that will go into an 8x8 with a huge run. Well, I just got 3 more chicks at TSC so now I will have 19. Is this okay? They will use the coop for nesting and roosting.
  2. Big George

    Big George Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 19, 2009
    Plenty big. Its the run thats really important. Even better if part of the run can be covered. I put Ondura a light weight, attractive roofing material over mine easy to move off or on for rain or shade. Good luck and don't forget the roosting bars, I use 2x2's.
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Rule of thumb on here is 4 sq ft per bird in coop and 10 in run, so 8x8 is max 16 birds.

    Many would put 19 in an 8x8, and many others would limit it to far fewer than 16. The 4/10 sq ft is considered a minimum. If your run is well over 10 sq ft/bird, and esp. if at least part of it is covered, this will help, as they will be more likely to hang out in the run. Some recommend 87 sq ft/bird in the run....

    If you choose to go with this plan, you will certainly need to keep an eye out for signs of overcrowding.

    There are things you can do to make the 8x8 feel larger, like adding "tables" for them to sit on that are high enough for others to get under them, external nest boxes, etc.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I dunno, Ticks, that's only 2.5 sq ft per hen -- kind of pushing it for VT. If their outdoors space is very sheltered (from wind, from snow, from rain) and congenial enough that they usually want to go outside no matter the weather, you may get away with it.

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. Faverolle

    Faverolle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    It depends on the type of birds you will be keeping as well as the amount of time they will be outside. Some take confinement better then others. Many people go with the 4 sq ft per bird ratio but I usually go around 2-3 sq ft per bird which has been more then enough space. My birds free range and very seldom stay in for the day, I would say less then 10 days per year usually when there is a major storm passing through.
  6. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    you take the floor sqft and divide it by the number of chickens. that number should be at minimum 2. But generally you want at least 3. 3sqft per chicken.
  7. sherrydeanne

    sherrydeanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wouldn't. I wouldn't do 16 either. Also, your inside measurement probably isn't 8x8, mine is an 8x8 shed but closer to 50 sf due to studs, walls and insulation. I currently have 5 7-week olds and I can certainly imagine 10 full size in there, but not more. Especially with our cold winters. (Ok, not cold by some standards, but it's not Miami).
  8. Faverolle

    Faverolle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    Quote:For the most part the cold does not bother them providing you pick birds suited for a colder climate. If we were in Canada or Alaska it would probably be more of an issue. My birds are out even on the coldest days mother nature has to offer here in Mass with no issues.
  9. redoak

    redoak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2008
    Russia, NY
    Another option is to create more space in the coop vertically. Divide the back half of your coop in half vertically and put in a 4x8 shelf about 3 feet off the floor. This area would not only give you more sqft per bird but in a pinch you would have a brooder/isolation area if you put a wire door on it.
  10. ticks

    ticks Pheasant Obsessed

    Apr 1, 2008
    The Sticks, Vermont
    Pat, my birds go out regardless of weather. It could be -25 and they still go out!
    My run is going to be around 16x22-25.

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