Beyond confused, please help. Coop sizes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BriCunningham, Apr 2, 2016.

  1. BriCunningham

    BriCunningham New Egg

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    Apr 2, 2016
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    Ok I understand that the general rule is 4sq ft per chicken. So for my baby's I would need an 8 by 4. (I have six now but I'm hoping to add 2 more) Again I've read enough to know it pretty much has to be 4 sq ft so how are those pre fab coops that you can buy at TSP or on Amazon, how are those so small yet they say they can hold as many as they do. There was one at TSP that the coop was 3 by 4 and the run that was underneath it was the same 3ft but a little longer then the 4 ft. So not big at all. But it said that it could house 6 chicken???????
     
  2. milliepod22

    milliepod22 New Egg

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    When in a coop, the chickens like to cuddle together, so they don't need a lot of extra room. However the run should have been bigger. The coop probably would have housed 6, but the run wouldn't. All I can suggest is to keep looking, or buy the coop and run separatly

    :)
     
  3. Firekin1

    Firekin1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The 4sq ft rule is to ensure comfort with your chickens and give them the space they need so you don't end up with bullying and picking issues which can and will result in low egg production.The pre made coops from amazon are marketed just so that they are sold. They may hold 6 small game type birds but they def do NOT hold 6 standard breeds.I wouldn't even stick 2 in one of those. Keep in mind that many farmers think it's ok to cram as many chickens in one space they can fit, and when disease runs through or any health issue they simply dispose of the birds and just replace them.
     
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    If you don't plan to coop the birds in winter then a large run is far more important to behavior problems in a flock. Smaller coops work quite well if they are only used as a place to roost at night and let out of coop every morning. An example would be 6 layers in a 4x4 coop with external nesting box- coop access to box with lid access outside to collect eggs. Food and water not kept in coop and a large run. That works very well. If the coop is on stilts then the feed can stay dry under it.

    Large coops are nice. I don't use them as I make coops portable. Walk in coop with area for nesting boxes and feed on hangers from ceiling, plenty of space for birds to scratch about inside. This certainly has a lot of appeal. 4sqft per bird is not enough if housed in coop when cold weather hits. It's large enough to keep nesting boxes, food and water in but then you still need to let birds out everyday as they've no run around room in coop.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I’ve seen people quote anything from 1 square foot per chicken (even the commercial operations do better than that, that is ridiculous) to 16 square foot per chicken. Some of these include run space, some don’t. We are all so unique there is no magic number that covers us all. You can follow the link in my signature to get some thoughts of what I think are important when you look at space for chickens, but I’ll make some general comments.

    The more I crowd them the more behavioral problems I have to deal with, the harder I have to work, and the les flexibility I have to deal with issues that come up.

    Chickens don’t have a concept of coop space versus run space. All they care about is space, wherever it is; coop, run, coop and run combined, or the great outdoors. Don’t think of coop space in isolation, think of how much room they have and how you manage them to optimize that space.

    A lot of this has nothing to do with the chickens, it has a lot more to do with your comfort and convenience. It has to do with your stress levels.
     
  6. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's all about advertising for the coop builders. They don't care about standards, etc, just sales. Same reason every commercially made purple martin house will likely mention the thousands of mosquitos that purple martin eat. It has been proven time and time again that martins very rarely (if ever) eat mosquitos. Many people believe they do and see that and buy the house without any knowledge.
     
  7. trikenchicken

    trikenchicken New Egg

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    Don't worry about square footage. Just build a coop as large as your available space, and budget will allow. You will end up using it, and you won't regret it later down the road. When I started out, I had 4 RIR's, and I shelled out $800 for the Round Top coop. It's a nice coop, but when I decided I wanted to grow my flock, it became obsolete. I built a 12x8 coop in the back corner of my garage, that leads out to a 16x8 lean-to. That is where I keep the food and water. Here in the far reaches of Northern WI, the winters get kind of nasty. The chickens don't like to come outside some days, but they have ample space to be out of the weather. As for the Round Top. I just use it for a grow out pen for my chicks. It works well with the closed in run on the bottom. It's inside of the run for the big chickens, so while the little ones are growing, they can be seen, but not touched by the big girls.
     
  8. BriCunningham

    BriCunningham New Egg

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    My husband wants to build our coop so we can make sure they have enough room and we can give them a little more insulation then what a pre fab would give them. Plus for other reasons like pre fab wood is cheap and splinters, and the horror stories of them being flipped over by the wind. I just was second guessing the size of the coop we would need to build for 8 girls. We have an outside dog cage, one of those big ones we are going to us as the run but we are also going to let them be free for the most part.
     
  9. trikenchicken

    trikenchicken New Egg

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    You'll also want to plan ahead for more birds. I'm not sure of your intentions. If your birds are pets, and you plan on keeping them until old age you will be fine. If your raising them for eggs, they will only produce productively for two years, maybe 3(depending on the individual chicken). That's what I do, so the birds I plan to eliminate in the fall, are replaced with chicks in the spring. Thus, at some point depending on how you time it, your flock will be double in size. Of course you could just cull in the fall, and start again in the spring, but then you will be eggless for the majority of the following year.....
     
  10. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    You don't need insulation in Pennsylvania. I'm in the North East Kingdom of Vermont without heat or insulation in the coop. Adequate ventilation to keep the coop dry and clean air without drafts on birds is all they need.
     

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