Breeding Pen Size and Design

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Meaghan, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. Meaghan

    Meaghan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 3, 2014
    Archer, FL
    So, chicken math is upon us again, along with a gifted incubator, and this year we would like to set up individual pens to house and breed our chickens in. Most of our breeds we have 5-7 hens and 1 rooster, so we are looking at somewhat larger pens. What size would you guys start out with? I know the rule of thumb is 3+10 sqft per bird for the coop/run but we would be building these runs as a coop, and a 78-104 sqft pen seems excessively big to me (8x10-10x10) considering we are housing all 27 of our adults in a 20x20ft pen currently with 8 ducks and everyone is doing well.

    I'm also looking for pictures of pens that people have 6-8 large fowl birds in at a time to get a better idea of how to make them economically. We don't want to put too much into infrastructure this year or next as we may have to sell our house in 2017, but we do want to make it easier for the chooks to pay for some of their food bill through hatching eggs and chicks.
  2. kfelton0002

    kfelton0002 Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 8, 2015
    Southeastern KY
    I can easily house up to 5 hens and 1 roo comfortably in my 8' x 5' breeding pen. We single mate chickens in 4' x 4' pens but trios work fine in those pens as well for medium breeds like our Games. They constantly have fresh straw to scratch. My hubby is getting ready to build more pens for my Marans. I would think an 8' x 8' pen would be plenty big enough for 6-8 hens and a rooster.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Here's mine. We built them specifically with moving in mind. They'll be easy to disassemble and take to our new place when we move.

    Of course, a lot of the space requirements depend on the individual birds. Age of the birds matters, too. I have a group of mature Marans hens who prefer not to leave the coop even when I leave the door open, they're above the recommended numbers for housing but they get along very well and I've had no issues. So, just be sure to keep an eye on your birds if space is on the tight side and be prepared to move some if things aren't going well. A stressed hen isn't going to lay as well, so that would be counter productive to collecting eggs for incubating.
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by