can you help with planning?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by abelseville, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. abelseville

    abelseville In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2008
    Loudoun County, VA
    I've got 4 50x50 foot fields that I want to put a coop in the middle of and alternate which field they run in. so it's 2500 sq ft at any given time of run space with rotation as needed. How many chickens could an operation like this sustain comfortably? How big should I then build my coop?
  2. ChickenCop

    ChickenCop Songster

    It really depends on you and what your planning on doing. For example I built a 40x50 run/pen for my birds with a 12x16 coop from the beginning and easily housed about 2 dozen laying hens and a hand full of roosters (now that count is up to about 50 hens). However Im fortunate enough to not worry about many predators so 99.9% of the time the gate to the run is open and I enjoy seeing them out in the yard. I have expanded that original coop to now 21x28 with 3 separate rooms, still the original 12 x16 for my layers but added a 12x21 room for growing out chicks and hanging cages for my exhibition birds, and the other room in front is utilized for breeding pens and another spot for growing out more chicks.
    Again it depends on why your getting chickens, how much time you have for them, and forewarning you the hobby is quite additive so build what you can afford. Best of Luck!
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Yeah, totally depends what kind of living conditions you are wanting to provide. I mean, from a commercial broiler farm perspective, that's enough land for at *least* a couple thousand birds at a time [​IMG]

    Honestly, with that amount of land available for runs, the limiting thing is not run space, it is how big you want to build your COOP. That will likely determine how many chickens you have. (And please do not get sucked into this "magic number" business of 2-4 sq ft per chicken indoors -- that is merely the most crowded you can get without having too great a likelihood of major problems, it is not necessarily *optimal*. Chickens really do behave a lot differently, in my experience, with a lot MORE indoor space available than those locally-popular so-called rules of thumb.)

    The ground right around your coop (or at least right by the popdoor) is going to go to bare earth no matter what you do, even with a big run, simply because of the concentration of traffic. That is just life. You can do some anticipatory mud-management (see 'fix a muddy run' link in .sig below) or you can just wait and see what happens and whether anything NEEDS to be done, but don't be expecting green around the popdoor [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,


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