Capacity question - run and coop

Toril

In the Brooder
9 Years
Oct 16, 2010
62
2
39
Virginia Coast
I measured my new run today - it's 40 x almost 30 ft - and the coop sits inside it and is 8 x 8ft. There is plenty of space in the coop to build more nests and roosts. Right now, there are 5-6 nests (depending on whether they use the woodshavings bag or not, which seems to be a favorite) for 11 hens - of which one is not laying.

1) How many hens should I be able to have in this setup/space?

2) How many nests should I have for 11 hens? In the spring, I'll be getting 6 more hens, easter eggers. I can build more nests and expand the run, as well - it's just part of a yard that is fenced in, and the fence can easily be moved.

Thanks a bunch!
Toril
 

Toril

In the Brooder
9 Years
Oct 16, 2010
62
2
39
Virginia Coast
The coop sounds about right - I think I could have more than 16 birds in there, but it won't be more than 14 come spring... But I can't imagine having 120 birds in that run, I wouldn't be able to put my foot down and they would eat all the grass in a day!
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
349
341
Ontario, Canada
How many hens depends on how much space you want to allow them. It is fashionable on this forum to advise 4 sq ft per hen indoors and 8-10 out, but there is nothing magic about that number. It depends on a) your climate, b) your setup and management, and very very most important of all c) how 'happy' and relaxed and naturally-behaving you want them to be. Also how you feel about the fact that the less space per chicken you offer, the worse sanitation chores become and the greater the chance of problematic behavior like pecking/cannibalism.

Some people (mostly in year-round-nice climates) have only 2 sq ft indoors and 4-6 sq ft outdoors per hen, and feel their chickens are perfectly adequately kept. I have tried it at different stocking densities and personally will never again give them less than 15 sq ft apiece indoors plus ample run (although if I lived in a milder-winter climate I might go more like 10 sq ft each, or even 'nothing but roost space' if I lived in Hawaii)

It is a really personal decision, there is no magic cutoff. Your chickens (and your ease of management) will always be better off with fewer rather than more. In my opinion, rather than ask "how many chickens can I put in this space" it is more constructive to ask yourself "how FEW chickens can I be satisfied with".

Usually you're fine with one nestbox for every 3-4 chickens, for conventional size nestboxes.

JMHO, good luck, have fun,

Pat
 

sunflowerenvy

Songster
9 Years
Apr 4, 2010
962
3
131
south/west tn
Quote:
my new run today - it's 40 x almost 30 ft - 1200 sqft minus 8x8 =64/ 4 = 15large fowl in the coop with would including 4 nest boxes n water and feeder 1200 sqft- 64coop size= 1136 sq ft for the ground space so if 10 ft per bird in the coop that means 113 1/2 birds if i figure it out right.

thank to a fellow byc i think i got it right
wink.png
 
Last edited:

Toril

In the Brooder
9 Years
Oct 16, 2010
62
2
39
Virginia Coast
Quote:
my new run today - it's 40 x almost 30 ft - 1200 sqft minus 8x8 =64/ 4 = 15large fowl in the coop with would including 4 nest boxes n water and feeder 1200 sqft- 64coop size= 1136 sq ft for the ground space so if 10 ft per bird in the coop that means 113 1/2 birds if i figure it out right.

thank to a fellow byc i think i got it right
wink.png


Not sure about that half bird... Seems a little grotesque...
wink.png
 

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