Chicken addicted**How big is the coop??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Half-a-dozen, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2007
    NJ
    Coop now is 8X8.......so 64 sq ft. (I told DH.he should have made it bigger from the start.......but why listen to me!!!)- [​IMG]
    (Outdoor ranged during the day...not an issue- they have plenty of room)
    anyway......current coop houses 12 chickens (ten hens).

    Now with the babies I've got 30 chickens all together and.........they are getting in silkies and cochins!!!!!! which is a MUST!!!!!!! [​IMG]

    So by the time things are all said and done.......I'll probably have 42 give or take a couple....... [​IMG]

    Honestly....really.....In your opinion. Is anyones coop out there too small (technically) and their chickens have lived happy and fine??? I'm feeling guilty here that I want to squoosh them up. [​IMG] Eventually we will make it bigger but for now..... [​IMG]

    I really really have to get those other chickies!!!! [​IMG]
    I cannot help it...... [​IMG]

    I know the "guidelines" for chicken space reccommends (4 sq. ft. per bird). Eventually we will add on to the coop, [​IMG] (double the size) but for now.....they will be in the 8X8 coop.
    They only go in the coop to sleep at night and lay an egg, other than that...I've never seen them hang out in there.

    While up till 1am last night, searching to justify my doings... [​IMG] I did find it a site that reccomended 1.5 sq foot per laying hen!!!! so with a coop size of 8x8 I can "technically" have 42.6 chickens!!!!!- [​IMG]

    I'd be really happy if I could only find one now that says it really doesn't matter as long as your chickens are happy....[​IMG] [​IMG]


    edited for spelling
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2008
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Well, if they can get out at the crack of dawn every day, even in the middle of winter if it snows, you might get away with it if you have enough perch space, but don't be surprised if you end up with stressed out birds who peck on others or turn on eggs out of boredom. Another concern would be housing standards with the silkies if the others are standards. Silkies would probably get smushed.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    1.5 sq ft per hen is factory-farm (battery) conditions. Although, battery hens are stuck in there 24/7, whereas yours would get outside most of the time. It's a big difference, but is it *enough* of a difference? skeptical. If I were you, I would expect to be seeing a lot of extra pecking, cannibalism, and health problems.

    You know, silkies and cochins will still exist next year. I promise [​IMG] You do not need to buy everything that catches your fancy right now -- don't you want something to look forward to LOL.

    So why not stick temporarily with the 30 you have (which is already a LOT for your coop), and get your additional facilities built NOW. Spare yourself AND your chickens a bunch o' grief.

    JMHO,

    Pat
     
  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    I would have to agree with Pat and silkie... you need to think about your chickens and not your intense, burning, need-to-have-now, can't wait another day, counting the minutes till I get them (I know all that from personal experience) personal feelings.

    It's not fair to your chickens to give them so little space and expect them to be happy and not be stressed and start to peck at each other.

    Add on to your chicken coop and then bring home some new babies. It'll give you something to look forward to and it will be fair more fair to your chickens.

    Personally, I'm in your position. I have nine hens and want more... badly!!!!! I can't justify bringing anymore home until we have already added on to our hen house. We are going to add on starting next month (please, please, I hope it really happens) and I'll be able to happily bring home new babies after that.

    I know it's sooooo hard but please try to wait.
     
  5. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2007
    NJ
    Well thanks everyone [​IMG]
    Maybe I do have a chicken problem [​IMG] after all of your posts, Now...I feel really guilty :eek: You are right....It is not worth our chickens getting sick....

    Thank you again for knocking some common sense into me [​IMG]

    Talked to DH, he will build on......and then they WILL come!!! [​IMG]

    In the mean time I'll have to keep myself far from the farm store and wait.....[​IMG]
    and really the kids are no help at all ......eggin me on for more chicks!!! [​IMG]
     
  6. morelcabin

    morelcabin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/poultry/factsheets/3.html


    http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/poultry/factsheets/10.html


    Up
    here in Canada I don't know anyone who gives thier birds 4 sq feet! As a matter of fact, during winter up here we pack them in even tighter than 2 sq ft for warmth. I have always given my birds 2 sq feet, and in summer they free range after 11am. I have never seen a "factsheet" that states 4 sq ft per bird. The hatchery I order from states requirements as 2 sq ft as well.

    So don't feel guilty. My birds have always been healthy and lay well, and I haven't had a problem with them fighting either.

    Back in the day families put as many chickens in a hen house as they could, it was also food for winter. These days it seems *everything* has to be bigger and better. Nothing is simple anymore.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2008
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Well, I do. Plenty of other people I know do. There, see, now you know Canadians who allow more room [​IMG] (And don't have frozen chickens)

    There really *is* a correlation between crowding and health problems (pecking, cannibalism, and disease).

    Of course you CAN pack 'em in pretty tightly, it's just not without disadvantages.

    Pat
     
  8. morelcabin

    morelcabin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    Well they are definitely more work when they are packed in, I'll give you that:>) But I never had any health problems. People who come to buy eggs say I have the cleanest coop and nicest birds they've seen. I do clean it out alot. And I have seen a few other coops around here... and alot of messy bottomed birds that I wouldn't eat the eggs from. I wouldn't be able to put up with the smell if mine smelled like that either:>) So it's not all bad...proper care can make a difference even in crowded conditions
     
  9. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
  10. Brian

    Brian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jacksonville, ORegon
    You should ask yourself the question: "What am I trying to achieve?" Is your goal to see how close to the limit you can get, density-wise? Should one build the coop first, then see what they can get away with, or would it be better to first determine what they will need to build, based on their ultimate flock size? What makes more sense? What's best for the birds?

    BackyardChickens is not about trying to achieve profit. It is not about density. It is about enjoying our pet chickens and deriving satisfaction from how well we treat them.

    Fact: the more you crowd chickens, the more likely you will be to have illnesses, pecking, and cannibalism.

    Now, I'm not suggesting that you are a terrible person, or that you don't care about your pets. I merely think it is easy to get carried away with chicken fever!

    I suggest that we don't make as our goal such things as: how many chickens we can cram into a coop, or how infrequently we can change the litter.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2008

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