chicken coop capacity


In the Brooder
Mar 30, 2018
coastal massachusetts
Hi, my name is Sara. My family had chickens about 10 years ago when we lived in Iowa. There was an outbuilding that we retrofitted for a really nice size chicken house. Now we are living in Mass and are going to do backyard chickens. My biggest struggle right now is the size of the coop we should build. I am not sure if I should be doing the medium size or the large size coop design. We have (chicks right now) 2 barred rock, 1 silky, 1 sumatra,9all hens) and 6 straight run rhode island reds. My son went without me to buy chicks and didn't understand that he may get roosters. I think we have 2 to 3 roosters so our herd may shrink from 10 to about 7 if they aren't nice. We will see. I look forward to hearing from someone with any advice. I would like to stay on this site and use the coop plans listed here. I want a quality coop. Thank you!
:welcome so glad you have joined us, and congratulations on getting your own flock.

The minimum space quoted from textbooks is 2-4 square feet of floor space in the coop per bird, and 3-6 square feet per bird in the run. And this is in addition to areas taken up by feed/water vessels.

BUT, from personal experience, you should build much larger than the minimums if you want a happy, fun flock. And how large the coop and run need to be will differ by how you plan to manage your flock - whether they will be confined or free ranged.

To get an idea of how much space a full sized hen will be picture the size of a 5 gallon bucket.

IMO don't pay attention to the small/medium categories - pick the style you want, you can enlarge or reduce the plan you prefer to fit your needs.
First off, welcome!
Second, get building that coop yesterday if you already have chicks. Do not underestimate how long it can take (assuming this is all something you do in your spare time after work and chores and not someone who recently retired from being a professional chicken coop builder.)

And I second sunflour's comment on focusing on the style and not the sizes of the coops. You can take a small one and double/triple/undecuple all the dimensions pretty easy and have the coop design you want in the size you need.

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