chicken coop capacity

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by vetsjs1, Mar 30, 2018.

  1. vetsjs1

    vetsjs1 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!
  2. Jetblack2004

    Jetblack2004 Free Ranging

    Feb 22, 2016
    South East England
    My Coop
    It's great to have you here!
    I'm not an expert on coops but lots of other members are :)
  3. 007Sean

    007Sean Addict

    Oct 25, 2015
    South Central Texas
    Howdy Sara :welcome:frow Happy :yato have you join the family. Enjoy your time here at BYC! :)
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    :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.
  5. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

    Jan 30, 2015
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Welcome to BYC. Given your winter weather and the possible need to keep birds in the coop, 'bigger is better'.
  7. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    007Sean and Joeschooks like this.
  8. FrankieDoodle

    FrankieDoodle Poppy-Dog

    Jul 29, 2017
    :frow Welcome to BYC!!! :woot
    drumstick diva and 007Sean like this.
  9. Joeschooks

    Joeschooks Just clucking around

    Feb 7, 2018
    Hampshire, UK
    My Coop
    Hello and :welcome You’ll want 4sq ft per bird in the coop minimum and 10sq ft minimum in the run. Personally I found 10 sq ft in the run is not big enough unless you let them out for a couple of hours a day to free range. If you’re not letting them out aim for 20+ sq ft per bird in the run :thumbsup
  10. gallo pinto

    gallo pinto In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2018
    SF Bay Area, California
    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.
    drumstick diva and 007Sean like this.

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