Chicken Math Help Needed!!! How many chickens could I have?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Red Barn Farms, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Red Barn Farms

    Red Barn Farms ~Friendly Fowl~

    Apr 12, 2012
    Kentucky Heartland
    So here's the deal. We do not have a coop but instead our chickens live in a hen house which is attached to the barn. They also have a outside run area. We at times let them out to free range on an acre of land. We only have ten chickens at the moment. Four Buff Orpingtons and six Red Stars. We also have some bantams but that's not included in this. They live elsewhere.

    The hen house is two rooms divided. The first being 12' x 26'. The second room is 14' x 24'. These rooms have a doorway which is left open so they can freely run back and fourth between both rooms. The outside run is about 8' x 24'.

    They have four roosting locations. They actually use them all too. One is their early morning spot which is right under a window and they love looking outside before I open the door to the run. Another is for later in the afternoon which is in a somewhat darker and cooler area and the next being where they roost during the night. [​IMG] Last but not least is the roost in the run area. They have two sets of three nesting boxes.

    Sorry for rambling! Getting back to the question.

    This enclosed area should allow us 648 sq. feet of indoor living space and 192 sq. feet outdoor space not counting when they free range.

    Out of this size of rooms and run area. What is a decent amount of chickens we could keep?

    We are going tomorrow to buy baby chicks just hatched. [​IMG] We will be adding Dominique, Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, Welsummers and one other I forgot the breed. [​IMG]

    So, what's a safe number without being overly populated we'd be able to have? Thanks in advance.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  2. Cotton42

    Cotton42 Songster

    Feb 23, 2012
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Well, if you go by the 4 sq ft per bird rule, you could fit 162 chickens in your coop. However, you really need about 8-10 sq ft of outdoor space per bird, so unless you're going to let them free range all the time you shouldn't have more than 19-24 birds.
  3. Cotton42

    Cotton42 Songster

    Feb 23, 2012
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Chicken math always wins in the end though. [​IMG]
  4. TK421

    TK421 Songster

    May 24, 2010
    Central TX
    You have to pick the limiting factor, or the smallest area that you have to work with. In your case, it's your outdoor run. Assuming 8 sq ft of space needed in an outdoor run, I'd say 24 chickens is your max. This number is about right for the number of nestboxes you have. If you let them free range more often than not, you could have more, but you'd have to add nestboxes (4 per box). good luck!

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