Chicks ordered / New to all of this

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by JazzysChicks, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. JazzysChicks

    JazzysChicks In the Brooder

    Jan 25, 2015
    Central Kansas
    My husband and I have 17 chicks on order; 16 hens and 1 rooster. My husband is in the process of building the coop now. We are building a 4x8 coop with a 4x16 run. Is the coop size going to be big enough for when they chickens have reached their full growth? We are also, planning to build a chicken tractor so we can move them around in the yard to forage. Any advice would be great!
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    :welcome! Unfortunately that coop size will be too small for your birds. Generally the rule of thumb is four square feet per bird when grown, and your current dimensions would allow for 1.8 feet. Coops can be smaller than four square feet per bird if the birds will only be sleeping in there and won't be spending any other time inside, but if they will be in the coop for more than sleeping, you'll want to double your dimensions. For runs, you want to allow ten square feet per bird, which means you will want 170 square feet. Currently your dimensions only allow 64 square feet, which is only 3.7 square feet per bird. Coupled with the small coop space, if the birds are going to be spending any amount of time locked up in the coop and run and can't free range, this will be too small. If they will be kept in the run, you'll want at least 170 square feet of run space and 68 square feet of coop space to meet their minimum needs. Plus, you have to plan that you will probably end up with more birds than you start with. It's called chicken math, and it hits us all. It got me pretty good! Especially with a rooster, depending on what kind of hens you have on order, it's quite possible they will want to hatch chicks and add to your population. So I will give you advice I wish I had been given: build bigger than you think you will need. You'll be happy that you did. I started with two ducks and a few stray chickens taken in from my neighbor, and now I have five coops!
  3. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Crossing the Road

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Seems like a bit small if all live to maturity. There may be issues of overcrowding, but you will see it as they grow. I KNOW THAT HATCHERIES HAVE MINIMUM NUMBERS THAT THEY WILL SHIP. At which times when there are too many for the space, you have options. Expand, Thin the herd (I know its flock) don't like the word cull. Or live with crowd until it gets small on its own. Battery hens have less room than that and its not the end of the world. Comfort level is definitely low. WISHING YOU THE BEST Keep coming back for more answers as you need.
    AND YES [​IMG]
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome!!! Chicks are adorable, and grow quickly into chickens who will need way more space! At least four to six sq. ft. per bird, unless they are all tiny Seramas. Build much bigger! You will only regret a coop and run that need to be rebuilt too soon. Mary
  5. JazzysChicks

    JazzysChicks In the Brooder

    Jan 25, 2015
    Central Kansas
    Thanks for the advice good thing we're still in the beginning stages of building and still have a few weeks before the chicks will even arrive but, we will be brooding them inside until they're ready to be moved to the coop.
  6. kmartinez

    kmartinez Chirping

    Jan 9, 2015
    that chicken math works in different ways as well. For example some hatchery's throw in extra chicks depending on how many you buy or because they know a couple could perish on their journey if its to cold..I got 2 extras i was not planning on glad i got them though, i lost 1 within 24 hours. I ordered 16 got 18 and have 17. My little tykes in weeks have more than doubled their size. I am weighing each one and recording it and they are big. depending on the breed you chose that coop is to small. For 17 chickens the coop would probably need 68 square feet thats not counting extra chicks the hatchery gives you or like someone said reproduction..I would make it as big as you can.. I have chicks and according to research i done two of the breeds can grow to be a min of 8lbs and they average out at 10lbs per hen and 13lbs for my rooster. According to my research that is what each one should weigh when fully grown..Their wings are also huge my little ones even when they open their wings to stretch they are double the size.

    Plus they need roosting space at least 2 linear foot per bird. My book says one however, another poster advised me of 2 because of wing stretching and flying up so no others get knocked off the roost. I think that advise was spot on after watching my little ones open their wings. With that size your going to be limited on roosting space as well depending on your breed again. for example I have large and xlarge breeds so i need them low not high up so they will not hurt themselves flying down. I shouldnt put roosts over another either because high roosts r not safe for i am squeezing by when I add my nesting boxes and I am going to have to hand make my door for me to enter since its width has to be smaller for me to accommodate roosting space and its going to be close.

    I would also take a chalk line or spray paint on where u want it i did that i was going to go smaller for the coop but once i had to spray painted the outline on my grass was like no way..remember you got to enter it to clean it and imagine 17 chickens at your feet in that space...
  7. holm25

    holm25 Jr Chicken Wrangler

    Apr 6, 2014
  8. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    X 2 - the setup you have is smaller than I would use for the number of birds you are planning, especially with a roo in the mix as it is good to allow a bit of space for your girls to be able to escape unwanted attention from him during the time while he is learning to be a gentleman about things. The general rule of thumb for minimum space of large fowl is to allow at least 4 square feet in the coop plus 10 square feet of run space per bird (so 14 total per bird inside and out)...and, since this is minimum, more is always better (especially to allow for the onset of chicken math - given that you will surely be tempted the first time one of your hens goes broody and you have those handy, fertile eggs right there on hand). Also, remember to allow space for feeders and waterers as, depending on type and setup, they take up space that you can't count as available for your birds
  9. keesmom

    keesmom Crowing

    Jul 28, 2008
    The more space you can provide, the better off you will be. Especially in the depths of winter when your birds will be confined to the coop for an extended time. I do not know when mine will get outside again. If you are someplace warm that will be less of an issue.
  10. JazzysChicks

    JazzysChicks In the Brooder

    Jan 25, 2015
    Central Kansas
    Thank you all who responded. After reading all the wonderful advice my husband and I have decided to double the size of the coop we will be building. Thanks a bunch everyone![​IMG]

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