1. cogorman

    cogorman Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2010
    MidMissouri
    Today is the day we make our cut to the final 6 hens we will keep (that's the max our city allows). When my son and I started this project we used the guidelines on the Raising Chickens 101 page to construct our coop. It says to allow 2-3 sq. ft. of space per bird in the hen house and 4-5 sq. ft. in the run. Now reading in this section of the forum I keep seeing 4 sq. ft. per bird in the hen house and 10 sq. ft. in the run. The coop, except for the wire, is finished. Given our space and the city's restrictions on where we could build, we ended up with 3 sq. ft. per bird in the hen house and 6 sq. ft. per bird in the run. Will this be adequate for healthy, happy checkens, or should we reduce the number of birds (we'd hate to do that, we've become very attached to our final team!)? Why is there such a discrepancy? [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2010
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I'd say the first set of figures you used are aimed more at bantams than at LF. The more space you can provide them the better off the hens will be and the easier the upkeep on the coop and run will be.
     
  3. Gypsi

    Gypsi Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 7 large chickens, and 20 sq ft of coop - nest boxes stick out the side of the coop. And then I have a 6 sq ft brooder, where all my birds are sleeping, having decided they like it better? When I put the front wall and a secureable door on the coop we will discuss this. Between run time in the yard and the adventures of ongoing construction, they all seem happy. Sooner or later something will happen to one or two, and my flock will match the numbers. But for now, I'm not culling. I am wondering if I should put a golf ball in a nest for inspiration?[​IMG]
     
  4. cogorman

    cogorman Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 3, 2010
    MidMissouri
    Thanks, not sure what to do. Maybe wait and see what the upkeep/happiness factors are like day to day. I'd like to ask for a revision on that page of the website so others don't make the same mistake. We did look at a few other sources and they had the similar, smaller guidelines, though I can't remember what the sources were at the moment.
     
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    There is no hard and fast rule. It depends on your circumstances. Do you live in a cold climate where you'll need to confine your birds in their coop in bad weather a lot? If so, your coop will need to be bigger than those of us in a warmer climate whose birds can be out and about nearly all year.

    About the run size, if you can allow your birds regular time out of their pen to free range in your yard, they can make do with less space than for chickens who are confined to their pen all the time.

    It also depends on your breeds of chickens and their individual temperaments. Some chickens bear close confinement better than others. You'll know that yours need more room if pecking and bullying starts to become a problem.

    Lastly, it depends on how much work you're willing to do and/or how much you'll be bothered by the conditions that are created when chickens are more crowded. The less space each chicken has, the more work there will be for you to keep things sanitary enough for your flock's health.
     

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