Coop dimensions, advice needed...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dianneS, May 27, 2010.

  1. dianneS

    dianneS Chillin' With My Peeps

    828
    44
    191
    Mar 16, 2009
    South Central PA
    When calculating the dimensions of a coop, do you include the entire square footage, outside run + inside shelter area, when determining how many chickens you can have?

    I'm actually trying to figure out if my exsisting coop is big enough for the chickens that I have.

    Also, I would like to have my bantams in a separate coop. My real question is, if I have enough square footage of outdoor fenced run area, how large does my enclosed shelter need to be? I have a really cute dog house, with a rooftop porch, and would like to use it for my chickens. I just know that they can't technically live in a dog house, only retreat to that space to lay eggs or seek shelter from the weather. Would this be okay, as long as their run is plenty big enough and equipped with roosts and perhaps a covered roof area?
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    30,361
    150
    446
    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    4 sq feet per bird in the coop. That's the hard and fast rule because (here in the summer) and in most places in NA in the winter, the chickens can spend all day in the coop.

    Twice that in the enclosed run. (although there are lots of arguments on here about that)
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I'm pretty sure PA gets hit by winters more than us (southern Indiana), and my chickens spent a LOT of time indoors last winter. So you'll definitely want ample indoor space available for them. With bantams, you can "get by" with less, about 2 sq. ft. each of indoor space, but you'll want to watch for signs of bullying/feather picking. Overcrowding often times result in both/either, and it seems to mostly rear its ugly head in winter time (we all know how snippy we feel sometimes when we've been "cooped up" due to bad weather). For standard sized chickens, you'll want 4 sq. ft of indoor space as a minimum. I do use the 10 sq. ft. per bird of outdoor space myself (5 for bantams)...although my chickens have far more than that. They can never have too much space, only too little.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by