Coop/Run Space?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by L2fly, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. L2fly

    L2fly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi All, I wanted to confirm what I've been reading re: how much space you need per chicken. From what I've seen on this forum, the general advice is, 4sq ft of coop, 10 sq ft of run, minimum, for non-free-range chickens.

    I've got roughly 9 sq ft of coop, and 20 sq ft of run. I was hoping to go for 3 standard chicks, as I know there is a mortality possibility, and this way, I'd have less chance of leaving one lonely bird. I will let them out to forage as much as possible, hopefully daily in the summer for at least an hour, but would only be able to let them out on weekends in the winter time, when the days are shorter. So based on what I'm reading, I'm probably better off going with just two, and taking my chances with having to introduce a second, younger bird? Are there smaller standard breeds where three might be ok? Or would I be better off with 3 bantams (although I was hoping for standard eggs)?

    (Interestingly, it was a kit coop/run from TSC, my 'started' coop/run, advertised to fit 6-8... I saw right away that THAT wasn't going to happen, but thank goodness for this board, before I thought 4 would be ok!!)

    TIA!
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I’d go with three. That 4 and 10 is a general thing that covers people in all kinds of different conditions. In a lot of cases it is overkill, in some conditions it’s not enough.

    You are in the Central Valley in California, thanks for including that information, it helps. You are not going to have a lot of days where the weather keeps them confined to the coop, not like someone that lives in Fargo, North Dakota. Up there I’d say it’s getting pretty tight. They are all going to be the same age and sex. That reduces potential conflict.

    The possibility of free ranging for an hour a day does not enter into my thinking, that’s not long enough and probably not consistent enough to help much if at all. With them that tight you will probably have to work a little harder than some of us in poop management. In your circumstances in that location, you should be OK with three. But do not try four.
     
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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    RR gives good advice above....read the link in his signature about how much room chickens need.


    3 hatch mates would probably be OK for now.

    If you find you really like having chickens,
    start building a bigger coop and you can use the small one for integration down the road.
     
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  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I would go for three, for the reasons RR said.

    I would also look into adding on to the run as soon as you can. In your area, they're not going to be in the coop except to lay and sleep, pretty much. So, the run in the more important area.

    I just want to emphasize that your birds raised together may all do okay in that space, but if you lose one or for another reason try to bring in another bird at some point, there's not enough space for that. The newbie will have no place to get away from the other birds, so the other birds will think it's challenging them.

    And like aart said----this could be a great starter coop [​IMG]. Wait and see what you end up with next spring!
     
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  5. jessg84

    jessg84 Out Of The Brooder

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    In your opinion is 80 square feet enough for 6 hens? I try to let them out an average of an hour a day into the yard. In the summer it is usually more but in November/December its more like only on the weekends.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Is that 80sf just the coop? Pics would help.
    Knowing your climate/location would help even more.
     
  7. jessg84

    jessg84 Out Of The Brooder

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    It's a 6x10 foot run with 20 square feet under the coop. The coop is 4x4 with external next boxes.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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