Coop size dependent on climate?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ssteiner, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. ssteiner

    ssteiner Chillin' With My Peeps

    128
    0
    119
    Nov 24, 2008
    Orange, CA
    I live in Southern California, near the coast, and it seems as if I get different advice on coop size from locals than I do from people who live in harsh winter areas. I hear from such people that "4 square feet per standard hen" is the norm, and that would seem appropriate where they can't leave, but where, as in my case, the coop is attached to a run which is always accessible via opening, the governing logic around here is 2 square feet per bird (with attached run, of course). So I'm just curious what the opinions are on this, because I have an 8 sq foot coop with a 12 sq foot attached run and 4 girls and don't want them to be miserable or anything. That said, however, I also have winters that rarely drop below 45 degrees at night and over 300 days of sunshine per year.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Scott
     
  2. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    9,572
    379
    326
    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    As long as you don't exceed 4 birds you will be okay. You will want to insure that the ammonia levels don't get to high. If it starts to smell strong clean you coop.
     
  3. ssteiner

    ssteiner Chillin' With My Peeps

    128
    0
    119
    Nov 24, 2008
    Orange, CA
    On that point, the coop, as seen from the front, is four feet wide and two feet high. The right two by two square is wood with a door which leads to the run. The left two by two square is hardware cloth. So I'm hoping this will keep ammonia well under control, because it's completely ventilated given the fact that half the front is open. It's almost more along the lines of a large rabbit hutch, I suppose.
     
  4. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    9,572
    379
    326
    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    I don't see you having any problem at all.
     
  5. Montana-Hens

    Montana-Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    320
    5
    143
    Feb 20, 2008
    Buxton, Montana
    I think you get so many different answers because we all have a different style....

    Does it get cold at night?

    Do you have supplemental heat?

    Do you have a run...free range?

    I think these are the critical differences that make us choose the coop size we do. They need space to be happy, but in a cold Montana climate w/o supplmental heat, the coop needs to be just big enough for their heat to work for them in the coop.

    Do what you think best and be prepared to change and make a few improvements ad you see your errors...
     
  6. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    I must say I don't go by the four for rule and I live in a much colder climate than you do. I've gone down to 2 - 2 1/2 coop-feet per bird, with zero problems. The coop is pretty much deep litter method (you can search that if you like) and my birds are out of the coop in all weather. It's well ventilated (you can search that too) and btw after listening to everyone here for a little while, I would totally trust anything Opa says.

    Enjoy, and don't worry. People have raised chickens all over the world, and for millennia, and they can eat pretty much anything you give em and live pretty much any way that works for you - except in factory cages! As long as they can preen, flap, dust-bathe, lay, scratch and run, they're happy. That's actually exactly what I love about em.

    Though some people on here do like their rules, most of us really are more flexible - just like our birds!
     
  7. mksenoj

    mksenoj Chillin' With My Peeps

    182
    1
    109
    Oct 12, 2008
    UpState, New York
    I'm in NY and agree with the post above mine.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by