Coop size for 14 Layers?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Bleenie, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    I need to build a new coop for my layer pullets that are currently living with the ducks. I haven't liked our last couple coops(size & function-wise) so I want this one to be done right. How big should the coop be for 14 standard-size chickens? I am not worried about the run size, we have plenty of space and they will also be free ranging too.

    I do want the nest boxes to be inside the coop, but they will be wall mounted so that shouldn't take away any floor space.
    I will only need about 6 nest boxes for 12 hens, right?
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  2. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    The rule of thumb is 4 sq ft per chicken in the coop. From what I understand, you probably won't need that many nest boxes. If you wanted to save space, 3 or 4 should be enough.
  3. Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 30, 2009
    Burnet, Texas
    A 6x8 or 6x10 coop would be plenty of space for 14 hens. You would only need 3 or 4 nest boxes at the most. 4-7 hens will share one box. 4sq.ft. per bird depends as much on the breed as anything. Back in the day we gave less than half that amount and commercially they are only required to provide a 1/2 sq.ft. of space. If you have the space for 4 sq.ft. it certainly won't hurt anything but isn't neccessary if they run during the day. Roosting space you need 8 to 12 inches per hen on the roosting bars. If you have the space and plan on adding more hens later I would build an 8x12. You can buy all dimensional lumber and minimize waste with that size.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Just build it as big as seems feasible. I guarantee that if they end up with more than 4 sq ft per chicken it will only be a GOOD thing, for their behavior AND for your ease of management, and I also guarantee that all the space will come in useful handy in future years [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    So their coop would need to be, at minimum(for happy hens), 7'x8'? I am sure there will be times when I have to leave them locked up in the coop/run so I want them to be comfortable when they're stuck in there.

    The wall mounted nest boxes shouldn't be a problem with space, right? as long as they have enough floor space they'll be happy?
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    7'x8' for 14 hens as a minimum so they probably won't become cannibalistic. That depends on how big that run actually is when they are not free ranging, how long they are cooped up in the coop or coop and run, individual chicken personality, and many other things. If they can get access to plenty of other space all the time (not just most of the time) then coop space is not as important as when they have limits. Many of us don't have the ability to give more access all the time. The more space you can give them in the coop or otherwise, the happier they will be. There is a difference in happy and not becoming cannibals. You've obviously experienced not great coops, so go a bit further than the minimum and I think you and not just the hens will be happier.

    Mosy building material comes in 4' or 8' materials. You can probably build an 8' x 8' just as inexpensively as an 8' x 7'. I'd suggest for functionality, an 8' x 12' would not be that much more expensive.

    Nest boxes high enough above the top of the litter that they can get under them does not take away from active coop space. In addition, I find that if they are not high enough off the top of the litter, some hens can decide that area makes a nice, cosy, dark, safe-looking place to lay an egg.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Dimensional lumber will likely dictate a 6x8 or 8x8 or 8x10.

    Since they all like to "share" nesting boxes, I'd seriously doubt they'll ever use more than a couple. Goofy chickens.

    Make the roosting bar 3.5 inches, or 2x4 laid flat side up. This allows them to have their feet flat and cover them with their feathered body.
  8. smarsh2

    smarsh2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2009
    make sure your nests are lower than the roost or they may try sleeping in them. nest eggs will make them use other nests. with no nest eggs they will look for one with eggs already in it.
  9. PineappleMama

    PineappleMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    14x4=56 sf minimum coop needed... 7'x8' would work...
    14x10=140 sf min run needed... 10x14... 8x17.5... etc.
    12" per bird roost space so run 2 2x2s (or 2x4s) across the 7' side and you're good.
    Just make sure there's a good 6" (or more) between the two roosts both vertically and horizontally so no one gets poo on their head.
    And make sure the furthest back is at least 6" (12" better) from the wall or you get a really icky mess.
    Nest wise most seem okay with one nest per four birds, least mine are, so for 14 I'd go ahead and do four.
    Make sure the nests are lower than the roosts.

    And that about sums up my random tidbits of knowledge. Hope it helps. [​IMG]
  10. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Quote:Sometimes, sometimes not.

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