Coop size for 4 hens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by candaceshaw, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. candaceshaw

    candaceshaw New Egg

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    Jan 3, 2012
    I know this topic has probably been discussed to death, but I have 4 pullets, born in early April, and I'm wondering whether my coop is big enough.

    The bottom run is 9'x6' (fully enclosed with hardware cloth), and the 'penthouse' is 3'x3' with a roost and slanted roof. Two of the hens generally sleep upstairs, and two sleep downstairs on top of a wooden crate, which has got me worried that they're not finding upstairs big enough.
    Weather permitting, we usually give them the run of the yard for a few hours a day.

    I've read so many different things about coop size, and they're healthy birds with good appetites and no pecking/etc., but now that the weather's getting quite cold, I want all four in one space to stay warm while at the same time staying happy and healthy.

    Your advice is much appreciated!
    Candace
     
  2. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure where you are, or what type of birds you have. What you've described sounds a little cramped to me, especially since two of your birds are choosing to roost outside of the coop. Is there a way in which you could place a covering over the part of the run that is below the coop to stop the wind?
     
  3. Chris Herzog

    Chris Herzog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 16, 2011
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    For LF, your run is plenty big enough. It's 13.5sqft per bird you really only need 10sqft per bird. The coop is sort of small for fully grown LF. In a coop you want at least 4sqft per bird and yours is 2.25sqft. If the coop was 4x4 instead of 3x3 then both the coop and run would be perfect for large fowl.

    For the smaller breeds again the run is fine but you are still a little on the small side with the coop. 3.5' x 3.5' would put you in the ball park for the smaller breeds.

    When figuring space you need at a minimum 4sqft per bird for Lg fowl and 3sqft per bird for Bantams. So multiply 3 x 3 (the size of your coop) = 9 and then divide that by the number of birds you have (4).

    3 x 3 = 9 (4) = 2.25sqft per bird.

    4 x 4 = 16 (4) = 4sqft per bird.

    add 2.5' to one side of what you already have and you get....

    3 x 5.5 = 16.5 (4) = 4.125sqft per bird. This would be great as well.

    Hope this helps,

    Chris
     
  4. beach livin'

    beach livin' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i have 4 hens as well, and yours sounds like the coop might be a little small. i did a 4x4 coop thats about 3.5-4 foot tall w/ slanting roof. i also was worried i wasnt offering enough interior room, so i opted to add a nesting area outside of the coop. we have it built onto the side of the shed, so the nesting box is sitting inside the shed itself. below is our setup, and it is very basic, but the girls are fine [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and the nesting box is off to the right
    [​IMG]
    inside the shed
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. 2 hens for your space. You probably going to start having problems soon with 4 there. Fighting and pecking, ammonia build up and having to clean it very often, flies and other pests (when it warms up)

    some of my ideas are not necessarily the norm and you can certainly get by with less, but here is what I recommend usually. A minimum coop space of 30 sq./ft. no matter how few birds you have (I say this for ease of cleaning and enough room for roosts, waterers, feeders, nest boxes, etc.) Then from there I apply a rule of 5 sq.ft. per bird of coop space and 15 of run space. Using this minimum formula just makes it sooooo much easier on you and the birds for a variety of reasons.

    SO that minimum 30 sq/ft coop gives you enough room for 6 birds and then add 5 sq.ft for each additional bird. Dont forget to figure the run space though unless they free range everyday.
     
  6. ChickEngineer

    ChickEngineer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 16, 2011
    Candace, your coop is the same size as mine for 4 hens. My page has the post with the pictures, may give you some ideas.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. candaceshaw

    candaceshaw New Egg

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    Jan 3, 2012
    Thanks so much, everyone, for confirming what I'd suspected. We're going to start work on a new coop shortly.
    Candace
     

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