Coop Size & How Many Chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Henchickkk15, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. Henchickkk15

    Henchickkk15 Just Hatched

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    Hello all!
    So I am trying to figure out if I have room to add a Silkie to my small backyard flock. Currently, I have 4 chicks coming on Thursday, and I have heard wonderful things about Silkies. And they are so cute! My coop is 6' 1" long and 4' 1" wide. And that's the run, which goes under the henhouse. The henhouse is about 3' 7" also by 4' 1". So I have 2 California Whites, a Red Sexlink, and an Australorp. Plus possibly a Silkie.
    Thanks!
     
  2. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    NJ
    First off, welcome to BYC. This was posted in the wrong section, so you might have better luck here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/9/coop-run-design-construction-maintenance
    Anyway, I'm going to answer this question as best I can.

    Chickens need roughly 4 sq ft in the coop and 8 sq ft in the run. This means that your run can handle about 3 birds, and your coop can handle about 3 as well. It is really a coop that is designed for 3 chickens, however, it is my honest opinion that these numbers can be a bit conservative, and you could probably do 4 birds. It would be a bit crowded, but you could make it work with 4 birds. 5 would be pushing it, so I would hold off on getting more. If it makes you feel any better, silkies cannot be kept with the birds you will be getting because of issues with bullying. Have fun with your 4 birds, make sure there is no issues with pecking and fighting.
     
  3. Henchickkk15

    Henchickkk15 Just Hatched

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    Oh... Whoops! I didn't even know I posted it in the wrong section! I didn't even know there WERE sections... haha!
    Okay, that makes sense. I was hoping it would work out... But I do understand that. Our coop is very tall, and we got it from a man on Craigslist.. So it isn't like one of the ones they would sell at a petstore. What confuses me is that the coops they sell at those places are small, but they say that they can hold up to 9 chickens or something. I feel like ours is much larger than those. But I would also be concerned about bullying.
    Thanks again!
     
  4. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    NJ
    The coops you see at pet stores are very cheaply made, and designed to cut corners to keep costs low and turn a larger profit. This also means that the people making the coop want to encourage people to buy their product, and thus lie about their maximum capacity to sell more of their products. They do not care about the bird nor the product they make.

    Your coop will be fine for the 4 birds. These guidelines were made up as a ballpark estimate, and it wont hurt if you give them 6 sq ft per bird instead of 8. Your coop sounds like a fine setup for these birds, and I am sure they will be happy. Bullying occurs when the chickens are packed in close together, so watch out for that. All chickens have a pecking order, so be sure not to confuse normal establishing dominance with bullying. Normal pecking order behavior will be a nip here and there, whereas if it is relentless chasing and pecking, then its a problem. Keeping feeders full helps reduce bullying.
     
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
    Those people don't know what they are talking about when they tell you how many chickens it will hold. Maybe 12 bantams. The height inside does not change the square footage of the coop. And how much roost space did you have? How much room you need depends on a lot of things... Is it going to be raining all the time, temperament of individual chickens, how often are you going to clean it, size of breed, are you going to free range at all....

    Be careful you are not bringing someone else's disease to your flock with your used coop. Do you know what happened to their flock? Did they have mites hiding in the wood or anything?

    I hope my questions give you thing to ponder and help you towards your goal.

    I am completely unfamiliar with the breeds you are getting.

    I have heard of people here that have two coops to accommodate all their birds, but the silly things all squeeze into one.

    You could probably get away with it, but I don't recommend doing 5 (with your space). Especially since this is your first experience (I was assuming chicks). There will always be more silkies and maybe you will have decided to expand your coop by then.[​IMG] (a nod to chicken math) [​IMG]

    Have fun and best wishes!
     
  6. Henchickkk15

    Henchickkk15 Just Hatched

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    Thank you! Yes, I know the height of the coop doesn't effect the square footage of the coop, I was just saying it looks so much larger than those cheap ones you buy at petstores :) And yes, we love letting our hens out to eat bugs and forage in the garden. They are so entertaining. This is my first experience with chicks, but I have raised quite a few hens before from the age of about 6-10 months. And actually, we are the only ones that have ever used this same coop. The man we bought it from built doghouses before, so he thought he would try a chicken coop. And it has served us well!
    Thanks again! And yes.. Chickens are quite addicting... Aren't they?[​IMG]
     
  7. Henchickkk15

    Henchickkk15 Just Hatched

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    That makes sense.
    Yes, I would much rather have my 4 hens be happy as they are than try stuffing one more in just for my sake. We dealt a lot with aggression with our past 3 hens we had in the coop after getting rid of 2. It really messed up the pecking order, and we weren't getting any eggs from it.
    So hopefully this will go much better as they will all be raised together. And I am crossing my fingers they will all be female! [​IMG]
    Thanks!
     
  8. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    NJ
    I cannot comment on California whites, but I have raised production reds(another name for red sex links) and australorps. The australorps are easy going, as far as getting along with other birds. Sex Links aren't really bullies, either. They all should be fine with each other.
    It makes sense that you weren't getting any eggs. When birds are stressed they don't lay as well. They can get stressed easily, so keep water and feed full at all times and obviously make sure no one is getting picked on.
    You will be thankful for a tall coop in the winter months. Chickens can handle cold like champs, but they can't handle moisture in the coop when it is cold. Luckily, a tall coop would allow for the moisture to rise up and over the chickens and flow out of the coop(I am assuming there are vents at the top).
     
  9. Henchickkk15

    Henchickkk15 Just Hatched

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    Thats good to hear. I have also heard good things about these breeds. We raised Leghorns before, but the place we are getting our chicks from didn't sell Leghorns, but they sell Cali Whites which are a cross between a Leghorn and another breed (can't remember at the moment.) So yes! And I have heard they are pretty docile too. And yes, there are vents which do come in handy in the freezing cold winter months.
     
  10. Vickie 51

    Vickie 51 Out Of The Brooder

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    My coop is considered for 6 to 10 chickens and I have five and would not even try to squeeze even one more in. The coop kits give specifics and frankly I would take the number of chickens "suitable for" number and divide in half. My coop is four and a half feet by five feet by four feet with six nesting boxes. My run is twelve feet by twelve feet. Next year we are making the coop half again larger and getting three more birds. My feeling is we will be maxed out at that point.
     

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