Coop Size Questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kellgirl360, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. kellgirl360

    kellgirl360 In the Brooder

    Nov 11, 2013
    So I am getting chickens in the spring and already have a coop that is approximately 15 square feet. The person I bought the coop from kept 4 full size chickens in there with no problem. My question is would it be okay to have 5 chickens in there? They will have full access to a 50 square foot run during the day and we live in an area where we get a few inches of snow maybe once a year. I also plan to let them free range in the backyard a couple hours a day when I am watching them.

  2. conny63malies

    conny63malies Crowing

    Mar 22, 2008
    Annetta Kentucky
    Depends on the breed size and temperament. Give jersey giants might be not such a great idea , but some EEs other smaller breed could fit. Bigger is always better when it comes to coops
  3. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Songster

    Dec 6, 2009
    Like conny63mailes said, depends on the size and breed. If you have a good sized run, I'd say go for it.
  4. kellgirl360

    kellgirl360 In the Brooder

    Nov 11, 2013
    Okay thanks for the info!
  5. saellis

    saellis Chirping

    Nov 30, 2012
    FEMA Region VIII
    My Coop
    Rule of thumb says 4 square feet per full sized bird. Using that rule for my coop I come up with a maximum capacity of 8.75 birds so rather than rounding up to 9, I just limit myself to 8.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I don’t believe in one magic number that covers every chicken in the entire world in every circumstance and condition. The carrying capacity of your facilities depends on so many different things one magic number can’t cover us all. If you follow the link in my signature you’ll get my thoughts on space. A lot of those things won’t apply to you but some will.

    The guidelines for space given on this forum, 4 square feet per chicken plus 10 square feet in the run, are just recommendations that will keep most people out of trouble most of the time in a wide range of conditions. That means they are overkill for a lot of us but sometimes they are pretty tight.

    The personality of your chickens will be different than the previous owner’s chickens. Your management techniques will probably vary. You may find that 4 is plenty for you. You may be able to handle 6 or even more without a problem. Nobody can tell you for sure. I find the more I crowd them the more likely I am to have behavior problems, I have less flexibility in dealing with problems, and the harder I have to work.

    Good luck with it.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    RR's link is great at looking to the details and various considerations of space requirements.

    IMO the 4/10 rule is a minimum, and in just 4 months of chicken keeping I've found that to be true. I have twice that space and wish I had more for various reasons. I do not free range for several reasons, predation being the most important. You can say they will free range, thus need less coop and run space, but confinement is always a possible necessity due to extreme weather and predation.

    So bigger is always a professor I had once said....Proper Prior Planning is essential...or not, but if you don't want to plan, be ready to suffer the consequences.
  8. kellgirl360

    kellgirl360 In the Brooder

    Nov 11, 2013
    Thanks for your responses. I live in the city, so I have a yard, but not a huge one. Our neighors had chickens for a couple years, and they never had raccoon problems, so I am guessing that will not be an issue, however we do have the occasional eagle. I think I will start out with 5, and if that doesn't work then I will just rehome one of them. Also, I am planning on getting a hybrid like a red star or GSL. Does that make a difference?
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014

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