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Coop Size Recommendations

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by VerrallChicks, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. VerrallChicks

    VerrallChicks Hatching

    Feb 2, 2015
    Hi. I am totally new....working on my plans to convince my husband to get chickens, for the spring. First...Build a Coop.
    I don't have a large backyard, but I'm thinking a 8X8X7walls coop. 8x10 run, enclosed. Looking at getting 5-6 chickens to start, but I hear and read its addiction, and have already become obsessed.
    Am I going overboard or just treating them good.

    I live in Northern Ontario, Canada...so our winters are chilly often between -20 and -30C. I thought the coop should be big enough since our winters are long and they will want to stay in.

    Plans for 6 nesting boxes too.

    What do all you experienced chickers think?

    Thank You so MUCH

  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    An 8x8 coop is generous for 5-6 hens but as you point out in bad weather, they will probably spend a fair amount of time inside. If you put a roof on the run you can make a sunroom for the winter months giving them double to space. For 6 hens, you only need 2 nesting boxes. I have 20 and they only use 2.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    As far as I am concerned, you can never go overboard with the room. The more room you give them the happier they will be. Cram them in and you will have problems. I never go with the bare minimum space requirement as you will find they do in fact need more room. So your run is 8x10. According to the space rule in the run of 10 square feet per bird, you could keep 8 birds in this space. BUT...6 birds will be so much more comfortable. My run is 100 square feet and my 6 birds are comfortable in this space. If I had 10 in this space there would be more arguing and chaos.

    So I think you are doing well by keeping 6 birds in this space. Yes, chicken math loves to take over with your addiction, LOL, so if you KNOW you are doing to want more birds, build it bigger.

    It also depends on how much time will be spent in the run as well. If they are out free ranging much of the day, then you can get away with smaller spaces. I can't let my birds out without supervision due to all the predators. So they spend a lot of time in the run. I try to keep them as spread out as I can without crowding them in.

    I think your large coop is the way to go however as if they will be spending a lot of time in the coop during those long winters, they will need the space.

    With 5 or 6 birds, you can get away with 2 maybe 3 nest boxes. I use 3 for my six birds because my birds go broody often and someone is hogging up a box for weeks on end. The chickens will tend to use only a couple nest boxes as it is, even if there are more available. Keep a fake egg in each box and this will encourage them to use all the boxes.

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