1. wayneh

    wayneh Chirping

    Jan 25, 2011
    N. E. Alabama
    I am getting started with chickens and need help with my coop. Thinking of building a coop about 4'x2.5' and try to keep it lite for moving. we are going to have 3 to 4 large chickens, (java, dominque, or rir). is my coop size large enough? we have been looking at coops on this site and have found several we like and could modify to fit my needs. thanks wayne
  2. kelseygirl707

    kelseygirl707 Dances with Chickens

    Mar 3, 2009
    Lakeport, Ca.
    Generally the rule of thumb is at least 4 sq ft per bird, and most people (And Chickens) prefer bigger, so for 4 chickens you would need at least a 4x4 coop, plus space for food, water and nest boxes.
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  3. That coop is only big enough for 2 chciekns, [​IMG] giving the usual 4sq. feet per chicken. If you get 3 chickens they will need 12 sq. feet so a 3x4 or a 2x6.. If you get 4 chickens they will need 16 sq. feet so a 4x4 coop or a 3x6! [​IMG] I personally would go ahead and make a 6x6 on wheels if you want to move it around. Because like everyone... you will want more chickens! [​IMG] Hope I helped.
  4. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    Mar 31, 2010
    Tuscaloosa County, Alabama
    Wayne, I sent you a PM but realised you were probably here! I'm from Alabama, too (Tuscaloosa County) and am glad to see you here! First of all, I have some questions. Do you still live on a cattle farm? How much land do you have to work with? Is there an old barn or outbuilding that could be repurposed? Or are you in town these days and will be limited to the yard of your home? Need more info, please!
  5. Cargo

    Cargo Songster

    Sep 28, 2010
    Farmington, NM
    2.5' is really a bit too narrow for large breeds. It does not give them enough room to jump up on the roost.
    In my 3' wide coop I ended up moving my roost to one side so they could get up easier after watching one of the girls try and fail several times.
  6. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Songster

    Dec 6, 2009
    Thats perfectly fine......I would make 3 by 4 PERSONALLY
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    You are asking a lot harder question than you realize. The rules of thumb for 4 square feet per chicken in the coop and 10 square feet in the run don't really apply in a tractor. Yoiu compensate for lack of space by additional management. It's all in how you manage your chickens. What you are talking about is a chicken tractor. In Alabama that should work for you year round, but it requires a lot of day to day management. Depending on your conditons, you may want to consider other options. There are different tractor designs that can work for you, but it pretty much requires moving it every day or two to keep them from getting bored, and they can have serious, dangerous behavioral problems if they get bored. Some people have to move their tractors twice a day.

    I have trouble keeping more than 4 chickens in a tractor that is easy to move. By the time you build in roost space out of drafts, a couple of nesting boxes, and a way to keep the feed dry, it just gets too big and heavy.

    Until I see your proposed design, I really can't comment on specifics. Is it doable? Yes, but it takes a bit of planning and a commitment to daily management. If you have specific plans we might be able to better comment.
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:I wouldn't go any smaller than that. Larger (like maybe a lot larger) would be a lot better if you live somewhere that winters get down to freezing or below and have snow and that kind of thing. The smaller the 'house' part of the thing, the harder it is to manage successfully in cold weather.

    Good luck, have fun,

  9. Cargo

    Cargo Songster

    Sep 28, 2010
    Farmington, NM
    You may want to take a look at my tractor: Here
    It is light enough to move on wheels and fits through a garden gate. (just barely) It has proven itself to be easily managed in winter weather with 4 large hens. They do need a run or free range time as well in the winter. When in use as a tractor it needs to be moved 1-2 times a day.
    If you or anyone else decides they want to build one, let me know as I learned a few things to do differently while building this one.
  10. matimeo

    matimeo Songster

    Jul 29, 2010
    It's just big enough IF:
    1. There is some kind of attached run that your chickens can move in and out of;
    2. Your chickens free range all day (mine only go into the coop to lay or to roost at night)
    3. a considerable amount of that space is not occupied by nest boxes
    4. You live in a climate that is moderate enough in the winter that you don't have to keep them confined for significant amounts of time.

    I think that covers it.

    I have four chickens and my coop is 3x4 with two nest boxes that jut out on the side (not counted as part of the square footage). They have more than enough space to roost and lay. Although, I will say that if I could go back and do it differently, I might have positioned the nest boxes differently. To access the left one, the chickens have to walk under the roost, which can track a lot of poo into the nest.

    Short answer to your question is yes, you can do it as long as you meet certain conditions.

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