Coop space question!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Nunie, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. Nunie

    Nunie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2016
    Sweden (for now!)
    I plan to have around 20 chickens (in the future). I've read a lot of different resources on coop size and space and all that, but it just kinda makes my head spin a bit! I'd get 5 or 6 chickens the first year, then same for the next 3 years until I have around 20. I say 5 or 6 because I figure I'll probably lose a couple along the way, hopefully not though.

    So would an 8' x 10' coop be enough for 20 chickens? I plan to attach a much larger run as well (size undetermined right now). Should I go bigger with the coop? If my flock were to "accidentally" grow a little larger than 20 birds, would an 8' x 10' coop no longer be enough?

    I plan to mount the nest boxes on the outside of the coop so it doesn't take up space inside! The nest boxes would go on one of the 8 ft sides and the roosts would be on the other 8 ft side, so there should be plenty of roosting space. I will probably go with a ladder-type roosting area. Large doors on the back 10 ft side for easy cleaning. I would keep a dust bin for them to bathe in inside the coop also, and an extra feeder and waterer.

    I've read this article: and other similar articles, I just sort of need confirmation I guess! lol

    Thank you in advance!
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Bigger is ALWAYS better! My birds have more space and it's not too much, so building as large as possible is best. Mary
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Bigger is better, especially if weather will keep them in for days at a time. Covered runs help to stretch their shelter sq footage a bit. Ladder-type roosts can be a challenge. You need at least a foot vertically and horizontally between the rungs to give the birds enough room to maneuver and so that the birds on the lower rungs don't get pooped on.
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    An 8x10 coop is going to give you the bare minimum space requirements for 20 birds. I would make it larger or have fewer birds. You will not likely ever see anyone complain about problems with too much space but you will see lots of threads about problems resulting from to many birds crammed into to small of a space. Problems that are much easier avoided then solved.
  5. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio
    IMO, too small. Our coop is 8' x9' (actually 8' x 18' half is storage), we have 6 chickens. In that space I'd maybe add 2 or 3. Crowding causes behavior problems and is harder to keep clean.

    We do have a large covered run where they spend most of their time but there are times they choose to be in.
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    In Sweden you are going to see some snow. Chickens don’t like change. When they wake up to a new world all white, well that can keep them confined to the coop for several days. It’s not so much that they don’t like snow, it’s more that they don’t like change. After a few days mine will go out walking in it, but it can be a few days. I’ve seen them wade through 9 inches (225 ml) of snow to check out the compost, but not the first couple of days. With these, the snow fell during the day while they were out so the change was gradual enough they never bothered to go in.


    Chickens don’t mind cold weather but they do not like a cold wind at all. It was 4 degrees Fahrenheit (- 16 C) when I took this. I just left the pop door open and gave them their choice. If a cold wind had been blowing, they would have been inside.


    Where you are your chickens will be confined to the coop for some stretches during the winter. If you can keep snow out of at least part of your run and put up wind blocks to protect them from the wind, an 8’ x 20’ is probably big enough for 20 full sized chickens. They might even be OK if they cannot get to the run for days at a time but I’d be concerned they might start getting bored and start picking on each other.

    This is not one of those cases where you are either going to be fine or it will certainly be a disaster. You are in the range where it could go either way. I think some effort to block wind and snow in the run might be a real good idea. That would probably help you a lot more than adding a little more room in the coop.
  7. Nunie

    Nunie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2016
    Sweden (for now!)
    Thank you for all that info! I won't actually be having chickens in Sweden, I'm American and planning on getting back to the states in a few years. Hopefully somewhere in the south! Just trying to learn as much as I can in the meantime, so I can avoid rookie mistakes when the time finally comes to raise my own chickens. :)

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