Could we bend the rules?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Studio2770, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. Studio2770

    Studio2770 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2013
    Our coop is 28 sq ft and our run is 40(I think) sq ft. We have 7 hens. 5 leghorns, 1 EE, 1 cochin. I know what the general rule of thumb is for chicken space but if they free range all day, could we bend the rules?
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    If they are only going to eat/sleep in the coop, I don't see why not. They'll have plenty to do all day, so shouldn't get bored & start picking at one another. See how it goes..[​IMG]
  3. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2012
    New Jersey
    Yeah you can. 2 sq ft per bird in the coop might be a little tight, though. As long as they free range most of the day, then the run will be fine.
  4. Studio2770

    Studio2770 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2013
    When we put the little ones(EE and 2 cochins, one cochin got rehomed because male) the mornings were a bit rough. Some commotion but now they are all civil and minimal conflict, just pecks to stay in line.
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    you can cheat going into summer...... because of the longer days, the birds spend most of the day outside, and if I read your post correctly, 3 of them are much younger which = smaller.

    As the year progresses, and the little ones become full grown, and will need more space...... as you go down in to the fall, the days get shorter, and they spend MOST of the 24 hours, on the roost, in the coup..... mine are often roosting by 4:00-4:30..and not coming off the roost until 7:30am.. then you can no longer cheat, you will feel the tension rise, and if you remove a few head, you will feel the flock relax.

    What I am saying is, just because it is working now, do not be surprised if it stops working in October. I am speaking from experience, had mine filled plus 2 more, did great all summer, but the chicks just kept getting bigger, the days kept getting shorter.... and I had a predator thin out 3 head..... could not believe the difference it made in the tension of the flock.

    From that point on, I know, come the first of October, I need to be under a dozen head. Can be having 5-6 more than that during the summer, but while the space does not change, the time they spend in it does with winter.

    Mrs K
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014
  6. Studio2770

    Studio2770 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2013
    We got the three new ones back in June so they're mature now and bigger than the older birds b/c the older ones are leghorns which are scrawny. I mentioned that one of the three turned out to be a rooster so he had to go unfortunately. Since we've had them since June we went through the shorter days when they were pretty much full size. They started laying right around Christmas. We would want to get docile breeds like another cochin or orpington, silkie, brahma or even another EE.
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Even the "docile" breeds aren't docile when they're overcrowded and cranky in the winter. If your flock can be out free ranging in the winter, it *could* help...
  8. Studio2770

    Studio2770 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2013
    I read that the docile breeds bear confinement well. I live in central Texas so we hardly get ice or snow. We got snow one day and a couple of icy days. Huh, you would thing they would want to bundle together.
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I'm with Mrs K and bobbi-j, as usual. If it's working for you now, fine. Just be aware it may not work all the time. If you start having problems, then no, you can't bend the rules.
    1 person likes this.

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