Do they REALLY need...?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gypsyfarm123, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. gypsyfarm123

    gypsyfarm123 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 27, 2011
    south jersey
    Hi all:) Ok, I finally have got some time to build my permanent coop. My plan's were to build it 4x4x4' high (since I have enough materials already and really would like to keep my costs down. My question is..Do my six hen's and one rooster REALLY need 3 to 4 sq feet of space since they free range during the day and will only be sleeping there at night? I plan on building the one in 'coop designs',small coop's, the 13th one down,the red one (I'm sorry, I don't know how to post the pic to the thread:( thank you for your time <craig
  2. fireguy56

    fireguy56 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2010
    Slidell, Louisiana
    Hi, I'd say give it a shot. I'm like you in the thinking that my chickens are only inside when they are roosting, so I don't put much into the sq. footage thing. However, I am in Deep South not NE with the snow. There will be times when you chickens will be indoors for an extended period of time. Thats when you could have trouble crowding that many into a small are. If you could go bigger, by all means do so. you won't regret it in the end. good luck.
  3. smokinjay

    smokinjay Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 11, 2011
    I offten wonder that. I have 17 birds sleep in a space about 18 x 18 inch every night even when its warm. Someday they may change that who knows?
  4. VelvettFog

    VelvettFog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2011
    Yakima, WA
    Do you, as an adult human being, really need more than an 8x8 cell? With bunk beds I can put two of you in that space. You'll be fine.
  5. GoldDogsMom

    GoldDogsMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2011
    Indiana, PA
  6. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    That's an awful lot of chickens in such a small space. It's not just the physical aspect of literally having enough room; ventilation is crucial for chickens' health, and having too many in too small of a space is asking for trouble. Fumes from poop, dampness from their breathing in the cold month when they are crowded together in a small space for longer periods...I really think you're inviting trouble with such a small space. Look at your options - maybe you could rehome 3 of them, and add on to existing coop in the spring?
  7. smokinjay

    smokinjay Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 11, 2011
    Quote:Been there done that! lol just kidding but lets me know at some point they will use the space.....Great Post!
  8. JosieChick

    JosieChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2010
    Lyman, ME
    I have to add my two cents here. We have just enough square footage for our girls in the coop per bird and I am so glad we do. During the worst ice storms we had last winter the ladies spent most days inside even when the pop door was open so I was glad they had room to walk around and scratch in the bedding. If they hadn't had enough space I am sure we would have had a lot more bickering going on and I don't like my birds picking on each other. It is always nice to have extra room (especially for when you add extra birds ie: chicken math [​IMG] If your birds are diligent free rangers and will go out in all weather then you will probably be ok, but sometimes they don't and it is nice to have the space for them that is protected from bad weather.

    Another thing you could do is created a three sided plastic wind break during the winter that has a roof and two sides out side of the coop that would keep snow off the ground there to encourage them to come out if there is a bunch of snow on the ground. I found that when I covered the run with plastic my girls came out a lot more but do it early in the season so they get used to the plastic blowing around when it is windy!

    Good luck!
  9. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I wouldn't try it, myself. So many people on here started with a small coop like you are planning, and within a short period, the small coop became a brooder, isolation coop, etc. Besides their needing more space on days they want to stay in, there is the additional problem of ventilation, which is very difficult to do adequately in a short, small coop in cold weather, without exposing them to a draft. In addition, there is the problem of venting out ammonia. Ammonia levels have already harmed the chickens before humans can smell it.
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I can't think of a single post where someone has said, "Gee, I wish I'd have built my coop smaller"... Give your birds as much space as you can. They'll be happier and you won't regret it.

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