Does Coop height affect # of chickens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NellaBean, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    Does the height of the coop itself (not the run) affect the # of chickens that can be inside? I know there is the whole 3-4 sq ft per chicken rule...but does this change whether the coop is 4 feet high, veruss 6 feet high versus 8 feet high?

    If I built a coop that was 4 x 8 and 4 feet tall...would it hold fewer chickens than a coop that was 4 x8 and 8 feet tall?
  2. Zahboo

    Zahboo Simply Stated

    Feb 3, 2009
    Hope Mills, NC
    No, but if you have more height, you can have different levels of roosts. This may allow more room if it's a smaller coop. But the sq foot rule is just the floor space.
  3. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2008
    do not confuse sq ft with cubic foot..
  4. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    I know the sq footage rule is for floor space only.....I am only thinking out loud and wondering if you added onto the height, shouldn't that allow for more birds? Having more height would allow for more roost space...and assuming the chickens are only in the coop for the evenings and in the run during the day anyways, roost space would be the most important, wouldn't it?

    In theory, a 4x8 coop that is 2 feet tall would hold the same as a 4x8 coop that is 6 feet tall. And that cannot be right...Along the same lines a 2x4 coop that is 2 feet tall probably would hold the same as a 2x4 coop that is 10 feet tall.

    I know it is not an exact science, I am more or less just wondering ir and how the height would effect the # of birds that could be kept comfortably in a normal sized coop.
  5. cockadoodle

    cockadoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2009
    It's pretty much the same deal with fish tanks. I've seen some amazing aquariums that were very tall, but had a fairly small footprint and according to the 'book' you aren't allowed to stack the fish any more than you would be allowed to stack the chickens when determining square footage. x birds per square foot regardless. I believe personally that the only time elevation plays a role is when / if you have the luxury of having a second floor... eg additional square footage. My house is a tri-level, big enough to squeeze in 6 adults easily. However the footprint wouldn't support more than 3 without that extra 'floor space'. If your coop is 8 feet tall, but only has 1 floor, it might as well only be 3 feet tall... jmho..


    Edited to add -
    the more I think about it, the more elevation really would play a role. I mean seriously, if you have a 2ft by 2ft 'chicken tower' that went up 30 feet in the air, you could certainly house more than 1 bird in there, right? but you would most certainly need an actual floor for each bird. (as I imagine a yuppie chicken condo in the city with elevators and junk) So I think verticle space is only a factor when you have multiple floors. Roosts kinda count, but not really as that goes back to the fish tank analogy. The square footage 'rule' per bird is the only safe way to make sure you aren't over crowding in my opinion but certainly height does factor in... in a small way.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  6. Zahboo

    Zahboo Simply Stated

    Feb 3, 2009
    Hope Mills, NC
    I see your point, very good point. I understand in colder climate having to have a lot of floor space, but if you could have the roosts with out double stacking so they don't poo on each other or peck on those higher, then you should have more. I wouldn't go below 2.5-3 sq ft a bird though.
  7. adoptedbyachicken

    adoptedbyachicken Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    The floor space rule applies any time the birds need to be in the coop due to the need for space at feeders and waterers, and for the bedding to be effective in controlling odor and assuring air quality. The height of the coop effects air circulation and as mentioned heat. In a cold climate a low coop, with the correct square footage of floor space will be warmer. In a warm climate the taller coop (still with the correct floor space can be vented more at the top and still not be drafty down at chicken level.

    Since perches can not be put over top of each other due to poop falling on other birds the perches being at varying heights is not going to make for more birds per square foot of floor space.

    So really no, the height of the coop is not good for more birds.
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    In theory, a 4x8 coop that is 2 feet tall would hold the same as a 4x8 coop that is 6 feet tall. And that cannot be right..

    Yet, it *is* [​IMG]

    What adoptedbyachicken says. You seem to be thinking of stacking roosts, but really you can't.

    In principle I suppose you might try a double tier of roosts with full, wide droppings boards under the top roosts, but you know what, chickens are going to LOATHE having to sleep on the bottom tier, and you will wind up with a lot of fighting and/or some chickens just refusing to sleep in there at all.

    The height of a coop also affects how much ventilation it needs, how easy it is to ventilate, and how quickly it cools down from day to night in the wintertime... but not really the # chickens you can fit in there, sorry.

    Good luck,

  9. SoJoChickens

    SoJoChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Fountain Green, UT
    A higher coop will make it easier for you to visit the chickens and clean the coop but should not be factored in the square footage calculation. Overcrowding is bad news for chickens.
  10. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    Well mine will only be 4' tall anyways........mostly I am just curious! It just seems weird to have double the space (in a 8' tall versus 4' tall) but not be able to fit any more birds.

    Now, in a sort of related question..........having a 2' tall run would be the same as a 4' or 6' right? As far as the birds go? is there a minimum height that the run should be? Assuming it is covered so fly out are not an issue.

    my plan is to have a 4x8 coop, connected to a small yard (open access from coop) and with limited access to about 1/4 acre if I am home and outside. Depending on how many turn out to be roosters [​IMG] I'll have anywhere from 5-10 hens out there. I am expecting 6-8 at this point.

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