Help! Chicken Coop Too Small??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by lothomson, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. lothomson

    lothomson Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2015
    Hi guys,

    I have a chicken coop that is 2x2 square ft and 1 square ft of that is occupied by

    the nesting box. The coop has no run and I close the door at night.

    I have 2 SLW pullets around 23-24 weeks old and they only use

    the coop for sleeping and eventually laying as well.


    Is my coop too small? I've thought about it a lot and the manufacturer

    said that it fit 2-3 full-grown chickens. I don't really believe it can fit more

    than 2 chickens... anyways... are my pullets too crammed at night? They

    snuggle side-by-side but maybe that's because there is no where else to

    fit?

    Advice please!!

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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2015
  2. AngryRooster

    AngryRooster Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 29, 2012
    California
    If your chickens are using the coop for sleeping purposes only, then you should be fine. In my experience, chickens do tend to “snuggle” together sometimes. However, if you're leaving your chickens in the coop for long periods of time, then I would recommend looking into getting yourself a larger coop. What I like to do is give a 2x2 ft – 3x3 ft area for my chickens to roam around in, but that's since I often don't have the time to let them out, due to work, etc. Also, from what I've seen in the local feeds and pet stores, the store-made coops tend to be a lot smaller and I would recommend getting store bought coops that say they can contain more chickens than your actual flock size. What I mean by this is: if a coop states it can hold 4 chickens and you have 4 chickens, you should look into getting a coop which says it can contain 5-6+ chickens. This allows for a little more wing-room. And if you wish to build, just follow the 2x2 or 3x3 measurement based on the size of you flock. From what I read, I gather that your chickens only use the coop for sleeping, so I don't believe this to be such a big deal. I've had three hens pile into one nesting box that size. But, if you can't let your chickens out early in the day, consider purchasing a larger coop.

    Also, I understand that will be eating outside, yes? If so, I think you should be fine, if no, definitely cramped. Well, hope this helps, sorry for that big block of text :D
     
  3. lothomson

    lothomson Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2015
    Thanks, this really does help.

    My pullets do eat and drink outside and from what I've seen they are very close so I am not surprised

    that they would snuggle up. My coop is literally an enclosed cube; the nesting box is on the ground in the cube.

    Do you recommend a different place to put the nesting box? Or do you think that's fine?

    Thanks, Lauren
     
  4. AngryRooster

    AngryRooster Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 29, 2012
    California
    Well, I would recommend elevating the nesting boxes. It's what I do for my hens, and I've never done it any other way though I've seen it work online. Whatever works best for you, depending on where you live, etc.

    Also, something I forgot to add is that chickens like to perch. My hens perch when they sleep. I've got a separate elevated room in which my nesting boxes and a small perch reside. A few hens higher up in the pecking order sleep on that small perch in the room, though some sleep in the boxes themselves (highly not recommended, seeing as it can lead to "dirty chicken butt" or Vent Gleet). Most prefer to sleep on the larger perches on the "ground floor", though the "second floor", if you will, provides a nice shelter for everyone when it rains (though it does become a bit cramped).

    So, if you have room for a perch, put one in if you haven't already. And if you don't have a perch, consider getting one. And Vent Gleet is something to take into consideration. Cramped quarters may mean that you'll have to scrub your chickens' feet clean! And you may want to look into vent gleet if you stay with your current coop.
     
  5. lothomson

    lothomson Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2015
    Hi again,

    I do not have a perch and I have been looking into getting a different coop because I don't want them to be

    cramped when I do put a perch it. I think, for right now, that I will start with putting in a perch and then move

    from there.
     
  6. shorttimer

    shorttimer Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2014
    Morro Bay, Ca
    4 Sq Ft is considered 'minimum' per chicken. Be creative, as suggested. After all, you want Happy Chickens. Shouldn't be that hard to add some space.
     
  7. lothomson

    lothomson Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 2, 2015
    Hi,

    Thanks I definitely agree!
     
  8. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would just build a bigger coop. Nothing fancy, really, just bigger. Like a simple 4 by 4 dog house. 2 by 2 is really small, especially with no run. When it is cold they could really get cabin fever. And what if you want more birds? It does not take any really elaborate building skills or tools, just a saw, hammer, nails, and some wood with something for a roof, even a tarp.
     

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