HELP!! Newbee Needs quetions answred

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by fdehaven, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. fdehaven

    fdehaven Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 17, 2009
    Woodland, PA
    I am new to this chicken thing so here is my question(s). I am building a chicken coop my hen house is 8' long and 4' deep my run is 8' x 8' is this big enough for 6 chickens? also I live in central PA and I am worried about the cold in the winter shold I place a light bulb inside the house to keep the hens warm? Thanks for any and all replys
    Frank DeHaven
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    The rule of thumb is 4 square feet per chicken in the coop and 10 square feet per chicken in the run. You will have 32 square feet total in the coop and require 24, 64 square feet in the run and require 60, so, yes, you should have enough room for 6 chickens. These are rules of thumb and not hard and fast laws. It is very likely you will not have space problems with six chcikens but they are living animals with individual personalities. There are no guarantees. With that fine print legal disclaimer out of the way, I actually think you should do very well with those sizes for six chickens.

    It depends a bit on how you build the coop, but if you have it well ventilated but with the chickens not in a draft, I see no reason to have a light bulb for heat. I think you will be much better off handling things passively with insulation instead of getting them used to extra heat then having the electricity go off. It is also a little breed dependent, but chickens can normally handle cold much better than heat.

    Good luck!

    ps: Welcome to the forum. You are likely to meet some nice people here.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    You are not likely to "need" heat if you have sensibly-chosen breeds and good coop management; see my 'cold coop' page (link in .sig below) for more discussion of the subject.

    At the same time, it is always nice to have the ability to run a small lamp if something unexpected should occur, plus it is AWFULLY nice to be able to plug in a heated waterer or heated waterer base to keep your water liquid all winter, so it would be nice if you can arrange (safely wired) electricity for the coop even with no intention of *heating* the coop per se.

    4x8 is not unreasonable for 6 chickens but if you can build it larger it'd be desirable, both because more space is always better (yes, even in cold climates!) and also because you will not have much room for additional chickens [unless you are legally restricted to 6 there is a good chance you will end up wanting more... [​IMG]]

    Good luck, have fun,


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