Hoe many chickens can I have in this space?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Gray Ghost, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. Gray Ghost

    Gray Ghost Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2010
    I have a coop which is a small log building with 140 square feet of floor space.

    Attached via a permanently open door is an outdoor run with approximately 350 square feet. The run is wire enclosed and safe from predators so I leave the door from the coop to the run open all the time.

    I also let the chickens free range on most days (but not every single day).

    My original calculation was that I could have 35 standard laying hens because that's 4 square feet per chicken in the coop and 10 square feet in the outdoor run.

    But because I have the run and the coop attached, can I have more than that? In other words, does the four square feet per bird rule of thumb hold true when the birds also have access to an outdoor run?

    Thanks in advance for your input.
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Everyone on here always says it is 4 in the coop PLUS 10 in the run.

    So you should have both. Don't subtract because you built a big run, in other words.

    And it depends on your climate. I can "get away" with squeezing more birds in a smaller coop if I give them a huge garden to free range in (and I do). We rarely get snow.

    But for those where it snows regularly, the hens would suffer squeezed into a coop.
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    The 4 sq ft per bird recommendation is for total square footage IN THE COOP ONLY, if there is also 10 sq ft per bird of run space. If there is no run, then the recommendation jumps to 10 sq feet in the coop. In other words, if you can't let them out, and they're stuck in a coop all the time, they should have 10 sq feet apiece.

    You don't add the coop and run square footage together; you figure them separately.
  4. Pequena Bandada

    Pequena Bandada Small Flock

    Jun 13, 2010
    35 hens total. You have 4 sq feet per hen IN the coop and 10 sq feet OUTSIDE. You need both.

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