How big does my coop (and run) need to be?

LukeandAli

Songster
8 Years
Nov 28, 2011
202
0
124
Carver, Oregon
I have/will have six chickens and a duck. I am wondering how big my coop and run should be to comfortably accomodate them. I want to build for at least double what I have now, but, I'm trying to figure out what I need now so that I can figure out what "double" is.
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Also, any tips on what I could use as the duck's swimming area? I was thinking a horse trough, but, someone (smart) mentioned that would probably be too tall for ducky to get in and out of easily.
 

Felony

Chirping
8 Years
Nov 16, 2011
128
10
83
Quebec, Canada
from the general info i have read on this site, i would say to calculate 4 square feet per chicken for the inside of the coop, especially if they will be spending time in there in the winter(if you live in an area with no winter and they will not spend much time in there except to lay eggs and roost at night, i think 2 square feet per chicken would be ok), plus 10 square feet of outside run space per chicken. you all correct me if i'm wrong!

I personnaly have 5 chickens in a 4ftx4ft(inside space) coop with a run 4x8. It was all new to me when i built it and i find they could use a bit more space, especially because right now, being winter, they spend most their days in it exept to go out and eat or drink water. But they are ok, they don't peck at each other and I made it so that the nests and roosts are all high and off the floor, and since their water and food are outside, they have all the floor space inside! this summer they were fine since they free-ranged and just went in the coop to sleep.

good luck!!
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kittycooks

Chirping
9 Years
Jun 5, 2010
221
18
92
Minneapolis west suburbs
Quote:
I just had to get out my calculator after reading your post! My chooks have 12 sq. feet each (not including nesting spaces, perches, roosting bars and an elevated 2x4 roosting cubby). The "coop" is 4x8 and the "run" is 8X8 feet. I consider the run as part of the coop as it is enclosed with plastic in the winter and predator proof for the summer. I choose breeds that tolerate confinement and they seem very happy with their space. They do choose roost mates and do not roost all together; it is good to have choices and alternative roosts. Today was an exceptionally warm day in MN and I opened the door, but none chose to go out. I guess snow is "scary". LOL.

59651_coop_pic.jpg

59651_winterize_chicken_coop_034.jpg
 

Felony

Chirping
8 Years
Nov 16, 2011
128
10
83
Quebec, Canada
Quote:
I just had to get out my calculator after reading your post! My chooks have 12 sq. feet each (not including nesting spaces, perches, roosting bars and an elevated 2x4 roosting cubby). The "coop" is 4x8 and the "run" is 8X8 feet. I consider the run as part of the coop as it is enclosed with plastic in the winter and predator proof for the summer. I choose breeds that tolerate confinement and they seem very happy with their space. They do choose roost mates and do not roost all together; it is good to have choices and alternative roosts. Today was an exceptionally warm day in MN and I opened the door, but none chose to go out. I guess snow is "scary". LOL.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/59651_coop_pic.jpg
https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/59651_winterize_chicken_coop_034.jpg

i like your little coop!! Sometimes these days I leave the door of the run open but they don't come out...I guess they are not big fan of the snow!
 

bairo

Songster
8 Years
I always recommend 5 inside and 15 out. The 5 inside per bird gives you better options for food,water,nest box, and roost bar placement. The 15 out gives a bit more space for the lowest one or two on the pecking order to keep their distance from the others. That can be adjusted of course if for example you can do a lot of free ranging, etc.

Planning for 14 that puts you at about 70 and 210.

Go as big as you can (trust me) that chicken math is a killer. I just wanted a few egg layers when I started. I now have a 10x20 shed conversion with about 600 sq.ft. run. I need to build another coop auxiliary now also, lol
 

bairo

Songster
8 Years
forgot about the ducks water. Kiddie pool for now. Sand in the entire run or its going to be a real mess with that duck. Try and find course or river sand (it has little pebbles in it and is much courser than play sand) play sand is all one size and is fine...so it packs down and does not drain as well as course sand.
 

Felony

Chirping
8 Years
Nov 16, 2011
128
10
83
Quebec, Canada
Quote:
ahah i would agree with you. When I started I though 5 chickens would be plenty in terms of egg consumption, wich really it is, but I'm already dreaming of a bigger coop where I could have many many more chickies. If I can give an advice to the person who wrote this original post, it would be to make it high enough so that you can walk in it. Mine the walls are 4 feet high, plus the space of the roof, but i find it a bit anoying to always have to crouch to get the eggs or clean. Not so bad but if i would build another one, definitly a walk in one!
 

parisbarbiedaisyandluna

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 3, 2012
14
2
22
I have four ladies that happily stay in a coop just under 4sqft. Living in Minnesota, I definetly could have gone bigger. However,the small coop holds their heat really nicely. As for the duck, it is not recommended to keep ducks and chickens together. So make sure to research a lot to make it work well. And yes, a kiddie pool would work nicely with a small ramp. Enjoy your flock!
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