# How big of a co-op will we need?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by newspringchick, Nov 27, 2016.

1. ### newspringchickIn the Brooder

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Nov 20, 2016
New Hampshire
My husband and I will be new chicken parents in spring. We are looking to either build or buy a co-op depending on cost. However, we need help with the dimensions. I know some coops at stores don't hold the number they are supposed to. We will be getting 4 chicks 6 max. I know about chicken math and that will not be happening we are in the city so it can't happen either. So what size coop can house 4-6 chickens. Also I stink at math so if you can dumb it down for me I would appreciate it. Thank you

2. ### chickens reallyEnabler

For 6 Chickens.....The Coop should be a nice size...About a 6x8......The Run a lot larger....More room to do Chicken things.......Depending on what Breeds your thinking??? Certain Breeds do well confined....Other Develop behaviour problems....Pecking and fighting...........Free range time is great......

Cheers!

3. ### Maggie13In the Brooder

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Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
4. ### Howard ESongster

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The traditional space requirements for chickens was 4 square feet per bird. So for your 4 birds, a coop with INSIDE dimensions of 4' x 4' might work. However, chickens do better and are happier when given as much space as possible. If left in the coop all the time, I'd bump that up to 10 sf per bird. That also happens to be the space many suggest for the open runs. So closer to 6' x 6' would be suggested.

An aspect of chicken coop math that is seldom mentioned, if at all, is how much space expands simply by adding a foot or so on one side. For example 6' x 6' may not sound like it is much larger than 4' x 4', but the interior space increases 2.25X. An 8' x 8' coop may sound like it is only double a 4' x 4' coop, but it is actually 4X larger and nearly double that of a 6' x 6' coop. Also, for any given amount of exterior linear wall space, the closer to square it is the greater interior volume you can get from your limited materials.

The numbers used for most commercial coops are grossly misleading. They seem to be using the "cage free" standard used by commercial laying houses, which is around 1.5 SF per bird (which is about double what a batter cage house would be). But imagine keeping 10 birds in that 4' x 4' coop. That is just silly.

External runs help expand space and tend to be open air. But unless they are covered, they also tend to be messy and even more so if you live in wet climate.

5. ### newspringchickIn the Brooder

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Nov 20, 2016
New Hampshire

Thank you. I am ordering an assortment of brown egg layers chicks in spring.

6. ### newspringchickIn the Brooder

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Nov 20, 2016
New Hampshire

Thank you!

7. ### IdyllwildAcresCrowing

Whatever you decide, go bigger. I have never built anything and later decided it was too big, too small yes, never too big. With all construction figure it will take twice as long and cost twice as much

Gary from Idyllwild Ca here

8. ### newspringchickIn the Brooder

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Nov 20, 2016
New Hampshire
The run will be about 20-25ft long and about 10ft wide. I will also let them out to free range often in the fenced in yard when we are home.

1 person likes this.

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Nov 27, 2012
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My Coop
In NH you'll want a good sized coop(more like 8sqft/bird)......
......for those winter days(sometimes days on end) when they won't want to venture outside the coop.
Unless your run will be covered and protected from wind and snow accumulation.
Consider feed/supply storage under cover also.....and extra space to split off for adding new chicks.

Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
1 person likes this.
10. ### newspringchickIn the Brooder

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Nov 20, 2016
New Hampshire

I agree the winters are sometimes brutal. Thank you this will definitely help with the decision.