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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Rosey516, Aug 9, 2016.
I hope the one I got isn't to small...
Ive read several times that you need at leasr 1 sq foot per chicken. Ours isnt very large and we have 5 chickens. We live in a cold climate and feel they need to cuddle in winter. LOL
It still needs doors and hardwarecloth etc. should be done in a week or two.
Wow that is beautiful!! So then a 6x8 would be big enough for 6 chicks..
The size of your coop depends on a few things, such as your climate and how much time your birds will actually spend in there. (1 sq ft per chicken is factory farming conditions, not exactly conducive to good health. )
Another factor is the size of the run. Will you free range? Will they have a covered area outside the coop where they can hang out if it is raining or snowing or will they need to be inside?
One rule of thumb is 4 square feet inside the coop, 10 square feet in the run. But the more room you have, the better, especially if they will need to be inside for long periods of time.
Good luck with your flock!
I agree with most of this except 1 square foot per chicken was in most care books I read, but that is INSIDE coop requirements not to include the run. My run is roofed and secure from preditors so most of the year, in all weather, my chickens can come and go as they please. I will only close them in for a blizzard type condition...we live in Minnesota.
Bigger is always better.
Thanks for helping I'm just getting nervous cause they are 12 weeks now and I want them settled in their new coop already.. So I guess I will protect the run a little more so they will be able to go out in all kinds of weather .. The run is 5x6x10 that should be good for them , I also let them roam around a little during the day.. Can I just leave the door to the coop open all the time so they have access to the run ? I'm up north New York it gets really hot in summer and really cold in winter ..
Most people leave the coop open to the run during the day and shut the flock in the coop at night to ensure that they are protected from predators.
And that is why I said, "it depends".
Imagine if you had decided, like many people do, to have a secure coop inside a large area of open electronet fencing. Food and water stations are inside the coop, as are dustbathing areas, roost poles and nest boxes. In the winter the chickens will need to stay inside for days, maybe weeks at a time during winter storms or very heavy snow. If they only have an area that's only a little bigger than a sheet of notebook paper each, you'll have feather picking, harassing, injuries and probably deaths if you pack 48 chickens into a 6 x 8 coop. They won't even have room to stretch their wings.
Take that same 6 x 8 coop, attach it to a secure run with the food and water outside, with an area protected and accessible all year long with scratching and dustbathing areas, and a milder climate where they have time to be outside or free range every single day and all they do is sleep in the coop, and you can get many more chickens in that same coop space where they will stay healthier and happier. (Although I'd still only put around 15 in that scenario, myself.)
What works for meat birds that you slaughter at 8 weeks will be different than what works for layers that you replace every 2 years, and will be much different for backyard owners that want their chickens to live long, healthy, happy lives. There's also a bit of trial and error involved.
I have a few old hens that "rule the roost" They let everyone else know when they are in a bad mood, and won't let any one near them or even roost near them. It's funny to see two chickens on one end, then a 2-3 foot gap on the roost pole, then everyone else crowded on the other end. If they don't have a large amount of personal space, feathers will fly. Expecting them to be happy in 1 square foot of space, even just to sleep, is crazy. Chickens need room to establish their pecking order. Younger ones need space to stay away from the bullies, etc.
There are so many variables to consider when someone asks "Is this enough space?"
All super good things. In Minnesota a lot of "chicken" people find that the chickens dont stay inside in winter. In fact they enjoy going out most days. The 1 sq foot per chicken is a minimum senario and even a 4 foot by 4 foot cube which seems a small sleeping space has 96 sq feet to it so my 5 little dragons should be happy and healthy. No chicks, no rooster..just egg layers that should lay much longer than two years. It is different for everyone I think with many variables.
I love reading all the info on the BYC. Site, so much to learn from all rhe seasoned people.