How did chicken math ruin your first coop design?...


8 Years
Dec 4, 2011
Princeton, MN
I am a victim of the very contagious chicken math...I originally only wanted 6 hens all together but it turned into getting 3 adult hens and 12 baby chicks coming in February
Uh oh! I am almost positive my 8ft x 10ft coop is going to be too small for 15 adult hens. We just finished the structure 2 months ago and it is ALREADY TOO SMALL!!! You guys weren't kidding when you told me there was no way I could live with only 6! I feel so bad because my father worked so hard on my coop and insulated it and everything and I think I already need to expand. So I have a few questions for you-

1.) Is an 8ft x 10ft coop too small for all the birds to roost in at night and to live in winter? They also have a covered 8ft x 10ft run and a 24ft x 42ft outside run.

2.) What is YOUR experience with chicken math ruining your original coop? How much bigger did you have to expand? I love these stories
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I built one open air pen...then got more chickens...then added another attached to it...then got seramas and had to build them a pen of their own...then I got o shamos and araucanas and they had to have a pen. That one at least is in the back yard instead of the front with the others. Now....I am looking at some white face black never ends.
Oh, how well I know that math! I once had to build an entire new coop.

Now I have 15 girls in about the size coop/run you have. I know it doesn't fit the size some say, but it works great. They do free range every day and of course that helps.

Don't know what yer roosts are like, but mine are only 50% full at night. Lots of wiggle room b/c they want to be close together.

I would let it play out to see how they adjust before starting a new construction project!
That is a good point to bring up. In a lot of photos, during the colder months I imagine, the hens are huddled very close leaving a lot of roosting space unoccupied. I'd also imagine they'd probably spread out a bit in the hotter months.

I'd like to do a survey of current coop owners to see if the 2-4sq ft. per hen rule seemed to work out in their flock's favor.
lets just say i have ordered a few books with shed plans in them. Started with six in a 4X4 coop..minus one that turned out to be a roo. They are very happy and healthy. This winter they sleep in the coop huddled together on a 4ft roost. In the hot months they tend to roost in the run. I am looking on building a 6X8 "shed" and adding Wyandottes to my flock.

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