How Many Chicken's Can I Fit In A 6x8 Coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Pampered Chicken, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. biddyboo

    biddyboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2008
    Ashland, Missouri
    We must be overloaded according to the posts above, but our set up works and our hens are happy and healthy. We have fifteen hens overnighting in their cozy 4 x 6 coop. Laying boxes extend beyond the floor down the 6' side. They have one roost. Some sleep on it; others nest on the floor in deep pine shavings or in the egg boxes, usually snuggled up two in a box, clucking contentedly. I was sure this was too crowded, but I was proven wrong. Doors open out each of the 4' ends for day time breeze. I clean the coop and nest boxes daily, a quick chore that I do along with freshening water and feed, passing out treats, raking their yard. Takes very little time and the coop is always fresh for the next night. The coop is raised so they enjoy the shade underneath. The coop is set in their fenced and 4" deep graveled yard that is about 20 x 20. Ours is a different arrangement that seems to fit our hens' needs. ~G
     
  2. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

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    You know I counted the number of chickens in your signature line and I believe I came up with 22. If all they are doing is going in a 6x8 coop to sleep and eat and lay the occasional egg then everything is all good. I don't see an issue because even if you put them in a 100x100 coop they are going to butt up against each other for warmth when they sleep anyway. As long as you let them out in the day or they have a run attached I see no issue with this. The #10 poster is right. The 4 sq ft per bird is not a law written in stone but merely a suggestion that someone somewhere came up with. If your birds are healthy, not picking on each other, and seem happy then you are all good and no one should be judgmental about it. If all of the above is true then keep your feathery friends and tell everyone else to go butt a stump. I just might not be adding anymore anytime soon LOL
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  3. beckyschicks

    beckyschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Iron Ridge WI
    Does this math apply to chickens that live in their coop and run all the time or only sleep in there? Mine will only sleep in their coop. Even on rainly days they can always go in the pole barn. I just want them to be locked up at night. I'm alittle paniced right now fearing I'm going to have to many in the coop! I have a 10x6 and 20 pullets.
     
  4. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

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    If my understanding of the formula is correct then for large fowl birds it says 4 sq ft per bird of inside coop space PLUS 10 sq ft per bird of additional run space. Again I don't use this method. The method is basically for chickens that are not allowed out of the coop area ever. If you free range during the day then the only part of the formula that would apply would be the 4 sq ft per bird of inside coop space.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  5. Pampered Chicken

    Pampered Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 25, 2009
    Well so far everyone seems to get along fine. The do free range all day. My only concern will be this winter when it's really cold and I won't let them free range. Guess I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed they do OK. It'd be too hard to decide who to get rid of!
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:It seems to me that since you already HAVE the chickens and the coop, and are not contemplating changing the #s on either one of them, you're kind of well past the question of 'how many will fit'. It's not a mathematical thing anyhow.

    It drives me bonkers how people on this forum treat this "2-4 sq ft per chicken indoors, 8-10 in run" thing like it is the Eleventh Commandment and an article of worship. It is really a pretty random number, does not take into account that different people may have radically different conditions/requirements (e.g. chickenkeeping in Maui versus northern Alaska), and sucks people into the notion that there is a hard and fast division between "perfectly ok" stocking densities and "unacceptable" stocking densities.

    In reality, it is a continuum, and will be different anyhow for each person depending on their circumstances.

    I still would argue that it is best to keep as FEW chickens as possible in as much space as you can manage for them. This is obviously not the only way of doing it but I think it is on the whole the best way so it's what I'm going to advocate [​IMG]

    But for heaven's sake, could people please just erase this supposedly magical formula of 4 sq ft (or whatever) from their minds, as I think it causes more trouble than it avoids.

    Aaargh, rant over [​IMG],

    Pat
     
  7. beckyschicks

    beckyschicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 22, 2009
    Iron Ridge WI
    Quote:Thanks you made me feel better anyway. My chickens have a 60 by 120 ft pole barn for them to run in and out of all winter if they want. I just need to keep the coop thing in mind if I decide to add more. They can really go anywhere on the property during the day but do have shelter if they need it. And I guess and below 0 days they will have to live with each other. [​IMG] They are cochins so they are smaller, so that helps too. Thanks again!
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:I don't know who you're thinking of that says 10 sq ft per bird is inadequate. Haven't seen anyone say that on BYC.

    What I *have* seen people say, and said it myself a lot, is that smaller amounts of space per bird are (if they are confined a lot, either because they don't have access to free range or a huge run, or because the weather often makes them *want* to stay indoors) are LESS THAN IDEAL.

    NYREDS, have you actually TRIED keeping your chickens at, say, 15+ sq ft per chicken indoors, plus ample run?

    I have, and I have to tell you, they act differently than they do at (like) 10 or 6 or 4 sq ft per chicken. They really do. They display different sorts of behaviors and spend their time in different sorts of ways.

    Quite obviously one *can* keep chickens with less space, I have not heard anyone suggest otherwise, but that does not mean it is the best way of doing it. Of course everyone has their own ideas of what exactly they are trying to optimize, and if you are trying to optimize something different, like 'how many chcikens can I get away with keeping without undue problems', then obviously you'd make a different decision. But me, trying to optimize 'having happy and naturally-behaving chickens, and limit maintenance chores', 15 sq ft per chicken indoors, plus ample run, is the smallest I care to go. Having TRIED other arrangements.

    JMHO,

    Pat
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
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    Oh, I meant to say in my earlier post:

    Pampered Chicken, it seems to me that the sensible thing (since you can't change coop size and don't want to change flock size) is to focus on makiing their outdoor environment as appealing as possible for wintertime, so they WANT to spend as much time as possible outdoors.

    So, start working out ways of making windbreaks (plywood, haybales, whatever) and maybe a small roofed area near the popdoor if you can rig something to withstand the snow; plan to shovel away giant snowdrifts or spread hay or straw if you get bare frozen ground or ice; that sort of thing. The more you can get them to want to be o-u-t during the winter, the less they will experience any sort of crowding and thus the less problems you are apt to have.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  10. ArizonaNessa

    ArizonaNessa Joyfully Addicted

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    Quote:It seems to me that since you already HAVE the chickens and the coop, and are not contemplating changing the #s on either one of them, you're kind of well past the question of 'how many will fit'. It's not a mathematical thing anyhow.

    It drives me bonkers how people on this forum treat this "2-4 sq ft per chicken indoors, 8-10 in run" thing like it is the Eleventh Commandment and an article of worship. It is really a pretty random number, does not take into account that different people may have radically different conditions/requirements (e.g. chickenkeeping in Maui versus northern Alaska), and sucks people into the notion that there is a hard and fast division between "perfectly ok" stocking densities and "unacceptable" stocking densities.

    In reality, it is a continuum, and will be different anyhow for each person depending on their circumstances.

    I still would argue that it is best to keep as FEW chickens as possible in as much space as you can manage for them. This is obviously not the only way of doing it but I think it is on the whole the best way so it's what I'm going to advocate [​IMG]

    But for heaven's sake, could people please just erase this supposedly magical formula of 4 sq ft (or whatever) from their minds, as I think it causes more trouble than it avoids.

    Aaargh, rant over [​IMG],

    Pat

    You said it so much better than I ever could have. I think exactly this same way. It is not a commandment!!!
     

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