how many chickens can i fit?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by birdbrain5, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. birdbrain5

    birdbrain5 Songster

    Aug 2, 2010
    i have a coop area that is 4'x4' and 8' high. the run area attached and open is 8' long, and 4' wide, and 8' high. i have 5 chickens in there now, seems to be plenty of room for them. i plan to free range most days for about half days. how many do you think would be comfortable in there? also- im finishing the coop, how high do you put your roosts? and how high do you put nest boxes? ive read to put roosts higher so they wont sleep/poop in the boxes..

  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    At 4 square foot per bird (minimum......more space per bird is always better), you've got room for 4 standard size birds at the most. If you have bantams you could have a couple more. Even if you plan on free-ranging and they have a run you need to remember that if you live where you have hard winter weather with lots of snow or moisture, they may not go out on the bad days so they'll get pretty crowded in only 16 square feet.

    Yes, put the roosts higher than the nest boxes...they like to roost on the highest spot. High high you want to put it depends on the breeds of birds you have.
  3. sunflowerenvy

    sunflowerenvy Songster

    Apr 4, 2010
    south/west tn
    Quote:for the comfort of the chicks u should only have 4

    in a coop you need 4sq ft per bird so in your coop size 16 sq ft only 4 birds that will not including the nest boxes or feeders
    5 birds you need 20 sq coop 4x5 ft
    in run 10 sqft per bird if u not fre erange your run size 32sq that is 3 birds all the time, but u will free range them it should be good

    nest boxes for 4 bird you will need at least one nest 1box /4 birds 18 inch high off the floor i put 1 of my water feeder under my nest boxes

    have 2 roost 1 about 4ft and another one 6ft high so they can fly up from the lower one and have 2x4 roost and wide side up.
  4. jeb251

    jeb251 Songster

    Mar 24, 2009
    Fort Wayne
    different people have different opinions on this matter, the 10-4 formula is probably what you are going to hear the most and to be honest, it is a good place to start but is not always the best bet, look at how you birds react, are they fighting are they picking each others feathers or anything of that nature, if they are you have to many in the cage, if not they are fine. There are many things to consider such as breed, size of the birds, there personalities, how well they take confinement, distractions provided by you, age of your birds, how much time they will be free ranging, all these things affect how your birds will react to the size of there coop.
    You are actually over the 10-4 formula now but I wouldnt worry, I would watch them and see how they react to each other before I would make any adjustments, as for the roost, higher is better just make sure they can all get up there, there nature is to roost in trees, so don't be to fussy about it they will roost 4" off the floor or at the top of the coop as long as there is room for them up there, they always go to the highest place they can in a coop.
    Good luck
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I agree with Jeb - watch your flock. I had 10, and a predator got 2, and really there was a difference in the flock of 8. They were more content.

    You can also multiply your square feet, by adding different levels. In your run, put up a roost, a couple of boxes or a branch or two, that allows the hens to get away from each other. If your is 8 feet high, you have plenty of room to add a shelf or two.

    Also add a bit of shelter out in the run, put in a pile of hay in the late fall. The hens will tear it apart, but if you have a snow coming pile it up again, and then spread it out on top of the snow. My hens will only spend the day in the coop, if it is blizzarding out, and even then they often go out and spend the day in the sun porch in the run. I simply lean an old window up against a box. It is amazing how much warmer it is in there.

    But the best advice is take the rule of thumb, and adjust it with how your chickens are acting. Too many chickens, pecking issues.


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