How many chickens can I put here?

black_cat

Happy is Awesome
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I have a 6x4 coop with 12 linear feet of roosts (that can be walked under) and 5 external nesting boxes. It has 66 square feet of run space (30 of which is underneath the coop). I currently have four standard hens (white leghorn, three red sex links).

I have a possible source that would let me get one or two pullets (standard) (definitely pullets) I'm worried about getting only one because my white leghorn has a very dominant personality and it would be a rough integration. This is also a complicated situation, and I am actually hoping that this isn't a possibility for a number of reasons.

MyPetChicken will give me a minimum of 4 chicks if I mix a bantam and standard order, but obviously I can't keep all four of them. Could I add three bantams to this coop, or would it be too many?

I can also get 3 standards from MPC, but I'm worried that this is two many chickens.

There is not much of a market for chickens in my area, so it wouldn't be a good plan to just get extras and plan to sell them.

I would rather not get two bantams and fill up the rest of the order with meat birds to be butchered, because I don't think that I could physically do it and don't trust myself to kill them properly in a painless way, let alone prep them for eating properly.

Any suggestions on what I can do?
 

21hens-incharge

Nuttier than a squirrels stash
BYC Staff
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Are you sure under your coop has 30 square feet of run?

Pics please.

In a 4x6 coop the maximum number recommended is 6. Integration requires extra space above that.
At 66 sq feet your run is ok for 6 but again integration requires much more room than the minimum recommended 10 sq foot per bird.

If you already have 4 I would not try to add in such a confined space.
 

black_cat

Happy is Awesome
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Are you sure under your coop has 30 square feet of run?

Pics please.

In a 4x6 coop the maximum number recommended is 6. Integration requires extra space above that.
At 66 sq feet your run is ok for 6 but again integration requires much more room than the minimum recommended 10 sq foot per bird.

If you already have 4 I would not try to add in such a confined space.
While I am absolutely not allowed to add permanent space (salty about this) I could probably swing for temporary space next to the run, and pick up birds and move them to a (hardware cloth separated) portion of the coop each night. This is the full setup (please excuse the half done paint job, I will finish it when it gets warmer)
1613603611121.png

Just coop:
1613603749898.png

Inside coop:
1613604079519.png

It would be easy to put a HC or chicken wire divider between the middle roost and the roost closest to the camera (door) and wall off part of the coop for newbies.
Under the coop: it should be 30 square feet because it's under the whole coop (6x4) including nesting boxes (6x1)
1613604166207.png

Whole run: I am planning to change the feeder soon, and possibly the waterer:
1613604345256.png

There is a corner that is cut off by the camera, and they're able to go under the back of that chair. I may, at some point, attach that to the run in that corner and add a leg so that it acts as a sort of table that they can hop on and go under.
The only reason that I don't want to do a wall mounted feeder on the inside is that whenever their food is inside, the scoop it into the bedding with their faces, and then dig around trying to find it, making a huge mess.
 

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BleuSaphir

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Are your chickens confined to the run only? Or they have the option to get outside?
Perhaps letting them out to minimize aggression with two additional pullets. Only let them interact when it time to lock them back up.

or adding a temporary extra pen extension for the new birds to have their own space while they can acces the main run too. That might be the best solution.
 

black_cat

Happy is Awesome
Premium Feather Member
May 21, 2020
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Connecticut
Are your chickens confined to the run only? Or they have the option to get outside?
Perhaps letting them out to minimize aggression with two additional pullets. Only let them interact when it time to lock them back up.

or adding a temporary extra pen for the new birds to have their own space while they can acces the main run too.
They are confined to the run the majority of the time, and are let out for supervised free ranging in the spring, fall, and summer. Now that I have a phone to hotspot wifi, I plan to do my homework outside when it's warmer. I was planning to use a 'see but don't touch' integration for roughly two weeks, with a temporary pen next to the run because as @21hens-incharge said, there's not really enough space in the run to integrate successfully. I suppose I could use hardware cloth to block off a 3x6 area halfway through the run, but I'd worry it would limit the big girls' space too much. The benefit to that would be the ability to use the panic room method that I couldn't if I had an outside pen.
 

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