How many chickens per square foot?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by thecoopbuilder, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. thecoopbuilder

    thecoopbuilder Out Of The Brooder

    May 26, 2012
    On one of my last threads, I head that a chicken coop cannot hold 1 chicken every two square feet. I looked it up on google and thought it was 1 chicken every 2 sq ft but I guess I was mislead. So what is the actual rule for this?
    For example I thought this 4x4 coop would have been able to hold 6 chickens, but I guess not?


  2. FreedomLover

    FreedomLover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2010
    In general .. it's 4 sf per bird for large breed birds.

    That being said ... if all they do is roost in there and nest ... and they don't actually spend their days in there and won't HAVE to if it's too hot, rainy, snowy, etc (i.e. they have a very large enclosed space to range in) then you can probably get away with 6 in a 4x4 coop.

    Do a search here on the forums for "chickens per square foot" and see what you come up with! :)
  3. Vicky2479

    Vicky2479 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 8, 2012
    My new coop is approx 4x4 with 13ft of perches and I have 5 large chickens and a bantam that I plan to move in there, mind you they will only use it to sleep and lay as they have shelter from sun and rain else where and a large run to roam.
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    If you're in an area that really doesn't get winters, then as long as ample run space is available, you could certainly make do with 2 sq. ft per bird of housing. That being said, people who allow less space are going to have to stay on top of cleaning a LOT more diligently than people who allow more space. But in areas where the chickens are only inside for roosting and egg laying, smaller housings can work.

    In my area, I would not want only 2 sq. ft. of housing. We don't get a ton of snow in winter, but we get enough for me to have to shovel areas for my birds, because my birds do not like to walk around in snow, and my birds spend a lot more time indoors in winter (by choice, because their pop doors are opened each morning at daybreak). My LF chickens have about 7 sq. ft of housing per bird, and by late January cabin fever really begins to set in and they become a lot shorter fused. I'd hate to think of them in less than half that space... [​IMG]

    But in spring, summer, and fall, my coop seems to have a lot of wasted space - space that I really woudn't need if I didn't get winters.
  5. thecoopbuilder

    thecoopbuilder Out Of The Brooder

    May 26, 2012
    Yes the only reason why I like to keep building coops that hold chickens every 2 square feet is that my customers have only so much space to put there chickens. These coops generally come with a run but does not show in the photo.
    So it is good to know that as long as there is a good size run, I can have a coop that is made for 1 chicken every two square feet.
  6. hreilly

    hreilly New Egg

    Mar 1, 2013
    I am also very glad to hear that. I go off of the same rule for my customers. At four sq foot per chicken the coop might take up their back yard [​IMG].

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