How Many Chickens Should I Have?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by slaughter170, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. slaughter170

    slaughter170 In the Brooder

    May 13, 2010
    I built a 8' x 4' coop with an approx. 6' ceiling. My run is 12' x 18'. I was only going to get 2 or 3 chickens, but I now find myself with 10. Is this too many? I still have them in our house in a brooder as they are only 2 weeks old. Let me know what y'all think.

  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Your coop will support 8 chickens, at 4 sq ft per chicken. Your run will support 21 chickens, at 10 sq ft per chicken (12x18=216 divided by 10 = 21.6). Depending on where you live and the weather in winter, you could bump up the coop count to 10 if they won't be stuck in the coop much. Having that much space in the run for 'em will be heaven to your 10 or less chickens!
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  3. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Songster

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    Your fine. They only roost and lay eggs in the coop, 2 more birds will only help with body heat in the winter. I Have 33 in a 10x12 and they do fine with 6 nest boxes and a 3 teir roost 5 gal of water and 15lbs of feed
  4. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    Roost space is a little more pertinent than floor space unless you need to lock your chickens in the coop for any length of time. 10" per medium sized chicken or 12" for larger ones.

    I have roost space for all my chickens, but 2 hens opt to sleep on the floor and another 2 sleep in nest boxes. Go figure.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    It depends on a lot of things, bantam or full sized chickens, how much they are locked in the coop versus being able to get in the run either due to climate or other reasons, your management practices, feed and or water in the coop or run, some breeds take confinement better than others, personality of the individual chickens, to name just a few. You will probably be OK if they can get in the run a lot of the time. You may need to manage the poop load a bit more than many of us have to but you'll know that if it starts to smell. The main thing to watch out for is pecking and cannibalism. If they are stuck in too small a space too long, they may get bored and start picking on each other. This can lead to cannibalism. With that large run, I think you will be OK but you might want to watch them closely. And don't get any more without making some changes.

    Good luck!!!
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    You have a nice size run, stick a bit of shelter in the run, a box open on the south side. That way they can be in the run, and still get out of the wind, or the sun in the summer. Mine spend the day outside in the run, the only time they go in the coop is to sleep or lay an egg.

    I think you got a sweet set up! mk
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  7. Sillystunt

    Sillystunt Master of the Silly

    Jul 11, 2008
    Winter Haven, FL

  8. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA

    X 3

    I had to laugh when I saw the title of your post though. Most of us practice "chicken math" and all I could think of is that we really, really, really need an evil laughing smiley on here, because "how many chickens should I have" seldom matches "how many chickens I end up with." You'll be building another coop/run before you know it, welcome to the land of the addicted. [​IMG]

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2010
  9. MrChicken207

    MrChicken207 Chirping

    Jun 4, 2010
    Caribou, Maine
    Your thought of having 10 is a good number to stick with. will you be keeping any roosters or will they all be hens?
  10. slaughter170

    slaughter170 In the Brooder

    May 13, 2010
    Thanks to all who responded. I should have given more info in the original post. I have (2) of the following Red Star, Australorp, Speckled Sussex, Delaware, and Plymouth Rock. I'm not supposed to have any roosters. If I end up with one it won't last long unless its a special non-crowing one [​IMG]

    I have three roosts, each 5 foot long at varied heights and 6 laying boxes. I live in southwest Virginia, avg. 30f in winter and 75f in summer.

    Does any of this help / hurt. This is my first time with chickens. I'll take all of the advice I can get! Thanks!!!!!!

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