How many chickens will my coop fit?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jacquie1021, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. jacquie1021

    jacquie1021 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 4, 2014
    Hello everyone. We just finished building our first coop in our backyard. We have a small 4ftx6ft coop with laying boxes and two levels inside of a covered 12ftx6ft gated run. I was thinking of keeping them in the coop at night and in the run during the day. They will also be able to walk around freely in the large backyard when someone is home however maybe not everyday. How many chickens do you think would be comfortable in this type of set up?
  2. Weber Girls

    Weber Girls Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 19, 2014
    My math:

    Coop: 4x6= 24 sq. ft.
    two levels of run: 12x6x6= 144 sq. ft.

    24+144= 168 total sq. ft.

    168 sq. ft. / 12 sq. ft. per chicken = 14 chickens (I got the 12 sq. ft. by adding 4 sq. ft of coop space to 8 sq. ft. of run space.)

    Since your coop is only 24 sq. ft., I would say a max 6-9 standard chickens would fit comfortably inside your coop. Or 12-18 bantams. The average recommended minimum space in the coop per bird is 4 sq. ft. The average minimum recommended space of run per bird is 8 sq. ft.
    The minimum recommended space for bantams is about half.
    The calculations can be a little confusing so I would say:
    around 6-9 standard chickens
    or 12-18 bantams

    It is better too start small, and add as you go. Instead of starting too big, and having to reduce. Hope this helps!
  3. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2007
    Long Island NY
    Personally I feel it is one of those situations where it depends more on your birds and how happy they are in their space rather than a number made up by someone. I have more birds in my coop than that magic 4sq ft. per bird rule but mine are only inside the coop at night and have full roam of their run during the day. I have plenty of roosting space to accommodate. They are healthy and happy. So I feel you start with a few and you can add them from there and keep an eye on them. If it starts looking or feeling crowded that's when you stop. I do the same thing with chicks in the brooder, I don't use a thermometer I watch the birds. I feel that gives me a better handle on how happy and healthy my birds are. Not everyone's situations and housing for their birds is the same so no one would know better how happy your birds are than you.
    1 person likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Would love to see a pic of this.

    Depends a lot on your climate, if you run is predator proof and where you keep your feed and water.
    4x6 is tiny if you've got a feeder and waterer in there.
  5. ModernGameGrl

    ModernGameGrl Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 15, 2011
    Chippewa County
    I would have to agree with Mhalzeit. I just let the birds tell me. In the summer I get away with way more birds because they free range and only go in the coop at night if then I have a fair number who choose to roost outside and I'm OK with that despite the risk. I usually cull in the winter so I'm only feeding the best of my birds and it makes room for new birds in spring but I'm still over the 4sq ft rule but my birds are healthy and laying so I'm happy.
  6. Chickenluver106

    Chickenluver106 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2016
    I have a coop that could fit 8 standards and I have four standards now so how many bantams can I put in there now?
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    What does this mean in feet by feet?
    Don't believe the coop manufacturers population numbers.
    Keep in mind that integration of new birds takes extra space.
  8. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2014

    Bantams are at a disadvantage because of size and can often be the lowest in the pecking order in a mixed size flock. Because of that it is often best not to fill your coop to capacity so that the bantams have the ability to keep a buffer zone between them and the larger birds.

    I have 2 (soon to be 4) bantams in with my 6 large fowl breed birds. The bantams definitely are among the lower status birds. I've provided some additional feeding areas and roosts to allow them to get away from the big girls. There are visual barriers in my run and spaces that only the bantams can fit that allow them to scoot away and a higher, thinner roost that is difficult for the heavier bodied birds to get to. I've also picked bantam breeds that have a greater chance of holding their own when it comes to the pecking order. They are bantam Partridge Rocks and bantam New Hampshire Reds. My big girls are Barred Rocks and Orpingtons and are pretty accepting of the little ones. If I had tried it with different breeds it likely wouldn't work. Silkies or Polish would have taken a beating from my big girls.
  9. Chickenluver106

    Chickenluver106 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2016
    Thanks I will think about that and what would be easier to hatch bantams or standards

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