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How many chickens would fit in .....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chick_newbie, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. chick_newbie

    chick_newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2008
    South Dakota
    I have a 6' X 10', inside dimensions, coop and currently have 11 hens in there. Now if I am figuring right, I could have up to 15 in that space. Is that right? 4 square feet per bird? They do have an attached run but don't use it too terrible much in the winter now unless it is nice and sunny out there. I was hoping to add some new hens this spring and don't really want to add another coop, poor dh doesn't want to help build one. I have been trying to get him to clean out one of the sheds and combine his things into one shed and then I could just move the other one and add a run to it but I haven't gotten very far with that either.

    Any other ideas?????
     
  2. riley

    riley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i think that is plenty of room i looked at a coop web site that had a 4x6 coop and they said it was for 12 to 15 chickens
     
  3. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

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    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    As a Northern chicken keeper, I think your coop size/ population is right on the money. Enough space to keep the birds moving around, not encourage pecking and, with deep enough litter, keep down odor and ammonia and not require frequent mucking out of the coop over cold winters.

    Riley, you'll find that suggestions made by a coop seller almost always grossly overestimate the number of birds that will thrive in their coops, at least in cold country. Sure they always give a number that will fit but that's not the same.

    Wayne
     
  4. cobra2411

    cobra2411 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 5, 2009
    Quote:So cold weather strive more for 4'/bird where as in more temperate climates where birds can be out more you can go smaller?


    How does vertical roost space fit in? If you have more vertical space can you get away with a smaller footprint?
     
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    You cant go too vertical since you dont want roosts directly above the ones below.
     
  6. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

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    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    Quote:So cold weather strive more for 4'/bird where as in more temperate climates where birds can be out more you can go smaller?


    How does vertical roost space fit in? If you have more vertical space can you get away with a smaller footprint?

    Well, in a tropical climate where the birds may spend the whole day outdoors and only sleep and lay eggs in the coop, a very small footprint will suffice.

    Here in frozen Maine, my birds seem to spend their daylight time on the floor of the coop and little time up on the roosts. Personally, I wouldn't reduce the floor area to less than 4 sq ft/bird and assume the birds will just sit on the roosts.

    (BTW, I count the floor area under the roosts in the 4 sq feet of area that I prefer.)

    Wayne
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Mine are sometimes indoors for long stretches at a time (tho I am building roofed runs to hopefully change that...) and have 15 sq ft per chicken *indoors*, and I honestly would NOT go much lower than that, myself, based on my experiences and my feelings about what I'm going to expect my flock to put up with.

    Everyone's situation and opinions are different of course.

    If your chickens aren't going out much now, though, then I would really not recommend reducing their indoor space further (that is, putting lots more chickens int he same space). Perhaps there are some ways you could make their run more pleasant for them in wintertime? Roof, windbreak, straw on the ground for warmth, etc? If you got them so they were regularly spending much of their time outside, it might be a different equation...

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  8. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have to agree with Pat. You'd be introducing new birds to an existing flock too, could be problematic especially in winter. Do you have quarantine space? Another way to add space is with platforms. We've had such a severe winter that allowing less than 15 sq ft is something I would never consider now, after realizing the time needed indoors when the weather is vicious.
     
  9. chick_newbie

    chick_newbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2008
    South Dakota
    Thanks for all the answers. Currently I have 11 hens in about 60 square feet and they seem pretty happy even in the really cold days. They are spending a little more time outdoors now that the sun is out a little more but the cloudy days they just like the indoors. I didn't really want to add more to the coop, but want to add more to flock and I could with another coop. Guess I will have to see about building a new one this spring for some newbies.
     
  10. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Indiana
    Is your run covered? I find mine don't want to stay out much in mine when it's wet or snowy. I think if I had a covered run they would stay outside more.
     

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