1. Blue Ridge Hillbilly

    Blue Ridge Hillbilly Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 4, 2009
    Western NC
    I am planning on a chicken coop of 10 X10 foot design. The run is going to be about 10 X 30 feet of wire (covered with wire). The Breed that I am hoping to raise is what I used to have many years ago. The would be Barred Rock. They are a good hardy breed and are good layers and also meat chicken. I really believe that the day is coming soon that we are going to have to be self sufficient as much as possible with what we are seeing with our failing economy and so on. My question is how many hens do you think that I can keep in this size coop and run? Any response will be greatly appreciated.
  2. timbofarms

    timbofarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2008
    Humboldt/West TN
    4 square ft per chicken
  3. ChicksR4Me

    ChicksR4Me Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2008
    North East Indiana
    Quote:Do you count just the square feet in the coop or do you add the coop and the run together? [​IMG]
  4. tim_TX

    tim_TX Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2008
    4 sq ft per bird in the coop and 10 sq ft per bird in the run.
    Your indoor coop will hold up to 25, and a 10x30 pen will satisfy up to 30. So, I'd say you should have a maximum of 25 birds total, because they'll all be inside at times.
  5. Carolina Chicken Man

    Carolina Chicken Man Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    I'm not sure what your design is, but I would make one suggestion. You said your coop would be 10x10. Plywood comes in 4x8 sheets. Make your dimensions 12x 8 would be better as far as material is concerned.
  6. Nerdicus

    Nerdicus Out Of The Brooder

    The lady who I am getting my chickens from swears that the 4 square feet per chicken is too big. Especially in the colder months of the year. I have seen her chicken set up and I have to say that her chickens are very happy birds and they all fit in a little tractor. When I told her how big of a coop I was building for my birds, 4x8 feet for 10 birds, all she said was, "Well, you might find that they aren't very happy with all that space. Especially in the winter." Same with the number of nesting boxes I was palnning on having, she said that they would all most likelt lay eggs in one or two and use the other ones for hanging out and get them all super dirty. So now I'm putting in 2 nesting boxes to start with. Again, if I need more I'll add more.

    I don't have my chickens yet, so I can't say first hand, but I'm sticking to my 4x8 coop for this year. If it's too big I'll get more chickens. [​IMG] If it's too small, I'll add an addition.

    I think maybe the breed might matter. Like, if you have several types of chickens maybe they need a bit more room. I'll be raising the same chickens as my chicken provider, Dorkings, and she swears they like a tight and cozy coop. [​IMG]

    But I will totally agree with the poster who said to go for the 12x8 dimensions. Sticking to that 4x8 standard makes the the building go way easier. As I am learning. Freestyle chicken coops....
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:I will insert my standard spiel about there is No Such Thing As Too Big, Realio Trulio. In winter you *especially* want more indoor room, in fact, as they're likely to want to spend more time indoors than in June [​IMG] Yes, it is true that you sometimes want to concentrate their body heat, but you can do that QUITE EASILY in a larger coop just by building a hover or drop ceiling over the roost, or knocking together a 'coop within the coop' arrangement for them. Which gives you the best of both worlds - somewhere smaller to stya warm in at night, but more ndoor space to hang out during the day and thus less chance of them getting real aggravated with each other.

    Honest. No such thing as too big a coop, not even in the North.

    Pat, with 15 sq ft per chicken indoors plus run space
  8. HappyHatch'en

    HappyHatch'en Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2009
    I feel that 4 sq. ft per bird is awfully generous...but you will need 5-6 nesting box's...perhaps more + roosting area up high....Talk with your birds they will tell you how many they want to live with...I would say you would be safe with 25 - 32 Birds and a big shovel for poop....LOL
    Good Luck....HappyHatch'en
  9. Herechickychick

    Herechickychick Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 16, 2009
    Northern California
    Many books say that inside should be 2ft per bird outside: 4ft.
    Good luck![​IMG]
  10. Sagechick

    Sagechick Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 3, 2008
    Sage CA
    Amen to designing with plywood size in mind!

    Also design your outside run with the ehight of the chicken wire in mind too. I have to order 6' wire but can get other sizes all the time.

    Make sure the bottom of the wire (bottom 3') is ranch wire 1/2" squares, and you will not have problems with rodents and predators digging in if you toe it out another 12". I use 4' in height total.

    Think of it as an "L" shape coming down the side of the run.

    Watch soon in the coop designs for my chicken habitrail design we are building on to our hen house.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by