How many coops should an aspiring breeder have?


12 Years
Jul 22, 2008
South Central MA

1. Need a place for babies to grow out

2. Need a place to have roosters live in, either permanently, or on a rotational basis. Further, if roosters fight alot, this may require even more housing........

3. Need a main laying house...........Should this ideally be separate from the 'breeding stock' house?
(For example, you have all your layers in the layer house and you 'get rid of these' every year or two to keep production going. THEN you have the house for the breeding stock. It is from these breeding birds that you create new layers, which then go into the laying house. The breeders you keep for a pretty long time, UNLIKE the layers which are switched out regularly............)

4. Need an extra coop large enough to stash your WHOLE FLOCK when you are cleaning their coop(s). I am assuming that a good clean may often take a couple days: dry the place out after washing, etc............

5. Need a place to quarantine an injured or sick bird...............

I have one 8' x 8' coop (walk in)
two 4 x 8 coops (walk in)

None of these are used regularly, though I have stashed my roo in one of the 4x8 at times, to give the girls a rest,
The main laying house is 10 x 16. All the birds live in this. There is often a roo with them, though not always.

My run for the birds is about 6,904 square ft.

So.............another of jmc's impossible questions!
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sounds to me like you've got it figured out :)

Except, are you focusing on only one breed? or a Few?
Are you breeding for exhibition quality, or just for fun?
Exhibition birds need to be seperated further-- some breeders use 2x2 individual cages to keep thier show birds in top condition. And have a few smaller coops to keep pairs or trios of specific birds together for selective breeding purposes.

If you are only breeding for quantity, and not quality-- you don't need these types of extra pens to control the breeding in your flock-- in which case, based on your original post, you just need a few small pens for your best roos (3x3 footprint would give you a pretty basic pen for ea roo), and at least three pens for your chicks to grow out in (one for newly hatched chicks, one for chicks 3weeks +, and one just in case..could call it the 'catch all' or 'quarentine')..
well, maybe i do have it figured out. maybe i have it TOO figured out.

but if i had it figured out, i wouldn't have wondered what other people thought of my 'quandaries' listed above.

it would be really nice to know what people do who breed their own birds in order to maintain a laying flock (rather than focusing on having show birds).

how many coops/pens do they use?
do they keep their laying flock and their breeding flock in separate pens all the time?
for how many years do these pros keep their breeders?
do future generations of breeders come out of the laying flock?

i have alot of questions. it is next to impossible to ever 'catch' an old pro for questions like these!

moreover, the attention span of us moderns is so short that a post of over two lines is over the top for some.....

it would be great great great to have such breeders post pictures of their entire set ups, with a 'guided tour'.

I would love to post pics of mine, but the 'new improved' byc no longer lets me get pictures into posts like i used to previously.

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