How many hens can I add to my existing flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by openheartnp, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. openheartnp

    openheartnp Chillin' With My Peeps

    243
    1
    91
    Jul 25, 2011
    Green Twp, NJ
    HI! I have 4 hens and 2 roos (already gave away 2 roos last year.My kids and I can't part with these). I have an 8x8 coop, 4 nest boxes, and ample free range.

    How many pullets can I add? Should I just double the hens (4)? There is a defined pecking order, a bit complicated with the beta, but it works. The hens are losing back feathers from my boys.
     
  2. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,828
    19
    181
    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    If they are LF you can have 16. If bantams more. You should have 4 square feet per chicken.
     
  3. Quinn4321

    Quinn4321 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2010
    P.A/M.D border, USA
    And there is your answer, plain and simple. I back her up completely. [​IMG]
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,120
    3,322
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I have no idea where Green Twp is so I have no idea what your climate is like. If you truly have free range 365 days a year, then you can exceed the 4 square feet per chicken, depending on your management practices. If you live in a climate where they cannot free range all year long, or have management practices that limit their free ranging (like you enjoy sleeping in on weekends so they spend half the day in the coop) then 16 may be a bit ambitious in that size coop. There really are a lot of different things that go into how many you can keep. And I find that I do a lot less work if they are not crowded into the minimum possible amount of space. Think poop handling mainly but there are other issues.

    With what little I know about your situation, I'd think you could easily add four more pullets. With two roosters, that is a pretty good idea.
     
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I don't know if NJ gets snow that last for 5 or 6 days, but if you do, packing the house isn't a great idea. I agree with doubling to 8 hens, perhaps even 10, but a coop that is 8x8 becomes a virtual cage of boredom during long snow days. Just something to keep in mind. A fuller coop also requires more frequent cleaning. Doubling your birds means double the ...... well, manure. [​IMG]
     
  6. openheartnp

    openheartnp Chillin' With My Peeps

    243
    1
    91
    Jul 25, 2011
    Green Twp, NJ
    Thanks! Northwest NJ gets snow in Jan/Feb, not feet at a time, but enough to close the schools a few times a season. They also have a 13x7 kennel with fencing on top/bottom for when we aren't there.

    They were in a very small coop until recently, so last winter i put clearplastic around the kennel and it was warm enough for them to be out most of the time.

    Would it greatly effect the existing flock (4+2 roos) if I more than doubled their numbers? Like, would they be bullied or reject them as a group? I really, really need more hens for the roos.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by