How many hens in 430 square feet?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SkyBlueJar, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. SkyBlueJar

    SkyBlueJar Out Of The Brooder

    61
    0
    39
    Apr 3, 2013
    Pacific Northwest
    We have a fenced area 24' x 18' for a chicken run. Our chosen breed is lightweight: 5 - 5 1/2 lbs per hen. How many birds would you recommend keeping in this square footage?
     
  2. CrazyChickGirl

    CrazyChickGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    412
    21
    93
    Feb 13, 2014
    Is that the run and coop? Will they get to free range outside of the run?
     
  3. dickhorstman

    dickhorstman Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    549
    14
    141
    Dec 8, 2009
    burgettstown,pa
    Minimum of 2 sq.ft per bird. The more room the better. I like 5-6 sq ft per bird not counting the run.
     
  4. SkyBlueJar

    SkyBlueJar Out Of The Brooder

    61
    0
    39
    Apr 3, 2013
    Pacific Northwest
    It's 430 sf of total space. We have an open-air setup with a roof and one wall; no henhouse in the conventional sense. It's something I read about in Harvey Ussery's book and works well in our mild climate. I'm undecided about whether it's safe for them to free-range. For now, let's just assume they'll be living in the fenced area full time. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,834
    5,587
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Are you going to provide roost space under a roof?
    They need 10-12 inches of roost per bird...that might give you a number of birds.

    Minimum run space of 10 sq ft per bird is usually recommended here...but more is always better.

    What does Harvey recommend?
     
  6. SkyBlueJar

    SkyBlueJar Out Of The Brooder

    61
    0
    39
    Apr 3, 2013
    Pacific Northwest
    Yes there's plenty of roost space under cover.

    I see that the common recommendation on BYC is "4sf per bird in the coop plus 10sf in the run". So at 14sf per bird, this space will accomodate up to 30 birds. Which is great, because I've 12 in there now, and was thinking about adding a few. Thanks, everyone! :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,834
    5,587
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Well and it depends on the site, climate, manure management...best way to know is watch them and see how it goes, adjust when necessary.
     
  8. CrazyChickGirl

    CrazyChickGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    412
    21
    93
    Feb 13, 2014
    That sounds like a good plan!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by