How many hens in a 10x10 run?

rosemarythyme

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Jul 3, 2016
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My Coop
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🌹mary thyme has a few good points. Wise to follow her advice.

I was a bit confused b 🤷🏻‍♀️ b’cause you replied to an old thread. If you start a new one next time you have a question. You probably get more responses.
x2. Though I normally don't like to respond to necroed threads this had potential disaster written all over it. Not to say that it's impossible to get good results - sometimes you can get lucky and things work out without any issue - but I definitely hoped the poster would consider cons along with the pros (getting more birds, helping friend) before committing to a situation that could perhaps could blow up in their face.
 

BigBlueHen53

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Your question is about a run, not a coop. Will your birds have a covered, enclosed shelter at night in addition to this, or will they always just be in this dog cage, day and night? What kinds or predators do you have in your area? A dog run will not protdct your birds from most predators for very long. Weasels and rats can get through the chain link easily and can decimate a flock in a single night. Owls can get in over the top. Raccoons are deadly, as are common house cats, going over the top. Snakes can get in easily. Many experienced chicken keepers put an "apron" of hardware cloth on the ground around the pen, extending outward a foot or so, to keep digging predators out. Many put netting over the top to keep hawks out. A building is nice to protect from inclement weather. We have six dog panels up as a small pen for youngish chicks, but I would not trust it as their only protection at any age.
 

BigBlueHen53

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I have a 6' by 4' coop with a 3 rung ladder roost inside. The coop has two nesting boxes and free access to a 10' by 12' fenced in run.

The run's gate opens up into a large back yard where the hens spend most of the day. My 6 hens are very comfortable with that arrangement. A friend of my is giving away about 20 chickens. I believe I can safely take 6 of his hens, giving me a total of 12. All I would have to do is to put a second poop tray in the coop. My six hens use the top rung of the ladder roost, while the six new hens would use the next rung down. They don't stay in the coop, they only sleep there at night.

In the morning, the 12 hens would share the 10' by 12' run for a wile until I unlock the run's gate and let them into the yard. At 10 square feet per hen, I don't think they will feel crowed in the run.
Sorry, I missed this. You can ignore my previous answer. I was writing it while this posted, I think.
 

BigBlueHen53

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Trying to be helpful here, not negative, although this is probably going to sound negative. It is really just an honest answer to your question. Your coop is 24 sq feet, so you realistically have room for six birds, the number of birds you now have. Those birds are comfortable and happy with the setup. In your way of thinking, you can add six birds by the simple expedient of putting in another roost lower than the existing roost. But you are not thinking like a chicken. No chicken wants to roost below other chickens. They know they will get pooped on. They all want to be on the top roost. You will have jailhouse riots in there. Some of your chickens will soon refuse to go inside at all, or the first flock won't let them. I agree with your dad, let well enough alone. You have the right number of chickens for your setup right now.
 
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