how many hens will fit?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jrabbit, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. jrabbit

    jrabbit Out Of The Brooder

    98
    0
    39
    Feb 26, 2009
    Our coop has a fully enclosed run that is about 4x12' and a roosting house that is about 4x6'. They free range most of the time, in addition - but there are days when they stay in the run.

    Right now, there are two perching branches across the width.

    http://philhyde.smugmug.com/gallery/6630139_t9J2s#492260526_kPgXk

    Also, how often does the house need to be cleaned out? We put hay on the bottom and add an extra layer when it gets overly messy. We completely mucked it out after 3-4 weeks.

    We have a silkie ameraucana & a cochin (we suspect bantam) and gave away the third when HE turned out to be a roo. They JUST started laying. We also have 7 EE babies that we're raising for a friend. We'd like to put the babies in the coop with the 2 hens. They are 5-6 weeks old, look huge, and it's not cold here in Texas. We want to buy 1-2 laying-age hens this week and will ultimately keep 2 of the chicks, if they are girls.

    Is our coop set-up big enough for 7 babies & 4 hens? Or just 6 hens?

    thanks,
    --janis,etc
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  2. aaronzclark

    aaronzclark Chillin' With My Peeps

    Howdy!! um I would say 5 hens TOPS just is not big enough sorry. By the way if u was to ever free range them completely that would be a nice little house for any of them to go in and out of
     
  3. aaronzclark

    aaronzclark Chillin' With My Peeps

    By the way if I was you i would use ceder or pine lasts A LOT longer
     
  4. racuda

    racuda Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,962
    25
    186
    Oct 1, 2008
    North Carolina
    Your square footage is enough for 12.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    78
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:indoors: 6x8 = 48 sq ft, 48/11 = 4.4 sq ft per hen, or 48/6 = 8 sq ft per hen

    run: 6x16 = 96 sq ft, 96/11 = 8.7 or 96/6 = 16 sq ft per hen

    I would say it is unquestionably big enough for 11 chickens, by most peoples' standards here, and if they free range most of the time and are not stuck in the coop for prolonged stretches of bad weather then even *I*, Mrs. Fifteen Square Foot Per Hen Indoors, would think your chickens will be happy and do just fine - if that means anything [​IMG]

    (e.t.a. - after racuda's post, I went and looked at your photo album... it definitely seems to be 8' long but are you *sure* it's not just 4' wide? It sure looks that way to me. Which would make it 32 sq ft, a bit tight for 11 hens (but maybe ok if they're really out all the time) but still certainly quite fine for 6)

    Also, how often does the house need to be cleaned out? We put hay on the bottom and add an extra layer when it gets overly messy. We completely mucked it out after 3-4 weeks.

    Everybody has their own way of doing things, there is NO right nor wrong, it's just what you're happiest with. So, whatever [​IMG], as long as it is not humid or smelly in there (which is in large part a ventilation issue).

    If you want to save a bit on bedding, there is a lot to be said for droppings boards under the roosts, scraped off every morning and the poo removed from the coop to the compost pile.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  6. racuda

    racuda Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,962
    25
    186
    Oct 1, 2008
    North Carolina
    On second thought, the pictures don't look like the coop is 6x8. Looks more like 3x6. If so, it would house 4 or 5.
     
  7. jrabbit

    jrabbit Out Of The Brooder

    98
    0
    39
    Feb 26, 2009
    gee whiz. I'm a moron. it is NOT the dimensions I stated. I truly don't know where those numbers came from. Apparently a DIFFERENT planet.

    "house" 4x6
    "run" 4x12

    They free-range in the yard most of every day. We can't let them free-range all the time because we live in a neighborhood with rules and dogs and cats. During the day, the house is open at the back, so they can go into the house to lay (that's what they did today). We're letting the babies hang out in the run during the day for now - they cannot be free-range.

    We want 5-6 hens, ultimately. We are going to have the extra babies for 2 more weeks.

    Where do I find the "recommended" square footage for hens?

    thank you very very much.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    78
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Well ok, if that's the case, 4x5= 20 sq ft which is tight for 11 hens but some people do it without problems; most BYCers would consider it ok for 5, possibly 6 hens. Run is in proportion, so same thing stands.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  9. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

    2,378
    16
    199
    Dec 8, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    Quote:The "recommended" square footage for hens:

    4 sf. per standard size chicken - indoor coop
    10 sf. per standard chicken - for the outdoor run

    Your measurements do sound good for 5 hens - you may be able to put 6 in there, especially if you free-range them most days.
     
  10. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,199
    642
    396
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    I agree with the other posts. I had 21 in an 8'x 8' coop and a 6'x 16' run. Also the birds have a fenced in yard off of their run. I am down to 16 girls right now but will be getting 50 more soon. I will be building a new barn with attached coop. There are pictures on my BYC Page.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by