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How many is too many?????

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tdayman, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. tdayman

    tdayman Chirping

    Apr 13, 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    Our coop/run is 6'x16'. The run is 6'x16' and the coop(has run space under it) is 5'x6' (we originally built it for 10-12 hens). I will let them out in the run year round. I also have a tractor that is 5'x8' that I let a few out in the yard during the day. I would love to free range and do only when we are right outside with them, but I have already lost 2 to foxes. So my question (due to chicken math) is how many hens should I have?

  2. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Songster

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    Each standard sized hen needs 4 sq feet of living space. So your 5'x6' coop is 30sq'. Which means you should have 7 or perhaps 8 hens.
    Outside space is typically 10 sq feet per bird. So a 6x16' run is 96sq' or enough for 9 hens.
    Especially in your climate where winters are longer, fewer birds means having happier birds. I tried to lower that interior number to 3sq' (due to late season broody hatch)...January was ugly in our coop when they were stuck indoors due to bad weather for a week. I'm fixing that problem by building a new (bigger) coop!

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