How many is too many

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hammbone, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. hammbone

    hammbone New Egg

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    Jan 21, 2014
    New to BYC. Great site. I've just completed my brand new coop. 4x7 with a 7x18 run. I would like 10 chickens. Is that too many for my 28 square foot coop combined with my 126 square foot run? I leave their food and water outside at all times unless the temps dip to the single digits. I have 5 chickens now.
     
  2. jenifry

    jenifry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First of all, [​IMG]


    Though I am relatively new to this, I have done a lot of research. I have been told that the ideal coop space is 4 square feet per bird, and run space should be 10 square feet per bird. That calculates to me 7 in your coop and 12 in your run. You can get away with as little as 2 square feet per bird in the coop if they spend much of their time outside and there is plenty of roost space in the coop (12 inches of linear space per bird). I would also consider weather, how cold do you get in winter? The more crowded your chickens, the more susceptible they will be to aggression as well as parasites like mites and lice. If you keep the coop clean and watch your birds carefully for signs of illness or parasites, I would think you could get away with keeping 10, as long as they are not confined to the coop for long periods during daylight hours.
     
  3. hammbone

    hammbone New Egg

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    Jan 21, 2014
    Great news. 10 is the number of chickens I would like to have, but didn't want to jeopardize them through crowding. Today it is very cold. It will get down to single digits tonight. For us that's abnormal. Every day except for today they have spent the vast majority of their time in the run. Only today have they been unwilling to come out.

    I have 4 feet of roosting area in the coop and 5 laying boxes.

    Thanks for the reply
     
  4. jenifry

    jenifry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2012
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    You need to install at least 6 feet more of roost space if you want 10 chickens.
     
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    NEK, VT
    The size of coop needed is relative to your management style. In my opinion and management you've room for more birds than 10 easily.

    Agree with Jenifry that you need more roost space.
     
  6. jenifry

    jenifry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 26, 2012
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    They shouldn't be using the nest boxes to roost in. I religiously went out to the coop after dark for about 4 days and put them all on the roosts. By the 5th day they were roosting on their own instead of using the nest boxes.
     
  7. hammbone

    hammbone New Egg

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    Jan 21, 2014
    Thanks for the advice. I added the additional 6 feet of roost area. I hope to add more chickens soon
     

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