how many Nesting Boxes? How big a coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hopefulloflove, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. Hopefulloflove

    Hopefulloflove Chirping

    Jul 18, 2011
    Benson, NC
    I am wondering how many nesting boxes we will need. We are working on designing our coop and are trying to plan. We will be having approximately 20 chickens....I also need to know what size coop do you think we will need?

    Thanks in Advance!

  2. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    Rule of thumb for size of coop is four square feet per chicken. I think you could get away with ten nest boxes or even less. Hope this helps!
  3. Hopefulloflove

    Hopefulloflove Chirping

    Jul 18, 2011
    Benson, NC
    Thank you!
  4. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    One of our members wrote up an excellent post on space requirements. There is no single answer that suits everyone, so I will give you a link to it:

    As for nests, that's a lot easier. It is generally recommended one nest for four hens. So what will probably happen is, you will put in 5 nests, and they will have one or two favorites that they use most or all the time. That's the world of chickens. [​IMG]
  5. Hopefulloflove

    Hopefulloflove Chirping

    Jul 18, 2011
    Benson, NC
    Thank you...That was very helpful! [​IMG]

  6. surfchicken72

    surfchicken72 Songster

    I have 5 ladies and they INSIST on using the SAME nest box! [​IMG]

    2 of them just sit idle..... I bet you could get away with less than 10.... prob 6?

    But I'm still a noob, only in year 2 with mine......
    I'm sure there's a guideline on here somewhere for # of birds/nestboxes needed(suggested)
  7. farmer_lew

    farmer_lew Hi-Tech Redneck

    Jun 29, 2010
    In the hills
    You will have to play around with the number of nest boxes. A lot of people, myself included, have hens that insist on using the same nest box. I have even had one of my girls lay her egg on the back of another because she got into the nest box first. Meanwhile there are plenty of perfectly good nest boxes going unused. As far as coop size, an 8x8 will provide room for 16 birds, an 8x12 has room for 24. Don't forget to make sure you build it big enough for you to get inside comfortably for cleaning, gathering eggs, etc. A rule of thumb I build by is, "Build bigger than you think you need." There is a phenomenon called "chicken math." Plan for it, because it WILL happen! [​IMG]
  8. surfchicken72

    surfchicken72 Songster

    chicken math... Right amount of space = not big enough! [​IMG]
    Build it bigger! You'll be glad you did, and so will your ladies.

    I have a 4X8 with 5 birds, and wish it was bigger. It's ggod for me to get in and clean, etc. and it meets the "requirements",
    but wish it was larger.. not for MY sake, but for theirs.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  9. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Songster

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    I have 4 isas and 2 nestboxes. I added the second because I was getting eggs on the floor. Now there are 2, I've actually watched one hen freak out because someone was in the one she wanted. She was trying to hold it and wait but Marina had decided that instead of laying her egg she would lay on the dummy egg and take a nap. There is technically enough room for 2 girls in each box but I guess Chickamimus didn't want to be crowded, she finally gave up waiting and jumped in the top box. I have consistently collected 3 eggs from one nest and 1 from the other. I'm guessing it's from the traffic jams. [​IMG]

  10. afveteran88

    afveteran88 Chirping

    Jun 25, 2011
    Deerfield, Michigan
    Ok, so my coop is 16 x 16 and I have 27 birds (soon to be 25, due to 2 nasty roosters) If my math is correct I have room for 64 chickens. Wow that would be alot in feed and water chores. I would probably get 60 or so eggs a day which is no problem for me to get rid of because a local farm auction thats held every other Saturday sells them for me. I normally get 1.75 a dozen. At 1.75 per doz if I sold 60 doz every two weeks I would end up with $113.75 I think that many birds would take some of the fun out of having chickens. Thats alot of poop and a large feed bill. What does everyone else think.

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