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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by aedanmoe, May 5, 2008.
I'm in vermont. etting 6 chicks and building a 6x8 coop. will they be happy in there in the winter?.
As a general rule, it is recommended to give your chickens 4 square feet (per bird) of indoor room/space. So 6 (birds) times (x) 4 sq. feet = 24 square feet of indoor space in the coop. Since your coop is 6 x 8, that is 48 square feet. They should do just fine as you've double the "general rule" requirement.
Hope this helps!
I would suggest that you try to predict what they might do in the winter and make sure it's accomodated in your coop design. If you will be cold and snowy, then unless you plan on covering ("plastic-ing") your run, it might be a good idea to plan for more indoor area so there's less likelihood of them feeling 'cooped up' (literally) and crowded. This will decrease the chance you'll have to deal with pecking and health problems. It will also make the coop easier to keep clean.
Now some will say 'but if it gets real cold you ahve to pack them in like sardines (well, not that phrasing ) so that their body heat is sufficient to keep them warm in January". I would suggest that it is extremely easy to subdivide a coop if necessary, and you are STILL better off building bigger rather than smaller. If you DO run into temp. problems, it would be simple to create a removable divider (that they could be allowed thru in daytime, in fact, if you want) so that you are in effect making their coop extra small for the winter -- but that way you have flexibility, and they don't have to put up with close quarters all year round just for the sake of three weeks in January.
Whatever you do, make sure you still have good ventilation -- you will need it, even in three cold weeks in january -- and possibly consider how you could baffle or buffer the incoming air to reduce its impact on coop temperature.
a 6 by 8 coop is plenty big for 6 hens.all they need is 4sqft pre hen.
When in doubt, make it bigger. Plenty of room solves lots of health and sanitation problems. Besides, you're in denial if you think you can stop at six.