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How many square feet per chicken in the coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ChickieBooBoo, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    Dec 2, 2009
    I know the general rule is about 4, but what if they free-range all day? My birds only use the coop for sleeping and I can provide roosts for all of them, even if they only have about maybe 2-3 square feet each inside.

    Would that work for layers or am I setting myself up for disaster?

    I also have a few ducks and geese which sleep on the floor. (Besides the Muscovies)
  2. hemet dennis

    hemet dennis Chillin' With My Peeps

    That 4 ft. rule is if they have to stay in the coop. If they have free access to get out smaller is ok.
  3. TDM

    TDM Chillin' With My Peeps

    The international rule of thumb is about two square feet per bird. Good to see you want to free range rather than employ the feed lot style of raising chickens used here a lot on BYC: small coop and a bare dirt run. When I hear the 4:10 rule mentioned I cringe and think about the cattle feed lots out west.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  5. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    My little coop is a 5X8 inside, but I have only 2 roost poles 52 inches long each. They are used by my 8 chickens. The chicks that hatched last month and mama are still in the nest, but they will go to the roost when time comes. That is minus the males that may be in the bunch. I've seen all mine on one roost pole, and then 6 on top and 2 on the bottom. Like you all my coop is used for is sleeping and nesting. Although this broody hen caught me by supprise and hartched the chicks in a nest inside the coop. Right now I would have no problem with 12 or even 14 chickens inside, considering they are out roaming all day. They wake up in the morning, out the door and that's all they see of it unless the have an egg to give me. [​IMG]
  6. Clay Mudd

    Clay Mudd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    South MS swamps
    Quote:+1. If I was going to go by a rule, it would be something like 4:10:1000. [​IMG]
  7. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    Dec 2, 2009
    Quote:Very interesting, thanks for the link!

    I have two coops, the summer coop is a bit smaller then the winter coop. During the winter when they stay inside they are in a larger space.
  8. ChickieBooBoo

    ChickieBooBoo Cold Canadian Chick

    Dec 2, 2009
  9. TDM

    TDM Chillin' With My Peeps

    You will find that two square feet per bird is sufficient even in winter. Birds should not have to be confined to the coop for days or weeks at a time. . My birds like to hang out under the corralled wagons in the winter as well.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  10. TDM

    TDM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Some aspects of the linked article were interesting:

    Area being heated: Make drop ceiling or insulated hover around roost; or or partition off just part of the coop, and let chickens choose where to spend their time.

    If you look at my coops, the roosts are located above the windows and encapsulated by the insulated ceiling. Air movement goes across the manure and out the other side, and the chickens roost in an area where air movement is significantly less.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.

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