How many

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Kathyb2, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. Kathyb2

    Kathyb2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 3, 2009
    When I first started out with chickens they were able to free range all day and only went into the coop at night. After years of doing that with no problems (in hindsight I am really surprised we were able to do that so long with no predator issue), a fox finally found us. I then started only free ranging a few hours a day. That worked for a couple of years. This year I have had to build a run and no more free ranging because I was losing a chicken a day to one or more foxes. I actually had a fox grab one that was 20 feet from me in broad daylight.

    Now I have two hoop houses (8 x 8) and a 30 x 30 run. Looking for opinions on how many chicken I can put in there. I am in south GA so they will be let into the run every day all day. I know about the 4 feet in the coop and 10 in the run. I am wondering if the coop space matters as much because they will really only sleep there. I do not want to overcrowd them at all. I have plenty of space so I could make the run bigger. I am more concerned about how many should be in the coop with the understanding that they would only be locked in at night. Looking for opinions.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    It can depend on your birds personalities. I would probably keep 10-15 in that area.
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    If at least some part of the run is protected from the elements, then i agree that your coop could accommodate more than is "recommended" (4 sq ft per bird in the coop). The larger you make the run - the better IMO.

    Good luck

  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You'll have to play it by eye and ear so to speak.....the 4/10 'rule' is a minimum IMO.
    I would think heat would be your main concern, and what the free range area was like compared to the run area as far as cool spots to lounge in.
    The smaller space and probable lack of forage in the run could start to grate on some birds temperaments.

    Agrees with Ken, more run space the better......
    .....and put some variety of distractions in the run, logs, stumps blocks, pallets leaned up against walls and/or up on blocks, etc.

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