How much area is needed per chicken?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CochinLover101, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. CochinLover101

    CochinLover101 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2011
    I'm not sure if this has been asked yet but how much area is needed per chicken? I've chosen to start raising Cochins in both standard and bantam and am going to build a nice coop for them. I know for horses it's recommended that you have at least 1 acre per horse but is there a set minimum for chickens? Thanks for your help in advance! [​IMG]

  2. CochinLover101

    CochinLover101 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2011
    Oops! Thanks for your help. =]
  3. MamaChic21

    MamaChic21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2010
    Jackson, NJ
    4 sq ft for coop per chicken and 10-12 inches for the run ( that I've seen on BYC )
  4. HollywoodHillsHens

    HollywoodHillsHens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    That it less required space if you have an ark? My four girls free range during the day, but at night they huddle up in the top of an 8 foot by 2 foot (at the second floor level) ark along a long roosting bar with 2 nest boxes...the website says "six" is the max for the ark, and my four seem to have more than enough space considering they only use it for sleeping (and egg laying, once we get there).
  5. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

    Dec 1, 2010
    Owasso, Oklahoma
    Quote:I think you mean 10-12 ft not inches! On average for coop and run should be around 10-14 ft per chicken. More in the coop is good if cold or snow is common in your area!

  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    I think of 4 ft per chicken indoors plus 10 feet per chicken outdoors as minimums. Honestly, build as big as you reasonably can, especially with respect to the run (unless you plan to free range most of the time and confine them regularly in the run only part of the time). You won't be sorry having a large run...and your work to keep your setup clean and healthy will be less the more room your chickens have. As population density goes up, so does the risk of disease unless you do a lot of cleaning up.
  7. chickfamilyonsleepyhollow

    chickfamilyonsleepyhollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    we have a 6 X 8 coop and 8 X 8 run for our six red sex-links ... no room for more chickens. If only I took the advice from our chicken forefathers, I would have gone bigger to make room for more chickens ... we [​IMG] our girls [​IMG] [​IMG]
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    As much as possible.

    There IS NO MAGIC NUMBER. Personally I am not a fan of this 4 sq ft indoors - 10 sq ft outdoors thing that has become nearly a religion on BYC. I guess it gives you a ballpark idea of what not to go much lower than. But that's really about the limit of its usefulness. In always-mild never-a-day-when-chickens-wanna-stay-indoors climates, you may not need that much indoor space. In cold winter climates, a lot more space is a lot better (personally having TRIED it at different stocking densities I will never go below 10-15 sq ft per chicken indoors *plus ample roofed run*, and that is NOT because of my climate either).

    THESE NUMBERS PEOPLE GIVE YOU, THEY ARE JUST MINIMUMS. They are aimed at answering the question "below what stocking density does the chance of cannibalism increase considerably". For some people that may be their chief goal, just avoiding catastrophic cannibalism, but if you want the chickens to behave more-naturally and more-happily (and sanitation incidentally becomes much easier too) I highly recommend lower stocking densities, i.e. more square footage per chicken.

    So I would suggest that the most humane approach is to build your coop and run as big as you can stand, and then put as few chickens in it as you can content yourself with. They will be much better off than if you crowd them up to the limits of what you can get away with, and management is easier too.


  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Quote:Amen and Amen [​IMG]

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