How much room does a chicken need?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by smattly, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. smattly

    smattly Hatching

    Aug 9, 2014
    We are planning to start chickens before next winter. (A project for next summer.) As I start thinking seriously about a coop I realize that the first thing to know is : how much room does a chicken need? While looking at the coops displayed on the site, it's hard to guess and I can't find any reference. If I have 5-6 Orpingtons will a "small", "medium" or "large" coop be proper.
  2. Twistedfeather

    Twistedfeather Songster

    Feb 23, 2014
    If you get purebred orphingtons they are going to need more space than a bantam or even a laying bird. A chicken tractor may not be suitable for your chickens are you planning on having them go outside? A coop should provide enough room to fit at least two or three nesting boxes, a feeder, a waterer and a nice sized roost (if you only plan on five then a medium to large will work the best for the birds you are after. I find it better to make our own coops/barns.
  3. tracecom

    tracecom Songster

    Jan 16, 2010
    Ideally, you would have 4 square feet in the coop and 10 square feet in the run for each large chicken, however many chickens have been raised in much less space.
  4. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    In order not to have problems with them pecking each other they need as much room as you can give them. If they are not going to have an attached predator proof run they will need more than 4 sq feet per bird. With crowding you begin to get behavior problems as well as health problems. They can be raised with less room but not with good results. Orpingtons are big birds as well and need room to move about. The best thing I did before getting my first birds was to read the threads here that deal with predators, behavioral problems and illnesses. I learned a lot not to do from others experiences.Good luck and have fun....oh, you better read the ones about chicken math also....LOL
  5. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    Whatever you decide on, will be way too small in short order [​IMG].

    I planned on 5-10 birds.

    Built my coop and run for 30.

    By next season, My flock will be halfway to max...
  6. taterdog

    taterdog In the Brooder

    Sep 18, 2012
    Macon, Ga

    Yup. This is pretty much what ive always found. If you build it just big enough or alittle bigger you tend to have more chickens than it can hold either before its done or within a few weeks/months after. Thats why the one im working on is 5x bigger than the space i actually need.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2014
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    The 4 sq ft per bird in coop and 10 sq ft in run is a bare minimum....
    the more room the better, plan on being able to partition the coop and run into 2 or 3 separate quarters for integration and segregation if needed and you won't regret it.

    There'a link in my signature (under this post) to an excellent article on space on ventilation too, which is very important.

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