How much room for layers?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Roosterboy, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. Roosterboy

    Roosterboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know that everyone says 8-10 feet outside but i don't see to many runs that are that generous. What do you use?
    Sorry about a question so common as this but i just feel that many people do just fine without that amount

    Also, how much room do meaties need?
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2008
  2. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    Personally I allow way more space than that outside. Each of my runs allows for 20-24 sq feet per bird. The more space they have, the happier they are and the fewer problems they have.

    Crowding leads to picking, among other things.

    HTH
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Actually my impression is that most people around here DO have 10 sq ft, or almost, per chicken in their run. Haven't actually tabulated it or anything though [​IMG]

    If you're taking a poll, my one pen's run is 8 sq ft per chicken (but they have 15 sq ft per chicken indoors). The sussexes are using a temporary run while I get around to building two permanent roofed ones; the temporary one is 8 sq ft per chicken but the permanent runs will be 15-20 sq ft per chicken PLUS a fenced nonroofed area that will be used sometimes in a sparing-the-grass kind of way. (the sussexes have about 15 sq ft per chicken indoors, as well).

    Unless they're getting out to free-range every day, I am really kind of skeptical of this "but I can squish them into less space and it'll be ok, right?" type thing. First, because while there is a random-chance element to whether or not you have problems, and certainly some people with some chickens keep them in very small areas without major problems of picking etc the chances of having that occur DO go up substantially as you crowd them more.

    And second, because I've had chickens in all various size pens and stuff, and honest to gosh they seem a LOT happier in coops and runs that are a good bit larger than the 'conventional wisdom' of 4 sq ft indoors and 8-10 outdoors. By happier I mean they move around more in a relaxed happy curious way, and don't react so desperately when you give them something new for food or entertainment, and just generally seem to have more personal hobbies and personal life, if you know what I mean.

    I'd say in general the bigger your coop, the more you can probably get away with fudging run size; also, the milder and more chicken-friendly your climate/weather, ditto. Still, there really IS value to more space. (Plus it allows you to add more chickens later; rebuilding is much more work and expense than building larger in the first place [​IMG])

    JMHO,

    Pat
     
  4. Roosterboy

    Roosterboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am going to give mine ( If i get them) as much space as i can afford.
    I was just asking because i went to camp and their coop didn't allow 8 ft a bird and they were just fine but i wanted to know if that would last
     
  5. horsechick

    horsechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 14, 2007
    Eaton, Ohio
    Hi,
    Trying to figure out this 10 sq ft thing.
    So if you have a 300 X 300 ft area, that will fit 30 chickens?
    Holy smokes, like raising cattle almost! [​IMG]
     
  6. halo

    halo Got The Blues

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    My Coop
    I believe 300 x 300 would house 9000 chickens at 10 square feet each. (300 x 300 = 90,000 squ. feet divided by 10 = 9000. Please correct if Im wrong on this).
     
  7. horsechick

    horsechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Eaton, Ohio
    ok, how many can be in a 10X10 sq ft area?
    100?!?!
    wait, 10?

    10 X 10 = 100 divide 10 = 10.
    Thanks, this has always been confusing to me, haha!

    Its ok to have like a roo and hen in a 2 X 2 pen for breeding?
    Thanks a million!
    Angela
     
  8. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    10 sq feet is the MINIMUM per bird. If you want happy, healthy birds give them as much space as possible. For just 2 birds in a breeding pen, 4x5 would net you 20 sq ft--or the minimum 10 sq ft per bird.

    My runs are 12x24 in which I keep a maximum of 10 birds. I always think my runs are too small even for the 10. My runs require daily pickup and monthly sanding to avoid odors in the summer. They do drain well because of all the sand I use and that also helps cut down on odors.

    HTH
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    my run is 10'x20'. But I free range them also.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  10. Chick_a_dee

    Chick_a_dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    Peterborough, ON
    At the moment, or as soon as the wood framed run is finished, my girls (15 of them) will have 9.6 sq. ft. per bird, we're ordering 5 more chicks in the spring, and 2 ducklings (ducklings will have their own house and pen), so I will be extending the run, adding another run to the back and sides of it, with a gate between them so i can give one run a rest while they use the other, or let them have the whole space.
     

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