How much trouble am I in?

mkolasa

In the Brooder
Mar 27, 2021
17
9
16
My coop is 7' x 4'...sloped roof 3.5' tall on one side and 5.5' tall on the other. My attached run is 12' x 12. Chickens will not be free range due to hawks but we do have a 10' x 5' chicken tractor, so they can get out to other places in yard. We are in Northwest Indiana so we do have cold winters. I plan on keeping feeders and waterers in the run during Spring, Summer and Fall but in the winter they will be inside with the chickens as they may not go out as much. I will have plenty of roost space and 3 nesting boxes.

We have 7 FL hens and 3 bantams......no roosters.

How much trouble am I in with space?

Thanks!
 

topochico225

Your mom
Dec 27, 2020
2,865
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Baton Rouge, LA
My coop is 7' x 4'...sloped roof 3.5' tall on one side and 5.5' tall on the other. My attached run is 12' x 12. Chickens will not be free range due to hawks but we do have a 10' x 5' chicken tractor, so they can get out to other places in yard. We are in Northwest Indiana so we do have cold winters. I plan on keeping feeders and waterers in the run during Spring, Summer and Fall but in the winter they will be inside with the chickens as they may not go out as much. I will have plenty of roost space and 3 nesting boxes.

We have 7 FL hens and 3 bantams......no roosters.

How much trouble am I in with space?

Thanks!
Sounds like your coop is just a touch too small. Rule of thumb is 4 sq feet per bird, and right now you have 28 sq ft when you need around 34-36 ft.
 

Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
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Belding, MI
You coop is too small. It's 28 square feet. For 10 birds, 40 sf would be the suggested minimum. Three of your birds are bantams, you have a decent sized run, and no boys, so that helps. The tractor will help give them some changes of scene, but it's about right for 5 birds, so you might need to do two groups, one out every other day. Can you make some use of your vertical space on the taller side of your coop?

Is there any way to add on to your coop? What you have might work if your birds all get along.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,298
23,600
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Southeast Louisiana
Maybe some but you have a lot of time to fix it. In winter with snow on the ground that tractor isn't really in the picture unless maybe you could put a few in it. That depends on what the tractor looks like. Tractors are usually not set up well for winter.

The big problem is the chickens being locked in that coop section only, either by weather or you locking them in there for predator protection. The tighter you pack them the more behavioral problems you have to deal with, the harder you have to work, and the less flexibility you have to respond to anything that happens.

Is your run predator proof? Would you be comfortable with leaving the pop door open day and night? That would take care if any space issues when the weather is OK.

In the winter your weather will sometimes not be OK. Chickens generally do not like snow. Mine really hate a cold wind. You are going to have times where they will be trapped inside for extended times due to weather. If you can handle the predator issues, can you fix up a section of the run where the snow does not blow in (sides and top) and a cold wind doesn't hit them when they are outside. Essentially it is a coop extension. Some people are able to achieve that with tarps in winter but a strong wind can destroy tarps.

I personally don't believe in magic numbers. If you follow the link in my signature you'll see why. Conditions are different in Miami Florida, Calgary Alberta, Glasgow Scotland, and on the big island in Hawaii. The same magic doesn't apply to all of those. There are other issues than just location. Are you guaranteed problems with that many hens in that size coop? No, no guarantees any way, even with a coop two to three times that size. But personally I would not want to face one of your winters with half that many hens in a coop that size when the run will be off limits too often.
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jul 26, 2008
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Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
My Coop
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The big problem is the chickens being locked in that coop section only, either by weather or you locking them in there for predator protection
I strongly agree.

It will probably be fine... until they have tobe stuck in there.

Can you put a roof over the run? And make one wall solid for a winter wind break?
 

mkolasa

In the Brooder
Mar 27, 2021
17
9
16
Thank you for everyone's feedback. I have decided to let one of my pullets go to to a friends flock to ease space in my coop. I am going to either let her have the Barnevelder or the Speckled Sussex......anyone have thoughts on which would be a better bird for me to keep?

This will have me down to 6 LF and 3 bantams. I figured 2 square feet each for bantams and 4 for LF puts me at 30 square feet....I have 28 in the coop....fingers crossed. I plan on adding to the flock next spring and expanding the coop at that time so it will be one winter we have to get through.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
101,656
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SW Michigan
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I plan on adding to the flock next spring and expanding the coop at that time so it will be one winter we have to get through.
Will your run be weather proof for that first winter?
Expand the coop before getting more birds....and keep in mind integrating new birds is much easier with extra space
We are in Northwest Indiana
Welcome to BYC! @mkolasa
Here's how to add your general geographical location to your profile.
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Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
24,350
42,821
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southern Michigan
Welcome!
It will be easier to send two pullets away at once, because their integration into another flock will be easier for them. that will get your numbers down a bit more, definitely better for your remaining birds.
Post pictures of your coop and run!
Roofing your run, and then having the north, east, and west walls wrapped in plastic sheeting, at least, will make it a good winter space for them, so they aren't in that little coop during snowy weather.
I think you are going to find that crouching in that coop all the time will get pretty miserable; a walk-in structure is so much better!
Mary
 

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