I'm confused about coop size!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by rtda4, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. rtda4

    rtda4 Songster

    Somebody will you please tell me the proper coop and run size I would need to keep 12 hens. I have read so much and it seems each article is saying something different.

  2. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    4 sq feet inside per bird 12x4=48 sq feet---6ftx8ft coop

    6 sq feet outside per bird--12x6ft=72sq ft----8ftx9ft, 12x 6
  3. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    Though many of us go down happily to 2 1/2 or 3 feet per with no probs. I believe it may even hep my girls thorough frigid winters like this one. That's if they get plenty of time outside, are well fed and ventilated, etc.

    Four feet per does seem to be the most common and standard benchmark preferred by folks here, tho. Can't go wrong with that.
  4. rtda4

    rtda4 Songster

    Thank you for your help!
  5. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    4 square feet per hen if coop space (average dual purpose sort of chicken) is pretty good. That's 8X6 or there-abouts for almost any climate is fine. That's what you want if they're trapped inside by cold weather or heavy rain or whatever, so more is better if weather conditions are terrible a lot of the time.

    The run is another matter. Mine probably isn't big enough, but they get out into a huge yard almost all the time, it's really only a sort of interem holding area, so I'll leave that up to others.
  6. ChickenCop

    ChickenCop Songster

    Just keep in the back of your mind that you might end up getting some more in the future, so bigger is sometimes better. Build to what you can afford and good luck![​IMG]
  7. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    In my opinion, any answer you receive is meaningless without knowing the climate where you live.

    4 sf coop size is the bare minimum I would have in Northern Maine and even that is small for birds that may be confined inside in the worst weather. On the other hand, it may be far more than you need in the most southern parts of the US where your birds may only go inside to lay eggs and roost.

    So expect to get conflicting answers until you let us know the area in which you live.


  8. rtda4

    rtda4 Songster

    I live in South Carolina, one day it is 40 then the next it is 70 degrees.
    I just want to say thanks a bunch for all the information it is making me feel less nervous everyday about owning chickens. I like to keep all my animals happy. The 2 girls I have are spoiled rotten but I have taken the pluge and ordered 10 more. I have never had baby chicks. So my stomach is tyed in knots trying to make it a wonderful place for the babies. I'm so excited.
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    In SC, if the run has plenty of good shade (esp in midday and afternoon) you could maybe go more towards the 2-3 sq ft per chicken range if it had LOTS AND LOTS of ventilation (possibly 1-2 mostly wire-mesh walls, plus other windows etc) AND if you had a larger run, like more like 10-15 sq ft per chicken. (Or larger!)

    For 12 hens that would be about 30-40 sq ft (for instance, 6x6) with a run of 120-180+ sq fit (for instance, 10x12 or 10x18)

    More space is better. It makes sanitation easier. Also it reduces the chances of an insoluble chickens-pecking-each-other-bloody-or-dead problem arising.

    Good luck, have fun,

  10. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Quote:What part of SC? I'm over the border in the NC piedmont. Has been fridged here for the last few days and then today in the mid-60's. Coastal and sandhills you are going to need a different set-up than if you are up in the Up-state or around Lake Keeowee. Gotta build for what you got.

    I've got 11 birds in a 8x8 coop. They all mooosh together on 4 roosts 3 chickens wide. It's been so cold this year that I filled in the empty roosting spaces on the one side of the coop and along the outside wall of the other side of the coop with bales of straw. They all are cozy inbetween.

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