I'm so confused!!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Baylen, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Baylen

    Baylen In the Brooder

    Mar 26, 2010
    Ok, so I currently have 3 two-year-old hens (2 EEs & 1 Leghorn - had 2 of each, but the serial killer raccoon got one.) My coop is 4x4 with an attached run. When I first got the chickies, I was scared to let them out of the run, but my nerves have gotten much better about it! Now, they're only in the run until around 2 pm when someone gets home and lets them out. Now since they get a decent amount of free-range time, run space isn't quite so critical? right? And from what I gather, I could add a few more chickies? right? Now, I've read about integrating and putting the brooder box in the coop separate from the bigger girls, but I don't have that much room or another coop/run to keep them separate. So how do I do this? I'd like to get the peep-squeaks tomorrow.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Othylocke

    Othylocke In the Brooder

    Mar 18, 2010
    Dothan, AL
    Should you? Depends on how you personally feel.
    Can you? This would be a very big yes.

    By most people's opinions, you should have 4 sq feet per indoor area and 10 sq feet per outside area. Hence a 4'x4' area is capable of handling 4 chickens. The free range time does not seem to be long enough if you go from 2pm to 6pm, so the run is important. For four chickens you would need a 10 foot by 4 foot run. And so on.

    But let us look at this at less of a pet perspective and a business perspective. I keep chickens for their eggs and for their eventual meat. I don't so much care for the "comfort" of the chickens so much as the health of the chickens. Commercially kept birds are overcrowded. I could not run my chickens that way but many people feel that it is not only good business sense, it is perfectly acceptable. So you have to find something that works to your sensibilities and not other people. I personally think that if they are only sleeping in the coop and the rest of the time are outside in the run or free ranging, 2 sq feet or so is something that can be done.

    Beyond that you need to be sure you are not breaking any laws that might crop up in your area. While I live in an area that does not have a limit to number of chickens, I am required to house them 35 feet away from any home, business, school and so on. There ARE some laws that require a minimum sq footage per bird. Be sure to read up on that.

    This is only personal opinion, there are no "facts"
    1) By most accounts, 4 chickens would be the maximum your coop could maintain.
    2) The run is still mostly important. Free range time is not enough. (From 2pm to 6pm?)
    3) I can't tell you much about integration of flocks.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by