Is a 4 x 8 open air coop large enough for 4 standard chickens?

NorseDad

Chirping
Dec 3, 2021
16
77
51
West Central Florida
Looking at plans for a 4x8 open air coop. Would this be a reasonable size for 3-4 standard sized chickens?

The nesting boxes extend outside that area in an enclosed space. The plan would be to add some roost bars. I have a spot with heavy tree shade and a wind break via my privacy fence. Here is what it’s supposed to look like:

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I cannot allow free ranging in my yard at the moment, but I always have the option of adding an additional run later on.

Located in West Central Florida (Citrus County).
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
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North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
OK, the "thumb rules" are 4 sq ft of coop space per bird, and 10 sq ft of run space per bird. 1 sq ft ventilation per bird, 1 linear footroost per bird, and you only need two nest boxes - which can be as simple as milk crates. Open air is a great choice for central FL. I was born in the Daytona area, moved to Tampa, now reside in the Panhandle, I'm familiar with your climate.

Open coops such as you suggest can blend those spaces to some extent. Its likely adequate for three, perhaps four birds, though individual behaviors will have a LARGE influence on the likely success of the effort.

FL, as you know, is sort of famed for sideways rain. its not a huge cost increase, and significantly reduces cutting, if you alter that plan and go to 8x8. The cost change is primarily in the hardware cloth - yet doubling the width provides considerably more protection from wind-blown rains. If you move the nesting bars and roosting area into the coop (oustide access to the nesting boxes for your convenience) I think you will be happier with the change, and your birds happier when they can't free range.
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
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Jul 10, 2009
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Since an Open Air coop combines run and coop together the square footage per bird needs to be bigger than the 4 square feet per each of a coop but doesn't *necessarily* have to be the combined 14 square feet of coop and run per each -- though the 8x8 @U_Stormcrow suggested would provide that.

Will there be a run of any kind in addition to this coop?

IMO, partial siding on the end towards your prevailing storm winds would be desirable in order to keep the chickens dry.
 

NorseDad

Chirping
Dec 3, 2021
16
77
51
West Central Florida
Since an Open Air coop combines run and coop together the square footage per bird needs to be bigger than the 4 square feet per each of a coop but doesn't *necessarily* have to be the combined 14 square feet of coop and run per each -- though the 8x8 @U_Stormcrow suggested would provide that.

Will there be a run of any kind in addition to this coop?

IMO, partial siding on the end towards your prevailing storm winds would be desirable in order to keep the chickens dry.
I could look into doing a simple 3ft tall run with wire over the top. Maybe 4 wide 10 long? Just for some additional space during the day.
 

BrooksHatlen

Free Ranging
Jun 2, 2020
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Near Devil's Millhopper
The idea was the box is just for nest boxes. I could look at adding plywood or tarp to the section closer to the box for a visual barrier/wind & rain block where I’d hang the perches.

Would that work? I could try to play with increasing the overall dimensions of the caged portion.
Ithink so. I'll try to find mine. It would be very similar to what I think you're thinking.
 

Weeg

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Jul 1, 2020
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Are you going to add additional run space to this coop? I agree that adding siding to the area near the nesting boxes is a good idea, trust me, you don't want to deal with not enough walls. I made that mistake.

If this is the only are they'll be offered, increasing the dimensions to 10-14ft per bird will be better.
 

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