Is my coop big enough?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by albodean, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. albodean

    albodean Out Of The Brooder

    84
    6
    44
    Sep 27, 2016
    Hi All,

    I have recently started keeping 3 Light Sussex hens. All seem happy and starting to become more confident (I have had them for 5 days now).

    The perching area where they sleep is around 4.5sq ft not including the nesting boxes. During daylight hours they have access to their run which is 175sq ft.

    My question is whether the sleeping area is big enough for them at the moment and for when they're fully grown (they're currently aged between 16-18 weeks)?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, I would be intrigued to hear any of your experiences with Light Sussex's and how friendly, hardy etc. they are.

    Thanks in advance.

    Alex
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    4,541
    1,062
    306
    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    That is a very small coop, especially if your experience winters or a rainy season. Where are you located?
     
  3. albodean

    albodean Out Of The Brooder

    84
    6
    44
    Sep 27, 2016
    Hi Sun,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I am in Gloucestershire, England so rain can be an issue at times.

    How big would you usually advise the sleeping area for 3 Light Sussex to be?

    Thanks again,

    Alex
     
  4. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    4,541
    1,062
    306
    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD

    Is the run covered? The problem is those times when the girls don't want to go out because it is cold, wet, muddy, snowy, etc. So usually it is advised for the coop (minus nest boxes) to be 4 sq ft per large breed chicken. Of course, people do keep them in small enclosures just fine, but I and a lot of others consider the 4 sq ft each to be a minimum. Does it have a roost or do they sleep on the floor?
     
  5. albodean

    albodean Out Of The Brooder

    84
    6
    44
    Sep 27, 2016

    Only about 10sq ft of the run is covered at the moment to keep their feeders out of the rain. I can cover more without much problem if it would be beneficial for them. Unfortunately, I bought my coop from Ebay and it was advertised as suitable for 4-6 birds. There is a roost for them but when I let them out in the mornings they are often sleeping on the floor.
     
  6. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    4,541
    1,062
    306
    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    How long is the roost? Do you know the actual or estimated dimensions of the sleeping area? The roost might be too short for them all to fit comfortably. I only mention this because sleeping on the floor is fine except they will be laying in their own excrement each night.
     
  7. albodean

    albodean Out Of The Brooder

    84
    6
    44
    Sep 27, 2016

    The roost is 2ft long. The sleeping area is 2ft 1in x 2ft 1in (roughly 4.5 sq ft) not including the nesting boxes.
     
  8. albodean

    albodean Out Of The Brooder

    84
    6
    44
    Sep 27, 2016
  9. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    981
    490
    126
    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    A 2 foot roost is on the short side for 3 birds, it's 8" each, and unfortunately your coop layout doesn't give you many options to extend the length. Also it looks like it's set really low in the inside of the box. You might want to see if you can adjust it to sit up a little higher, just to encourage the chickens to want to sit on it.

    I'd be less concerned about covering the run for rain, I leave mine completely open and unless it's really coming down hard my chickens will opt to stay outside of the coop.
     
  10. albodean

    albodean Out Of The Brooder

    84
    6
    44
    Sep 27, 2016

    Hi Rosemary, thanks for your reply. Looks like I'll need to get a new coop before they get any bigger! I will raise the roost in the meantime.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by