Is there such a thing as coop being too big?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Sep 21, 2010
Waxhaw, NC
I have an old wood shed on the property in respectable condition that is 10x12 feet and 8 feet tall in center that I'd like to repurpose as a chicken coop. It has two 14" jalousie style windows on two sides, and I'd need to put a pop door in and a bit more ventilation in up top. Of course, will put in nests and roosts, too. The area where this shed is located is where there are lots of trees and is essentially pretty wooded, so it's sitting in shade. During the day, I will also let the birds free range for an hour or so on the larger property while being supervised for some sun and fun.

For further info, I live in a rural area just outside of Charlotte, NC, so the temps are typically mild all year round. This area where the shed is, is cool all year round including the summer due to the wooded location.

I plan on about 6 chickens (3 bantams and 3 standard) to start. I will also put a 30 foot long x 15 foot wide run behind the shed for the gals to scrounge around among the leaves for bugs. There are heaps of spiders, grasshoppers, worms and other little buggers for the chickens to feed on here. This area is also woody and in shade all day same as the coop/shed is.

I have several questions:

1. is this too big for just 6 birds? Is there such a thing as a coop just being too large?
2. will chickens be happy playing around in shade most of their lives in this manner? I know a few of you have coops in wooded areas.

Thanks in advance for all your great knowledge!
I don't think it can ever be too big! Mine is the same size and I started with 12, it looked like they had too much room so I added 20 more. Then had to build another coop for the next 21. You'll probably find yourself getting more - they can be addictive!
The only reason why a coop could be considered "too big" would be for keeping warm in the winter......lots of birds in a smaller coop means that the body heat will help to keep the birds warm. However, in NC, that is not an issue. At worst, you could create a smaller "roosting area" that is partially enclosed to allow them to all cuddle together and stay warmer. But really, in the south, your setup sounds like chicken paradise
Too Big? Can that be possible.....??

I so wish mine were much bigger than what I started out with!
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They should do very well in there. Just make sure it's secure from raccoons, & possums. Also with that much extra space you can always add more chickens.
Definitely no! There is no such thing as a coop or run that it too big. In my opinion, more space means happier chickens and a happier chicken keeper (because it will be much easier for you to keep things clean and healthy in a nice big coop).
That's actually a great idea. Hadn't even thought of that.

Thanks everyone for your replies. Wanted to make sure I was doing right by the chickens. I know I said 6, but as y'all have already said, I bet it's hard to just keep a few. But, I'm telling my DH just two. Shhhhhhhhhhh!

I've been lurking here and absorbing lots of great info, and reading lots of books. I'm ready to bite the bullet!
If I had a 10x12 shed with a dirt floor, I'd:
Put down stepping stones to form a floor that nothing could dig its way into.
Use chicken wire inside to section off an area that was three feet wide at the entrance for storing feed, etc., and have my nest boxes/eggs accessible to that private area so that I would not have to go into the chicken's area that would be 7x12 (84 sq. ft.) or 9x10 (90 sq. ft.) depending on where the door is.
For the run sides and top, I'd use 100% 1/2-inch hardware cloth.
Use pine wood chips in the coop's chicken area and sand in the run.
See My BYC Page for pictures.

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