I've inherited a Chicken now what?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Birdman 95361, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. Birdman 95361

    Birdman 95361 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2011
    Oakdale, California
    I've posted once before and I need some clarity.... How many Chickens can I "safely" place in my new coop.
    I've included a picture so you can see the coop. Dimensions are 8'X3' for the enclosed roost area and 10'X8'
    for the run. not including the small space under the roost. I'd like to house a total of 20 birds.
    My current 4 (3 Rhode Island Red hens and my mutt Rooster)
    PLUS;
    4 Black Copper Marans
    4 Ameraucana's
    4 Jersey Giants
    4 Buff Orpingtons

    Total of 20 chickens!

    I've set aside some cash to open things up to house more chickens if necessary,
    the run will be opened up to 12'X12' and the roost (enclosed area) increased to 10'X8'.

    Do I need to spend some cash or am I Ok with what i have?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    What you have is great for four chickens.....If you want 20 total, you will need more space for them. Crowded chickens are unhappy chickens.
     
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    I do want to say that's really a nice coop and run though!
     
  4. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are they allowed to free-range during the day? Otherwise, you have a 24 sq ft roost area which can hold a maximum of 6 standard size birds or 8-9 bantams. That applies IF they have a run area of 10 sq ft per bird. So, your run can accommodate 8 standard size birds. No way, no how can you safely house 20 birds in that set-up.

    For 20 birds, you'll need a coop area of 80 sq ft with a run area of 200 sq ft.
     
  5. draye

    draye Overrun With Chickens

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    Nice coop.

    [​IMG]
    from Arkansas
     
  6. Birdman 95361

    Birdman 95361 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2011
    Oakdale, California
    The original owner told me I could put 25 birds in here, I chuckled a bit under my breath and said "no way". My ol' days of being in 4H
    came back to life in short order, LOL. What kind of space will I need for a roost and yard to house 20 birds?

    Kind regards,

    Richard
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
  7. Birdman 95361

    Birdman 95361 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2011
    Oakdale, California
    Quote:That's what I needed, and yes the will be free ranged at least 8 hours a day
     
  8. Birdman 95361

    Birdman 95361 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2011
    Oakdale, California
    Quote:Thank you very much!
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    It's really a lot more complicated than what is usually quoted here, 4 sq ft per bird in the coop and 10 in the run. A lot depends on climate; where I live I could get by with half that in the coop as long as they had plenty of space outdoors. Actually they don't even need a coop here; a three sided building is fine, not taking predator protection into consideration. (Here, I could have a 3 sided shelter with attached wired in run for that.) If they will be snowed in for a month or two, they may not do well with less than 10 sq ft per bird in the coop, alone. We have a Canadian member who allows 15 sq ft per bird because of snowed in periods.

    Here is an excellent writeup by another member about space:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=6815985#p6815985
     
  10. claudicles

    claudicles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The usual quoted area needed per bird, to avoid the risk of conflict, feather pecking, cannabalism and the like, is 4 square feet per bird in the coop and 10 square feet in the run. If they get to free range you can get away with a lot less. What you need to factor is how is your weather going to affect how much free ranging they get? If they are going to be cooped up for ages in winter then you will need to stick pretty strictly to the guides.
     

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