Just how big does a chicken coop need to be?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ravingbantha, Apr 5, 2016.

  1. ravingbantha

    ravingbantha In the Brooder

    Apr 5, 2016
    Whitehall, Mi
    Building my first chicken coop for my first flock of chickens, I've done tons of research on coop sizes and from what I've read I need the following...

    4sq ft per bird
    1 nesting box per 4 birds
    18" of roost space per bird.

    Currently I have a dozen chick's of various breeds (no bantams) so according to everything I've read I need a coop that's 48sq ft and 4 nesting boxes, and 18 feet of roost space.

    So far the coop is coming along nicely, expecially considering I've never built anything that didn't come in a box from a store with instructions in 4 different languages. However looking at what I've got so far, it seems awfully big. Coops I see being sold online, and the ones I see in the store seem to have much less floor space per bird. My chickens will have a large yard to roam in, and a coveted run as well (25 sq ft per bird), so the coop is just a place to sleep and plop out eggs. Even during the winter I will have a covered and enclosed run area for them, So with that in mind, how big should my coop have been, and how many birds will the one I'm building hold?
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    [​IMG] When it comes to coops, BIGGER is better. Given the large run and potential covered run you can handle more birds than you have (and that's a good thing as these creatures are addictive.) If you have really cold winters, the birds will be spending much of their time in the coop, and that is when boredom and bad habits may start - so BIGGER is better. Good luck with your flock.
  3. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chirping

    Jan 24, 2016
    I have a 6x8 coop for 9 chickens. I only started with 8 foot of roosting space, running a 2x4 the length of the coop. I was planning to add a second one along the 6 foot wall. However they have plenty of room and often times have a few feet left over as they tend to cram together on one end. Unless I start to see some signs of trouble I don't plan to add any more right now, unless I end up getting a couple more chicks next year.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by