Less Than 4 sq ft Interior Space per Bird

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kmpcfp, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. kmpcfp

    kmpcfp Chirping

    Mar 24, 2014
    I know rule of thumb is 4 square feet per bird.

    Is that interior space or combined space?

    I have 6 full size birds (and 5 4 week olds) in an 18ish square foot coop. I never have to change the shavings on the side opposite the roost because they never use that side. They literally enter to roost and use the next box, even on 0 degree blizzard conditions, they prefer to be outside if it's day. The run is predator proof, so they have access to it 24/7.

    Our run is about 100 square feet, mostly precipitation free (covered in a tarp).

    They also get supervised free ranging a few times a week.

    I have no problems with pecking/aggression. Though, the rooster has a favorite hen.

    I am asking because of the chicks... I will be keeping the pullets (and cockerels until slaughter). Not sure who is who yet.

    I need an addition... How much bigger??
    Here is the coop before I added the run a few years ago.

    The run goes to the left of the coop about 10 feet (and underneath) and is deeper than coop (total depth about 8 feet) and area under coop (16).




    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016

  2. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Songster

    Jul 19, 2016
    The more space the better but a lot of people have problems with cannibalism because they don't have enough space
  3. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Crowing 5 Years

    Dec 6, 2012
    New Brunswick,Canada
    The rule of thumb does not apply to every flock and variety of chicken or coop. In a perfect world you are most likely to have no problems if 4 square feet per bird is allowed (that being said there is still no guarantee.)
    You may have no problems with that number of chickens in your set up if they were all the same age and raised from chicks in the same flock.

    You may only a few problems if you keep them all together with out changing a thing it is hard to predict.
    I know form my experience blending two flocks usually is challenging.

    To help in the transition I have found two different feeding and watering areas and a place where the birds at the lower end of the pecking order can seek sanctuary can help until the flock becomes familiar with one another.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016

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