loft in the coop/ can this count as added square footage?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by michael&Kari, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. michael&Kari

    michael&Kari Hatching

    Apr 29, 2008
    I built a coop which I found out later is not big enough for the 20 birds I now have. The coop is 14x6 (roughly) It is 8' tall. I'm wondering, if I were to add some sort of loft T one end. Say, the width squared. Would this be considered actual square footage. I figure I could easily add 36 sq. ft. This way and then it would be more than large enough. But, would I really be able to count the space?

    Thank you!
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Well, depends on the birds. Many find the min 4 sq foot space is not nearly enough when it comes to real pet bird comfort. If they get to free range all day long and don't have to stay in for winter, then you could even get away with like 3 sq ft per bird. But I suspect that a loft could count as added space, but that if the food and water aren't up there, the low birds would be at the top during the day, and the high birds will be sleeping up there at the night.
  3. Alaska animal lover

    Alaska animal lover Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    Palmer, Alaska
    Okay, I'm new at this, but I think your coop is large enough for the amount of birds you have.
    14x6=84sq ft
    84 divided by 4sq ft per bird minimum=21 chickens.

    Now, I don't know if yours is all coop and some storage, or a coop and run combo. If it includes the run or storage then I think you need to add on. Plus the food/water takes up some room.

    I think that 4 hens can share one nest box so you should have at least 5.

    I think there is a minimum amount of roosting space per bird as well.

    I don't really have an answer for you, that is the extent of my knowledge [​IMG]
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The thing is, chickens don't know from math, what they know is 'happy' (or at least 'not overly stressed').

    I would say that while adding a loft would not *hurt*, it is not going to be the same as if you added an equal amount of floorspace. (I think it would be a mistake to make a 6x6 loft, btw, as you will be unable to adequately clean it or reach to the back wall to retrieve things unless you build the *heck* out of it. It is hard to reach more than 3' deep, 4' *tops*)

    As another poster said, the first thing to make sure is that you have enough length of roost -- you need at least 8-10" per chicken and that's if they're all in a getting along mood.

    I am assuming this is just your coop space and you have ample (like, at least twice as much) outdoor run space as well? If so, it is not an egregiously small coop, it's about the same sq footage per chicken that most people here have. It may not be doing your birds any great favors but they will probably survive. If you run into problems (picking, etc) you might have to rethink things, but I don't see that there is an enormous Space Emergency. Again, assuming there is additional ample run space.

    Good luck,

  5. tvtaber

    tvtaber Songster

    Aug 2, 2007
    Central CA
    I agree with Pat (above), there is no cause for concern. Unless you are in a really severe winter climate the birds will not be inside all that much, so if the free range or have a decent sized run they'll be fine. A loft is a good idea, but I'd hate to be the one to clean it! Another concern I would have is them jumping off the loft, if it were 5 or more feet tall. They will climb up a ramp but will jump down, and the repetative stress may be an issue plus depending on what is in the way they may hurt a wing, etc. These are not graceful flyers...

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