Majorly confused. Need help with how many birds my new coop can hold!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Nupine, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. Nupine

    Nupine Songster

    Nov 21, 2007
    Ok, we will be soon done with our new coop. It is 18' by 8' and is divided into 4 sections. It will be hold breeding groups and young birds that I will be keeping or selling. I said I could keep about 3 adult large fowl [such as my turkens] in one of the 4.5' x 8' pens. Not bad. Maybe 5 turkens, but no more. But my dad was completly shocked when I said that. He said I wouldn't have a problem keeping 40 adult birds in one of the pens!! Not the whole thing, just one 8' by 4.5' pens!!! Now you must understand, I am an animal obsessed, p**a, vegetarian person, and my dad is an an animal is an animal, meat loving, just want animals that make money, pulled into the driveway and asked what kind of chickens in that run are those, and they were sultans which I have had for over a year and talk about them all the time, type of person. Some of the breeds I have are D' Uccles, Turkens, Sultans, Silkies, etc. So how many birds can each pen hold? Adults and 2 month olds.
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    One of the general guidelines is for 4 sqft inside per bird and 10 sq feet outside per bird.
  3. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    you can have 10 to 12 chickens pre pen.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    There are three main factors limiting how densely you pack the chickens into a coop: a) the birds' happiness, which I will admit different people have different subjective opinions on; b) their health, and below 4-6 sq ft per bird plus run space you DO have greater chances of problems wth cannibalism and disease; and c) sanitation. Once you get past a certain density you are just GOING to have a nasty smell and (very very frequent!) horrible cleaning job to do, no matter what, because too many chciken feet just sort of pounds their poo into a packed ucky smelly layer. Fewer chickens are *much* easier to manage [​IMG]

    Quote:8x4.5 is 36 sq ft.

    You would have a heck of a time FITTING 40 adult standard chickens in that space, it would be not much more than the size of a piece of writing paper per chicken. There would be virtually no floorspace, at any time, not actually occupied by a chicken. 1 sq ft per chicken is how commercial broilers are raised in factory farms.

    Half that many, giving them about 2 sq ft per bird, still an awfully big lot of birds in not much space. It would not be quite so bad if they spend all day every day outside in your yard or something, but is still extremely crowded and gonna be the big Kick Me sign for pecking, cannibalism etcetera to arise. Basically, you have zero margin of error and have to trust to luck.

    What's generally considered a 'socially acceptible minimum' [​IMG] around here, largely for reasons of chicken happiness and health, is a minimum of around 4 sq ft per chicken indoors, PLUS 6-10 sq ft per chicken of run space. At that stocking density, your pen would hold 3-4 chickens if they are in the pen 24/7, or up to 9 chickens if they have the abovementioned run space for use during daylight hours.

    Good luck,

  5. Nupine

    Nupine Songster

    Nov 21, 2007
    So could I keep a trio of standard turkens in there?
  6. pattycake

    pattycake Songster

    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    Do they get any outside run space or do they freerange? That makes a huge difference.

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