measuring inside coop space question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chris Herzog, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. Chris Herzog

    Chris Herzog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2011
    Guys, Gals....
    I have a question about measuring the sq ft space inside the coop. I'm just trying to get the most out of what I already have so please bear with me. Lets say the inside of my coop is 8' x 8' if I were to build a shelf about 36" off the floor that would be say 4' x 8'. Would this mean that instead of 64 sq ft...could I then say that I have 96 sq ft inside that coop. So instead of only being able to have 16 lg fowl, I could then keep 24 lg fowl inside the same coop providing I have enough roost space?

  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    It all depends on your climate- if you have your chickens basically living inside during snows, then space is vital. If they just lay and sleep in there, and maybe snack on crumbles here and there, you can get away with more chickens. In other words, I'd not count the shelf space as floor space if you are having them in there all winter.

    I have a shed coop that is around 6 feet by 10 feet. The comfortable number of large fowl is 20 in there because in my climate they tend to use the coop mostly just for laying and sleeping. More chickens than 20, and it just feels like it is too dirty/crowded. With bantams I can squeeze a few more in.

    Also- you want to observe your birds to make sure they can get away from the pecking issues at dusk. You see, timid/lower pecking order birds get pecked by the higher pecking order birds if they roost too close. They then need to hop away to another spot. If there is no other spot, they endure the pecking and try to hide under the mean bird. This is awful and they may become bloodied if they are aggressive enough. Sorry if you know all this already! Just thought I'd mention it.

    The chickens who are timid will just sit on the roosts in the morning and not come down until the mean ones have cleared out and left. If they are staying in there, then they will spend the day up and away from the food unless you have few enough chickens that there is definitely room for them and they won't be bullied.

    This is a space issue as well as a pecking order issue. The more crowded it is, the less the timid hens will eat if confined to a shed.

    You can always get your chickens and then sell them if overcrowded???

    Oh I also wanted to mention that the usual space requirements quoted here on BYC are as follows:
    4 square feet per chicken inside the coop plus 10 square feet per chicken in the run.I

    I have noted that when I have hutches inside my shed, the chickens still use the floor space and need that space. They use the top of the hutches at night.

    Have fun!
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  3. Time-Out

    Time-Out Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    The Peak District, UK
    Short answer: no. A shelf does not count as floor space :)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by