Need help with coop size

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jim0526, Sep 20, 2011.

  1. jim0526

    jim0526 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 31, 2011
    Millbury, Mass
    I have 8 large breed chickens but I'm afraid that I may have built my coop to small. The coop dimensions are 4' wide by 4' deep, 5' high front and 4.5' high back. Currently the girls are only 8 weeks old and are loving there home. I'm afraid that they are going to run out of space though. Should I give them an addition or will they be fine? Winter is coming quick and I would rather not have to work on it when it gets cold. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. train2110

    train2110 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 6, 2010
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    People will tell you anywhere from 2 - 4 sqft per chicken, I tend to run to the larger. So, eight birds at four square feet is 32 square feet, you are at 16 square feet. Might get away with it for one year, but I would see about making something bigger or adding onif you can.

    P.S. Alway go bigger, chicken math adds up REAL QUICK! [​IMG]
     
  3. fireguy56

    fireguy56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 2, 2010
    Slidell, Louisiana
    Jim, Ditto on what train2110 said. The 4sf is rule of thumb and has alot to do with your weather in winter, bird size, temperment of birds, etc. Living in deep south cold ( especially snow) were not an issue for me. Yes we get some nights of low temps and dampness, but nothing lingering for too long. My girls have a large , safe from predator run which they are out in as soon as the door goes up. So I am not too concerned with the math. As long as they have roost space they should be fine, again depending on your weather and how long they meay be cooped up inside. Even with this said, ya might wanna consider an addition. Good luck
    Erik
     
  4. jim0526

    jim0526 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 31, 2011
    Millbury, Mass
    Guess I may have to build an addition then. I do have a roof from a pretty large dog house that I had saved from the original coop idea. It's about 4' by 4'. Back to looking on craigslist for some free wood. Now I have a 10' by 10" dog kennel that I wrapped with some welded wire. Is that enough for the run? Kind of on a tight budget. Hopefully that is big enough for the girls. The coop that is in there now is about 20" off the ground. Now I will be adding roughly 4' to the coop. Will I need to expand on the run?
     
  5. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    No you wont. Need 10 sq ft per bird for a run. You have 8 birds, 80 sq ft, you have 100 sq ft.. So, you are good there. You have plenty of extra room on that end.
     
  6. fireguy56

    fireguy56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jim, Ditto on that. Just be sure to try and close in the top to keep flying bad guys from grabbing your girls. Simple framing over top of dog kennel with shade cloth, wire mesh, netting...anything as a deterrant from an aerial attack. good luck.
    Erik
     
  7. fireguy56

    fireguy56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 2, 2010
    Slidell, Louisiana
    Jim, By the way....what part of the country are ya in?
     
  8. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Jim, I recommend 4 sq feet per bird. Now, it's not always necessary if you're in a climate where you don't have cold winters, but here in Ohio, they spend alot of time being cooped up because of the cold and windy winter days. So that's when you run into trouble with overcrowding. They will start to pick on eachother, pull feathers and even wound eachother, and that is not pretty!

    Your run sounds like it's plenty big, and what I do for winter weather, is tarp the run to block those harsh winds.

    Take care,
    Sharon
     
  9. jim0526

    jim0526 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 31, 2011
    Millbury, Mass
    My chicken run is currently covered by bird mesh because I know that we have hawks in the area. One of the things I made certain of when building my coop was to make it as predator proof as possible. Thanks to BYC and the many ideas on the coop page. I live in Massachusetts so the weather here can be unpredictable. Winters can get pretty cold. I am a bit concerned about keeping them warm, but I figured I would give the deep litter method a try. I was told it actually can help with keeping the coop warm. Don't know if that is true or not. My biggest concern though was the space in the coop. My girls are as happy as can be now. I don't want them to get cranky if they have to stay in the coop for any length of time. When I am home I let them out of there run so they can free range. I don't know who get's more excited about that, my son, me or the chickens. So if I added another 4' to the coop I should be ok? I'm new to owning chickens. As if everyone couldn't already tell. [​IMG]
     

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