Need recommendations: how many chickens can I have

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by leafinator1999, Jan 9, 2015.

  1. leafinator1999

    leafinator1999 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 27, 2014
    I currently have a coop that's a bit over 100 sq ft. I currently have 26 chickens in total: 23 hens and 3 roosters. There is a main door into the coop and a large cut out (like a dog door but with no flap) for them to go outside in. The area outside, where they spend most of their time is huge. If I remember correctly it's in the range of 200+ linear feet with an electrical fence outside of the regular fence to keep predators out. The chickens can NOT get to the electrical fence so there's no danger to them. Inside the coop I have 2 metal 6 count nesting box raised above the ground and a 10' 2x4 for them to perch on at night to sleep. I would guess about 18 chickens (maybe more) using the 2x4 for sleeping at night. The others have corners that they cuddle into with others at night. I thought about increasing the amount of chickens we have in the spring. As far as how many I'm not sure. Thoughts?
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    What is your location/climate? This will play into the interior space and any potential issues with the issues that can arise in overcrowded conditions when birds are confined to the interior space for extended periods of time (confined meaning not only when you might physically lock them in but also when weather would cause them to choose to stay inside).
    I would suggest adding some additional roosting space as 10' for 26 birds is not sufficient - and would be even more insufficient with the addition of more birds.
     
  3. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    You need more roosting space, 10 feet is not enough. You need more like 20. What do you mean by 200 linear feet? 200 By 200? I think you could get away with like 6 more, if they have a bit of outdoor room.
     
  4. leafinator1999

    leafinator1999 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 27, 2014
    Thanks for your posts! I've been thinking of adding another 2x4 so I'll add another one this weekend. I live in Dawsonville, GA which is about an hour north of Atlanta. The climate is mild here during the winter although the last couple nights have gotten down to around 10 degrees overnight. Currently we never lock the chickens inside so when they wake up they eat, drink some water and then go outside. By linear feet I mean if you measured all 4 sides it would add up to over 200'. I'm pretty bad with distances but I'm going to guess that the run is around 40' X 30'. We have room to add more nesting boxes in the coop if necessary but I'm trying to do avoid it if at all possible so there's more room in the coop for them to hang out in. I've never had any issues with any of the chickens being picked on apart from the normal and expected determination of the pecking order.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  5. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    The run might sound big, but it really is not if they have to always be in there. I have 2000 square feet for about 20 chickens and twelve ducks, and that is with free ranging. Since you live in a warmer state you could get away with like 35 in the coop because they likely would not be in there often. But if you have that many, you should expand the run. they say you get away with ten feet, but you will have no plants and a dust bowl.
     
  6. leafinator1999

    leafinator1999 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 27, 2014
    Expanding the run isn't an option due to how it's built so I'll keep that in mind. Even with the cold blast of the last few days all but 1 chicken spend most of the time outside all day. The rest of them will filter in and out to feed, drink or lay eggs. Assuming they'll leave it alone I plan to plant a few cherry tomato vines in the spring to give them a treat. I may plant some other things as well. I have a large pile of wood mulch from a healthy tree that was cut down today so I thought about spreading that over a large area that has turned into a mud pit due to all the rain of the last 2 weeks. The idea is to dump their poop over it and "feed" the soil so it'll grow better things in the spring.
     

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