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new to BYC and chickens. Coop space question.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by wulfsong, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. wulfsong

    wulfsong Hatching

    Aug 19, 2008
    New Jersey
    My wife and I are new to this whole chicken thing and we just got 26 chicks (23 buff orpington pullets, 2 BO roos, and one unknown "free rare chick" we get to guess at). They are a week old now and we haven't lost any. We have an old kiddie pool set up as their brooder in a spare bedroom. Our coop construction is getting underway. We are converting an old shed attached to our garage. The shed is plenty big enough for 26 birds and my concern is that it is too big for them to stay warm in the winter. I live in southern New Jersey where our worst night temps occasionally drop into the single digits but is usually in the teens- twenty's (F). My initial plan was to put up a wall to give them an area about 10' x 13' but I was wondering if it would be feasable to leave all the space for them (about 20' x 13') and still keep them warm. Is there a "maximum space limit" per bird?
  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    Well the minimum amount of space per bird is 4 feet. Even if they end up having 5 or 6 or 7 feet, they'll be fine. They crowd together when they are cold.
  3. redoak

    redoak Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Russia, NY
    I think the extra space would be good in the winter when they don't want to go outside much. You could always use a heat lamp on the really cold nights.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    There is no such thing as too much space per bird. Even if (worst case scenario) you find their body heat being dissipated too much in winter, all you have to do is temporarily partition off a smaller portion of the coop for them to roost in (including a lower ceiling), and voila there ya go [​IMG] It doesn't have to be a fancy wall - even just an insulated curtain could help.

    You're in a warm enough climate though (I grew up just outside Philly, so I have some idea) that I don't expect you'll have any issues anyhow [​IMG]

    Have fun,


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