New to raising chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hholt, Mar 16, 2019 at 5:41 PM.

  1. Hholt

    Hholt Hatching

    My husband and I are starting to build a chicken coop. We’ve done tons of research, but would like advice on what works/doesn’t work. Our biggest concern is having enough space and the right kind of space. What space should I prepare specifically for roosting? How much of a chicken run should I have? How many nesting areas should I have if I’m planning on having 12 chickens?
    Melky and DobieLover like this.
  2. A_Fowl_Guy

    A_Fowl_Guy Wildlife Biologist

    Jan 29, 2019
    Newberry, Indiana
    4sqFt per chicken for the coop
    10sqft per chicken for the run
    1 nesting box for 4-5 hens.
    Melky likes this.
  3. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

    Jul 23, 2018
    Apalachin, NY
    My Coop
    The numbers @A_Fowl_Guy provided are minimums.
    I use double the run size shooting for 20 sq ft per bird. I also have my coop and run built completely integrated and secure with 2' wide buried predator apron, all openings covered with 1/2" HC and 2 hot wires around the entire perimeter.

    Because I never close my pop door, the birds are always out in the run waiting for me in the morning. This is where they spend their winter time as I cover the walls of the run with tarps to block the wind.

    Do not under size your coop and run as you will eventually regret it.
  4. Melky

    Melky Can’t wait for Spring!

    Jul 23, 2018
    Edgewood, KY
    My Coop
    Agree with everyone on coop/run space. Roosting space should be 10-12 inches per bird and need both inside of coop and in run. Can be same level or multi level.
    trumpeting_angel and DobieLover like this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop

    Attached Files:

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  6. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

    Aug 30, 2017
    Poplar Bluff, MO
    My Coop
    If I was starting over from scratch and I am I'd build a coop suitable for humans to get into and clean and service ie a walk in coop. Raised floor coops (and I have one) are just a pain to do anything in and under them. Roosting space generally is 1' per bird having said that I have 11' of roosts in the now roost box (I thought I was building a coop from internet research) and I see up to 7 RIR hens on one 4' roost. The roost is 1' off the floor so they can hop up and down.

  7. Ghosty

    Ghosty Songster

    Jun 26, 2018
    SW Missouri
    I have 18 birds on a 12 ft roost. They have more space, but prefer the top. Bigger is better on the coop, imo. Mine is just a '15 x '16 section of outbuilding with the front cut out for ventilation, a couple 12' roosts in the back, and a few big buckets for nesting. I need to add a couple windows and a couple vents up top in the back yet. Are you going to free range? That can determine whether you want a big covered run or not.
    20190318_192222.jpg 20190318_192217.jpg
    trumpeting_angel likes this.

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