Newbie coop question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mnjpando, May 16, 2010.

  1. mnjpando

    mnjpando In the Brooder

    May 16, 2010
    I am just starting and I no nothing.. So now with that being said.. I decided to try and build a coop. I would like to know how many hens (leghorns) or (RI Reds) I can hold in it and and 1 ROOSTER. I think the image post should be correct. Please look at my coop design and let me know. I would also like to know where I should put the roost rails? .Dimensions are 43" X 43" and on the high end of the coop its 48" high.. As I said I am a total newbie here to this site and to chicken raising. as suggestions will be appreciated....

  2. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    One common rule of thumb used is 4 square feet per bird of coop floor space, plus 10 square feet of floor space per bird in an outdoor run.

    The roost should be positioned so that drafts from the vents don't blow directly onto the birds. Ventilation is very important for chickens, as described in this excellent page on the subject:

    In terms of the width of the roost, figure that your roost needs to be about 1 foot long for every chicken.

    These are just guidelines, though. I don't think anyone is every sorry to exceed these minimums. The more space chickens have, the happier they are and the easier it will be for you to keep their living quarters clean and healthy for them.
  3. adeechickluv

    adeechickluv Songster

    Mar 23, 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    I agree with elmo, but I'm going to say 2-4 chickens will fit in there. Roosters need the same amount of space as hens, so one can be a rooster.
  4. rebecky1305

    rebecky1305 Songster

    Aug 19, 2009
    Lansing, MI
    The square feet for chickens is measured in floor space. The height do not play into how many birds the coop will hold. Also anything that takes up floor space must be taken into consideration ( feeders, nestboxes, etc.) If you can hang or wall mount any of these that would reduce the space taken up by these. Just a suggestion.
    Oh and [​IMG] Glad you could join us!
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    [​IMG] Welcome [​IMG]

    That rule of thumb Elmo mentioned is intended for everyone from Anchorage Alaska to Phoenix Arizona, from Perth Australia to Inverness Scotland and it does keep a lot of people out of trouble. And I 100% agree that more space is better, whether in the coop or in the run.

    There are a whole lot of different assumptions that go into that 4 square feet. With your small coop, some of them won't apply. One assumption is that you have enough chickens that the averages mean something. The 4 square feet is supposed to allow you enough room for all the chickens to eat at the same time and have reasonable access to the water while still leaving you enough room to put the roosts so they will not poop in the food and water while roosting. That is hard in a small coop. It also assumes you will keep your chickens locked in the coop for several days at a time, maybe because of winter weather but here could be other reasons, or often for long periods during the day, say you really like to sleep in. If chickens are too crowded for very long, they can do serious damage to each other. Your climate and management style enters into it. If they have regular access to more space outside you can get by with less room in the coop. If you feed and water in the run instead of in the coop, you can get by with less room but that means they have to have regular access to the food and water. Part of the space requirement is poop load that a coop or run can handle under "normal" conditions, whatever they are. With a small coop and especially a crowded coop, you have to manage the poop more often.

    You have about 12 square feet in your coop. If you have to leave them locked in there and feed and water in there, I'd hesitate to go with more than 3 chickens. if you can set it up where it is basically just for roosting and maybe a nesting box and they can reliably spend most of their waking lives outside, you could probably go with 6 total. That is for full sized fowl. If you go with bantams, I'd say 4 or 8 maximum.

    Good luck!

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