Newbie questions:)


9 Years
Jan 3, 2012

My name is Lauren and I live in western NC. I am in the process of getting my coop built, and ordering chicks for the spring. I have two things that I am not sure about...can anyone here advise me? coop is 6x8, and is about 7 feet tall inside. I have plenty of area for an outside run. How many chickens can I house in a coop this size..? I have room for 12 nestboxes inside (across the back wall...6 on bottom and 6 on top), but am not sure how many chickens share what size space. On one hand, I want them to have ample room, on the other, the more the warmer in the winter months.

Also...can more than one rooster (if raised together from chicks) live in a flock? I only have so much room, but would like to have 3-4 breeds (just a few of each...?) and would like to have a roo of each breed. Can this work?

Oh...and...what feeds are recommended? I don't mind spending a little extra on feed if needed...I just know nothing about brands/etc of chicken feed! I would really appreciate any advice anyone has time to offer

Thanks a bunch!!! I'm so silly-excited about my future chickens



8 Years
Jul 2, 2011
IN corn state
that size of coop i think 12 birds if you go 4sq per bird. (if wrong sorry)

I really dont think that would be a good idea. Mostly becuase of that would be to many roos for the hens to deal with. They would be way to stressed out and it could cause them to stop laying. Loose feathers from the roos and they could get hurt.

What i have been hearing is 1 roo for 7-10 hens. If not then those hens will get heck and woudlnt' be happy.

at first get Chick Starter feed crumbles. If you want med or non-med thats up to you. I would say go wiht med though.

Den in Penn

8 Years
Dec 15, 2011
SE Pa.
The size of the coop your plannig is only big enough for 12 full size birds, more if you get bantums. They will spend most of thier time outside in the run. So make that at lest 10sq feet per bird, if you have the room more is always good. If you have more than a half dozen
birds, in your area warmth should not be an issue.
Nest boxes; the rule I was brought up on is four birds per box. In my grandad's chicken house there was 36 in a pen of about 150 birds. From my recent reading that hasn't changed. Four boxes would be enough but since you have the room I'd put just a row of six, but thats me. They'll probably use only two or three at a time anyway.
One rooster to two or three hens is unlikely to work. Breeders often put two hens with rooster, but only for short time. Roosters can live together or not. But alas sooner or latter something usualy causes a ruccus.
Feed is something that depends on what is availble in your area and weather your care about organic. Most brands work fine.
Read as much as you can. Ask questions. BYC is a rich resource to use. So welcome and have fun.

NC ChickenKate

8 Years
Jul 30, 2011
Wilmington, NC
Hi from Eastern NC (Wilmington). There is a large group of NC chicken owners/breeders on this forum...go to the "where are you- where am I" thread and they'll be johnny on the spot with all the info you'll need for your area.
Welcome to the wonderful world of chickens!


8 Years
Oct 11, 2011
You really don't need four square feet per bird, if it's just for sleeping. If it has a run avaliable at all times, you can probably fit more than 12.


9 Years
Apr 29, 2010
Washington, NC
Greetings from the Inner Banks of NC

I will agree that 12-14 birds would be your limit, but I would suggest that you start with 8 or 9 if your having a rooster, I really enjoyed letting my broody sit and hatch out chicks
and the chicks will fill your coop for you next year.

I would just do 1 roo, not 1 of each breed.. just one. period. I have 14 hens and only 1 rooster.. he runs them around a lot lol. ( I also have 7 chicks about 2 months old)

as for feed, what I do is start the chicks with a small bag of the medicated feed, then flock raiser till' they start laying, after that it's layer crumbles ( I use Purina Layena) crumbles are a bit messier, but my flock likes them better than pellets.
during the summer I give them some BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) in the mornings. just toss a couple handfuls in the run, they love it. and in the winter i do scratch grains the same way. scratch has a bit more fat i think i read somewhere.. and they need a few extra calories to burn in the cold winter.

what breeds are you looking at?

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