Noob - Looking for space requirement info for hens


8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
The Cascades
Green to the forum. I am prepared to be hazed if that is how this works over here.

I live in the city limits. I am planning a small scale chicken coop. Their coop will be 4' x 8'. Their run will be 32' x 5' plus some extra around the coop area. Also, I will let them roam in the back yard now when I amout there.

Is this enough space for 3 hens and 5 "other" chickens. The others will only be around for 2 months or so. At max I would only have 8 chickens.

We converted our lawn to food garden. I was wondering if the chickens will eat sunflower seeds. I have dill, coriander, squash, sunflower (mammoth), tomato, peppers, beans. etc. I can keep the seeds to all the herbs and veggies. I bet they would like that.

Estimated time for pullets: Spring 2012
Here is what "should" be done each chicken should have 4sq ft in coop 10 sq ft in run. so lets break this down;)

4 x 8 coop = 32 sq ft=8 birds
32 x 5 run = 160 sq ft = 16 birds outside only

This is the PERFECT space for 8 chickens comfortably:)
My friend told me that the soil behund the garage isn't good for the chickens. She said they wouldn't be happy. The soil got a little compacted from the machinery running around. Our garage is less than 6 months old. I was going to till and bring in some topsoil for the back yard garden chicken area. Their coop is located under a large tree. Didn't want them to bake.

How do you do the dust bath area? Do you use diatomaeous earth? Do you put it in the coop?

On dustbathing... Chickens will pretty much create their own dust bath. I do sprinkle some DE in the run sometimes, but they just dig up a spot and then they all try to pile into the hole and the bathing begins.
I would not use De fully for a dust bath-to microscopically dusty and will get into their lungs and nasal passages really bad. I have sand and add De from time to time but it's amazing because they can make their own dust bathing spots out of just about anything!

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