Okay coop and run size ?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jcbchicken, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. jcbchicken

    jcbchicken New Egg

    Apr 19, 2012
    I am planning on three brown egg layers and have the following space:

    Raised Coop- 12 square feet.

    Fenced Run-- 40 square feet.

    I plan on keeping the birds in the coop/run area all the time (no free range) Is this enough space for the 3 chickens to live comfortably ?
  2. BetterHensandGardens

    BetterHensandGardens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2010
    Clinton, OH
    A recommended size for "non-caged" birds with access to outside pasture that is frequently used is 4 sq ft./bird indoors and 10 sq. ft./bird outdoors - so you have just enough room indoors and a little more outdoors. You might want to consider making the coop bigger though - chickens tend to "grow" on you - we also started with 3 and now have 24, both heritage Buckeyes for meat & eggs and Golden Buffs for just eggs. I know, you think that you won't want more................but it happens!
  3. Kikiriki

    Kikiriki Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2011
    Central Florida
    Hi JCBchicken,

    I have only had my three six week olds for one week, so I am no expert, but I will share my small experience and hours of research! My run is roughly 10 feet by 10 feet, and the coop is just 6.5 square feet. They are gold sex links, which should be medium sized birds of 4 to 5 lbs when full grown.

    At five weeks old, and in only two days, they wiped out the bugs in their run! There are no greens growing in there, but I bring them greens. So far they only like hibiscus and they will strip a foot long branch in 10 minutes!

    While the size of your facility is not crowded for them, they will get bored, so throwing down scratch on the ground in small quantities keeps them busy. They will decimate anything growing in there, though, so you will need to find them a source of forage materials. You could provide them with harvested greens or grow flats of greens to swap out. You could provide them with bugs and raise earthworms, mealworms, crickets, or even make bug traps. (I'm raising worms, but I also want to try hanging a trap by one of my low flood lights that stays on all night...always attracts tons of interesting bugs which will provide chickens with more variety and hopefully put a small dent in my huge bug population!)

    You will absolutely need to provide greens and/or whole grains/unshelled seeds: a study I read found feather pecking was reduced when unsoluable fiber was added to supplement the store bought feed diet.

    Chicken toys and entertainment might help keep them happy, too. Lots of interesting ideas in the forum. I was sitting in the run with them to let them get familiar with me so I brought in a plastic adirondack chair and plastic table: they like to hide under them both, as well as hop up on them to strut around, even though I gave them a low roost. I was thinking of rotating out some chicken safe potted shrubbery to provide a natural cover and a source of green forage. I want to plant grape vines, too.

    You might consider making a small mobile pen to move around the yard, which would benefit you by reducing feed cost and reducing weed and bug population. Something small out of pvc and wire, with a waterer and shade, that you could use while you're doing yard work or hanging out...

    So good luck, and post how the girls do when you them!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by