open air coop size for 6 LF chickens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by wahmommy, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. wahmommy

    wahmommy Songster

    Aug 14, 2010
    So I live in Southern California, and we (surprise) want more chickens, so we are going to build an open coop (like a large screened rectangular box) with nest boxes and roost and run all combined. It will be tall enough for us to walk into. [​IMG] So I've been reading general recommendations, but I am bad at the math - what size do I need to make it? It won't be a separate coop and run, it's all one thing- can you give me a good idea of how many square feet I need of floor space?
  2. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

    Aug 3, 2011
    Long Island, NY
    Whatever size you decide, make it bigger. You are going to want more!
  3. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Quote:X2 that seems to be what is the most common complaint!! Chicken Math!!
  4. CupOJoe42

    CupOJoe42 CT Chicken Whisperer

    Apr 11, 2011
    This is how to figure it out easily:

    # chickens x #sq. ft. recommended = l x w (in ft.)

    if you have 6 LF chickens, the coop should be 6 x 4 = 24 sq. ft. minimum and the run should be 6 x 10 = 60 sq. ft. minimum.

    A coop that is 8 ft long and 5 feet wide is 8 x 5 = 40 sq. ft. Take that and divide by 4 : 40/4 = 10. It would hold 10 LF chickens.

    A run that is 8 ft. wide and 20 feet long is 20 x 8 = 160 sq. ft. Take that and divide by 10: 160/10 = 16. It would hold 16 LF chickens.

    Does that help with the math??

    Chicken Math just means that you can never have enough chickens, and your coop can never be too big!!
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I use 10 square feet per chicken for designs like that, the same as for a run. Not that you can't make it bigger than that. So, I'd say a minimum of 60 square feet. An enclosure 6' x 10' would be 60 square feet, as an example.

    If you can design one to take advantage of the size of the materials, that's always a good idea. A sheet of plywood is 4' x 8', so that's a good one to keep in mind. Also, the width of the wire rolls you'll be buying.
  6. fireguy56

    fireguy56 Songster

    Oct 2, 2010
    Slidell, Louisiana
    Hi, If I am understanding your design idea you plan to build a large wire mesh enclosure that will also have a "coop" area for nesting and sleeping in. I assume this will be on one end, proberbly raised. if so, for 6 girls you would need 60 sq.ft. of run area. however, like most people say...go bigger if ya can or build in such a way as to be easy to add on. As far as coop within the run ara, if it is raised you do not lose any of your net floor space and should figure on something based on 3-4 sq. ft. per bird. consider at least 1' per bird of roost space. Sooooo, a 6' roost would accomodate your 6 birds. If ya built a 6'wide coop(width of run) by 3' deep( to make it easy to reac h in for cleaning) that would be 18 sq. ft. and would proberbly be ok for 6 girls allowing 3 sq. ft. each. but as I said earlier, go bigger now if ya can. Hope this helps alittle. Good luck.
  7. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I use open air pens as I live in North Florida. I like having one end, north facing, made solid of wood or tin or something like that and a covered top. Be aware that rain blows in so they need to be able to get far enough away from the open sides to not get wet. I use tarps that I can lower in places to help with the rain when I know its coming. As it can get somewhat chilly here at times I put plastic on two other sides and always leave the south facing wall open to the air. I really like not having a coop.
  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    And to me, if they're contained 24/7 vs. let out daily for a few hours makes a difference in size too. I couldn't imagine keeping birds in a 10 sq. ft area if they didn't get out a bit each day. As has already been said, build bigger than you think you'll need - there is no such thing as too much space - only too small a space. Personally, I'd figure in indoor AND outdoor space (general recommended minimums), then add in as much as you can afford to give them above this. So for 6 birds, I'd do about 14 sq. ft per bird, plus any extra you could go. A 10x10 dog run would work....if they're out for stretching daily, then you could get by with an 8x8. Remember to allow them a place to get out of the way of blowing wind/rain.

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