Optimal flock for henhouse

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Eggthusiast, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Eggthusiast

    Eggthusiast Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2008
    A year ago, I built a 10-foot by 12-foot henhouse. Right now, I have 16 hens. There hasn't been any problems with that size flock. But I would like to double that number next spring. I'm concerned, though, about overcrowding. Would that size henhouse handle 30 hens? What do you think is the optimal flock size for a 120 square foot structure?
     
  2. kmom246

    kmom246 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 20, 2008
    Nevada
    10*12= 120 sq ft
    If the chickies will have access to a run all year round (i.e. won't have to live in the coop for days at a time when winter weather precludes them going outside), then 4 sq ft per chicken is ok. Otherwise, if there will be times when they are "cooped up," so to speak, then 10 sq ft per bird or more is the recommended space.

    Your current stocking rate is
    120 sq ft coop/ 16 current chickens = 7.5 sq ft per chicken

    If you up that to 30 chickens, then the rate is
    120 sq ft coop/ 30 chickens = 4.0 sq ft per chicken

    Bigger is better, especially if they hang out inside a lot. The smaller the coop, the more frequent cleaning it will need.

    My coop is 16 x 16 = 256 sqft / 27 chickens = 9.48 sq ft per chicken - a little on the cramped side on days that they have to stay in. In our area, that's usually only a few days here and there through the winter.


    Hope this helps.

    PS If you find 16 hens fun, you will find twice that many twice the fun! Good luck and many chicky blessings to you!
     
  3. Eggthusiast

    Eggthusiast Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 18, 2008
    Your post was enlightening. Thank you much.
     
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 12 birds in a 9 x 11 space and it's perfect. There's a lot to be said for staying with a flock size without undue competition for space. Your birds will be healthier too.[​IMG]
     
  5. kmom246

    kmom246 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 20, 2008
    Nevada
    Thank you for your kind words. This is the first time I raised chickens from babies and the first time I'm raising chickens in 20 years. I forgot the most basic thing of coop design - plan for about 500 times the number of chickens you think you will have, because chickens are addictive! You would think with a large coop, large run and 27 chickens, that I would be more than content... and yet, not even a year later, I find myself in Eggthusiast's position - wondering if I can find a way to include even more chickens in my flock! And I haven't even gotten a single egg yet!!! How unbearable will I be when I do have eggs to crow about!?!
     
  6. Adri

    Adri Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2008
    Quote:If only I had received this advice sooner!
     
  7. Leah-yes I know I'm crazy

    Leah-yes I know I'm crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 24, 2008
    Skidway Lake, MI
    Quote:If only I had received this advice sooner!

    My husband and I used to talk about andding onto the house. Now we talk about adding onto the coop. It's more important and no permits required.
     

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