Please tell me about my coop

Shelly Chip

In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 4, 2013
My coop is about 6 foot long by 4 foot wide. The inside space is about 4 foot by 2 foot. I am going to keep polish and silkies. I have one large polish but all the rest will be bantams.

1. How many chickens should I keep in this space? I was thinking of 4, but I am not sure if that is too much? They will not be able to free range.

2. Also, do I need to lock the chickens on that inside part every night and let them out every morning?

3. We are putting 12 inches of wire mesh in the ground to deter predators. Is there anything else I should do to keep my chickens safe?

4. Any tips on insulating the inside area? I was thinking of wrapping plastic around th the outside in winter (not air tight, of course.)


Question #1: I agree with you, you should probably keep no more than four birds in that area. Generally, you want to give each bird 2 square feet, and eight square feet divided by two equals four. I wouldn't put any more than four in.

Question #2: Once you have it predator proofed, there's no reason, in my opinion, to lock them in the coop during the night. My chickens have a coop with an elevated hen house like yours, and they can go from the hen house into the run all the time. I just keep the run door securely closed and latched.

Question #3: I think that this will be fine. My coop has an eighteen inch wire mesh "apron" around it. This way, predators can't dig in (to dig beneath, they would have to start eighteen inches a way from the edge of the coop, and most predators aren't smart enough to figure that out).

Question #4: Where do you live? In most places, you don't need insulation. Chickens are usually quite hardy. However, I think that because you are raising Silkies (which I believe are a little more cold sensitive), it would be a good idea to use some insulation. Putting plastic around the outside would work, but you can also attach it to the inner wall and cover it with some plywood. I also recommend wrapping the plastic on one side of the run. This cuts down on wind, which is more harmful to chickens than cold.
I am in Michigan. So I can get away with not insulating the inside of the coop?

That's a 2 chicken set up. It might meet chicken code but it's too small, IMO. I don't think 1 big bird with 3 small ones in such a small space is a good idea either. Might be some bully pecking on.
Everything else, what Wyandotte said.
Im in michigan with silkies and you don't need to insulate . Just make sure draft free. Silkies are originally from cold climates so they need no special care except making sure they stay dry.
Thanks. Do you think only two silkies should be in that coop, or would 3 or 4 be ok? I know they are smaller and I've heard they all pile up on each other to sleep anyhow?

I think 3 or 4 would be ok as long as they have run time. Mine sleep in piles. Don't even have a roost in coop for them. Just thick layer of shavings on floor. I do the deep bedding method.

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