Probably a really stupid question- Chickens and Rain vs Coop Size

HouseMouseHens

Chirping
7 Years
Jul 31, 2012
245
30
91
Portland, Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
So this is probably the dumbest question ever, but I've been wondering something. So everyone on here says chickens need at least 4sqft in the coop and 10sqft in the run, right, assuming they will spend most of their time in the run. So now that the rainy season is back (For the next 10 months) my girls have been coming out to eat and drink, and hanging outside in the warmest part of the day, but they spend most of their time huddling like sissies in the coop. It's not like it's THAT cold during the day (50s/60s) and the run is covered so they're not getting wet... They are between 9 and 12 weeks old, so they are totally okay to be outside..
My question is, if they are spending all their time in the coop, is the 4sqft going to be okay? I mean, it's not like they are confined in there, and the run is 14x10, so they have a lot of space to get away from each other if needed.
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
700
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
They'll be ok. I have range shelters that I built - I used plastic wavy roofing and firring strips. Like a large rectangular prism with a roof. I enclosed two sides also for them. I tie the shelters down so they don't blow away and weight them with concrete blocks on the bottom.

They practically live in them during the rainy season. They tend to last a couple of years before I have to redo the firring strips. Or you can put some free pallets elevated on concrete blocks and they will go under those (I have those too).
 
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Spangled

Songster
8 Years
Jan 12, 2012
865
99
158
Serenity Valley
My question is, if they are spending all their time in the coop, is the 4sqft going to be okay? I mean, it's not like they are confined in there, and the run is 14x10, so they have a lot of space to get away from each other if needed.

I wouldn't worry about them at all. Chickens are really smart at some things ... but it is a limited amount of things. That's for sure. But if they want to stay inside relaxing and seeming bored by our standards, then I'd give them my "stamp of approval." :)

I might make sure that they have a place outside in their run that is free from breezes so if they go out they won't have trouble maintaining their body temperature. Many of my chickens will stay out in cold (30s and 40s) almost all day if they have a place that's out of the breeze. They get their sunshine (Vit D3) and fresh air and a dust bath. But a couple really like to hang out in the chicken house.
 

cknkids

Chirping
7 Years
Jun 27, 2012
177
15
81
Camarillo, CA
I followed your post on building your coop. You've given them a palace. I expect since the first few feet are wood that they have a breeze free area, so they should be fine.
 

HouseMouseHens

Chirping
7 Years
Jul 31, 2012
245
30
91
Portland, Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
I wouldn't worry about them at all. Chickens are really smart at some things ... but it is a limited amount of things. That's for sure. But if they want to stay inside relaxing and seeming bored by our standards, then I'd give them my "stamp of approval." :)

I might make sure that they have a place outside in their run that is free from breezes so if they go out they won't have trouble maintaining their body temperature. Many of my chickens will stay out in cold (30s and 40s) almost all day if they have a place that's out of the breeze. They get their sunshine (Vit D3) and fresh air and a dust bath. But a couple really like to hang out in the chicken house.

The bottom almost three feet of the run is covered in wood all the way around, so the breezes really only occur above their heads anyways. Not to mention that the whole setup backs up to a fence, and there is also a tall fence on the other short side, so there isn't much of a breeze through there anyways.

I guess they are fine, just not used to the cold yet. Up until these last two weeks, it's been warm (hot even!) and sunny, and the rain and col has come on pretty quickly.
 

Spangled

Songster
8 Years
Jan 12, 2012
865
99
158
Serenity Valley
The bottom almost three feet of the run is covered in wood all the way around, so the breezes really only occur above their heads anyways. Not to mention that the whole setup backs up to a fence, and there is also a tall fence on the other short side, so there isn't much of a breeze through there anyways.

I guess they are fine, just not used to the cold yet. Up until these last two weeks, it's been warm (hot even!) and sunny, and the rain and col has come on pretty quickly.

Yeah, I just went to go look at your diary of a coop after I read cknkids's message was posted. Spectacular coop!

I think you're right about the cold coming on quickly. It's quite the adjustment ... both for your little pullets and for me! I'm staying inside a lot more than a few weeks ago. Brrrr.
 

CarolynF

Songster
9 Years
May 11, 2011
2,312
170
246
Puget Sound
My Coop
My Coop
Wow... I just looked at your coop, it's fabulous!
My birds can be either indoors or out, but they spend all the daylight hours out doors whether it's raining or not. Their pen is covered, but they go out into the fenced run (that isn't covered) to stretch their legs and see if any unlucky bugs have dared enter. hehehe.

I wonder if your young ones are spending extra time indoors simply because they're young/small. When they've grown more maybe they'll have more body mass and be able to withstand the colder days more easily? I don't know, just wondering. Definitely if they feel cramped they will venture out.
 

MANNA-PRO

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