Question about run size

R3bauer

Songster
6 Years
Nov 9, 2013
123
330
182
Dubuque, Iowa
I am getting about 15 chicks so I have a little time yet but I am wondering about run size? I am getting BO and Austies. Would a 10ftx10ft run be big enough? Or should I go a little bigger?
Thank you for your advice!
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
18,537
632
South Park, Colorado, USA
If they do not free range and are confined to the run 24/7 I would recommend going bigger. At a minimum I would give 15 LF 150 square feet, but if you have the space to go bigger than that, I recommend it.
 

R3bauer

Songster
6 Years
Nov 9, 2013
123
330
182
Dubuque, Iowa
If they do not free range and are confined to the run 24/7 I would recommend going bigger. At a minimum I would give 15 LF 150 square feet, but if you have the space to go bigger than that, I recommend it.
I have plenty of space so that isn’t the issue, I just want them safe when not in the coop I also want them to be happy and comfortable.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
18,537
632
South Park, Colorado, USA
I had fully fenced (including top) 10 square feet per chicken prior to purchasing my birds as that seemed to be the magic number that people mentioned repeatedly. It's now been a year of them living in their coop/run. They do not free range. They are full grown. I feel this is not enough space for them and have plans for expansion this summer, but not for more birds, just for more run space for the existing birds. After a year I feel their 4 square feet each in the coop has been adequate, but in the run full time, 10 square feet per bird is not really enough.
 

JDN

Songster
Feb 28, 2018
387
437
143
Raleigh NC
I had fully fenced (including top) 10 square feet per chicken prior to purchasing my birds as that seemed to be the magic number that people mentioned repeatedly. It's now been a year of them living in their coop/run. They do not free range. They are full grown. I feel this is not enough space for them and have plans for expansion this summer, but not for more birds, just for more run space for the existing birds. After a year I feel their 4 square feet each in the coop has been adequate, but in the run full time, 10 square feet per bird is not really enough.
Out of curiosity, how muddy/dirty is the ground? I get that CO isn't exactly a swampy state but I'm still curious if they totally rub it barren. I'm in the process of setting out my run and am not totally certain as to what the "optimal" size will be.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
18,537
632
South Park, Colorado, USA
Absolutely barren once the chickens went in. If we got more rain it would be a mud pit, as is, it's more of a dust bowl.

I don't have a manicured town golf course looking yard, but the rest of the lot is a meadow with thick tall grasses and wildflowers. The chicken run hasn't had a single blade of grass or plant growing in it since about a week after they moved in. That is with 10 square feet per bird. This is one of the reasons I want to give them more space, even if it's just a fenced bit of the field they can go in supervised from time to time, I want them to have a chance to forage some and enjoy the plants and bugs. I'm not sure how much space they would need for grass to still grow in the run.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,102
33,595
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
The 10 sq ft minimum recommendation is just that, a minimum, so if you do have the space to spare you'll never regret going bigger than you need. Extra space helps cut down on any tension in the flock plus give them room to stretch their wings a bit more.
 

MANNA-PRO

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