question about size?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kevin2010, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. kevin2010

    kevin2010 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2008
    tucker wv
    I started building the new coop today and as i was looking at it the frame i thought to myself this cant be big enough for 10 hens and a rooster can it?
    It is 6x6. Should i make it bigger or is this good?
  2. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Here's what I have learned reading, reading and reading some more on BYC. So I would know how to build a coop adequately.

    THe basic rule of thumb is 4 sq ft per LF; this is only a starting point. If you're in the north with harsh winters and the girls are likely to be snowed in, more is better. If they are out cruising the yard all day,everyday, the girls just need a roost for the night, less is fine. So . . . 6x6 is 36. Divide by ten birds. Then it's 3.6 sq ft each. NOTE: THere's a big difference between a 10 x 10 with 25 birds and a 3 x 4 with 3 birds. Bigger is always better. Also, this is housing only, not run space; run space is required, not an option.

    Good luck!
  3. Desert Rooster

    Desert Rooster El Gallo Del Desierto

    Sep 4, 2010
    Hesperia, Ca
    Doesnt hurt to go a bit bigger, my coop is 8x8x4tall and my run is 14x16x6tall and i plan on expanding both a bit this summer [​IMG]
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Also, if nest boxes are on the floor, this does not count as usable floor space for them. If you can raise the nests at least 12" (18" is better) above the floor, so they can walk under them, this is not the case.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Good for you to notice and think of this now [​IMG]

    6x6 is 36 sq ft, which would be 3.3 sq ft apiece for 11 chickens (plus whatever free range or run you provide them).

    Me, I've kept chickens at 4 sq ft apiece indoors (plus ample run) and at 15+ sq ft apiece indoors (plus ample run), and I'm talking *summertime* here, and they really DO behave a lot differently with more space available.

    So personally I feel that even though you CAN keep them in the more crowded condition, especially if you are in a location with mild winters, it is really better to give them a lot more room.

    That said, 3-4 sq ft apiece indoors (plus free range or run) is generally enough to avoid the worst chances of cannibalism AS LONG AS you do not have many days of nasty weather when they won't want to go outside.

    If you CAN make the coop bigger, I'd say for sure go for it -- for instance, it would not cost meaningfully more to expand to 6x8 because plywood is 8' long, or even 8x8 although then you'd have to undo all the framing plus have a little more rafter/truss support for your roof.

    If you realistically can't, well, your chickens would be happier (and your managmenet would be easier!!) if you reduced your flock size somewhat, but it is not like it's radically unreasonable to keep them at 3.3 sq ft apiece indoors plus run, at least not if you have mild winters.

    Good luck, have fun,


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