Question about sq. feet per bird

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by georgialee, May 8, 2009.

  1. georgialee

    georgialee Songster

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    I know it's supposed to be 4sq. ft. per bird, but is that for cold climates? We will probably only have a handful of days per year that the birds would stay in their coop. The run will be large (20x20) and part of it will be covered - about 33 sq. feet per chicken. In this situation do you think a little over 2 square feet per chicken in the coop is okay?

  2. Omran

    Omran Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Quote:I still will build a coop with 4 sq feet per bird, bigger always better.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Part of the 4 square feet per chicken is to give them enough room so they don't go cannibal if they are stuck in there a lot. Part of it is to handle the poop load. Part of it is to give the chickens room to get to the feeders and waterers and give you room to put the feeder and waterers away from the roosts so they are not pooping in them.

    If you feed and water outside, you eliminate the component needed for them to get to the feed and water. You also reduce the poop load because they don't spend as much time inside. The food needs to be under your cover where it will stay dry. If you put the nesting boxes outside the coop, you give them even less reason to be inside. About all you are using the coop for is a roosting area.

    I grew up outside of LaFollette. With your climate, the birds will be able to go in a covered run practically every day of the year unless the climate has gotten a lot worse in the last 30 years. If you do not leave them locked in the coop after daylight so they can get to the food and especially water when they wake up, 2 sq ft per chicken should be enough.
  4. georgialee

    georgialee Songster

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    Thank you! Yes, I will be putting the food and water outside... easier for me to change and less reason for the chickens to stay in the coop. I didn't realize you could put nest boxes outside of the coop - do they lay just as many eggs? Do they like them being outside?

  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    IMO if ALL they do is sleep in there, they have covered area outside and in a warm climate they should be outside every day of the year -- then yes I think you could squeeze by, but you'll have to add on sooner!! It's an addiction you know [​IMG]
  6. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    They like the nest boxes to feel "hidden." Facing a wall or whatever. If you can pull this off outdoors, as with a covered cat litter box, I am sure it would be fine.

    And remember that about half the poop is dropped at night from the roosts.

    I certainly agree with Omran that bigger is always better. I have gone with 4 sq ft per bird for coop but will never have their outdoor space as small as 10 sq ft per bird. JMO.
  7. lunkerchicken

    lunkerchicken Songster

    I am following the 4 sq feet inside and on the outside, they will have 16 sq feet to play in. From reading on this site, more room is better for a lot for a lot of the reasons described above.

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