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Question on size of coop

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Berkshiremom, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. Berkshiremom

    Berkshiremom In the Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2010
    Western MA
    Hi, I was wondering if a 4x8 coop will be big enough for 9 hens and 1 roo, it will have a attached covered run for additional space, however we are in New England and the weather gets very cold in the winter, so they may have to stay just inside the coop on blustery days....Just want to make sure it's big enough...thoughts appreciated.
     

  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Assuming that no floorspace is taken up by feeder/waterer (probably not a valid assumption in that size coop), 4x8 is 32 sq ft, which is 3.2 sq ft per chicken.

    *I* sure wouldn't do that for chickens in a nasty-winter area. The chances of getting into picking/cannibalism problems are substantial, and it will be hard to keep good air quality (especially since smaller coops like that are not as easy to ventilate without drafts on the chickens) thus your frostbite risk will be higher.

    So, I mean, you can try it if you want. It might work, some people get lucky. On the whole, however, it would sure be better to have at LEAST 2x that size coop (or half the chickens); more space would be better. (Having tried various arrangements, I won't go lower than 10 sq ft per chicken indoors, myself -- similar climate to yours, here -- and really find that 15 sq ft per chicken indoors, plus covered windblocked run, works noticeably better)

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yes, watch them very closely, because that is pretty tight on space, and bullying behaviors often result from overcrowding. IMO, that is not enough space for your number of chickens (in other words, I wouldn't do it myself). I go by the general rule of thumb of a "minimum" of 4 sq. ft. of housing space, although I certainly can't imagine my chickens only having 4 sq. ft. each, especially after last winter, when they stayed inside quite a bit (and that was with 5 fairly mild birds in a 6 x 8). While the birds are chicks, the coop looks roomier. And in the warm months, when the chickens are almost never inside except at night and to lay eggs, the coop looks roomy. But trust me...that changes when the birds are full grown and spending much of the day inside. You might consider downsizing your flock, or adding to your coop housing if possible.
     

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