Realistic Run Space/Coop Space for Urban Coops

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tiffanyh, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    Great tractor. I am curious how many chickens you have? And I assume they are comfortable in there (why wouldnt they be!) spacewise.

    Thanks for the post!
  2. w8tn4fresheggs

    w8tn4fresheggs Songster

    Mar 24, 2007
    I have the Henspa which is considered a tractor. I believe it has 24 square feet of roosting and nesting space. Two roosts are 68 inches long. Below I have a combined covered and open run area of 48 square feet. I have 9 birds that are 15 weeks and 20 weeks old. 7 Standards and two banties.

    I think the coop space is spacious and plenty of room. A farmer said I could put 20 chicken in there. They all hang out right next to each other. Mine do go upstairs during the day to hang out on occasion.

    The run space, I would prefer to be bigger. Bigger is always better. I emailed Steve from the company and inquired about him building an extension to the run if I decide to keep it put and not move it during the winter. It would be very easy to do. Still the girls seem content and don't fight or anything.

    I move the Henspa almost every day when I let them out to free range in the evening. Therefore giving them fresh grass and bugs. My girls get to free range everyday for at least two hours or more. If they didn't get to free range, I think they would be fine. It is just something that I like to do for them.

    Overall I think the Henspa is a great product and I have been pleased.

    Last edited: Aug 29, 2007
  3. Omeletta

    Omeletta Songster

    Jun 12, 2007
    Alberta, Canada
    Suburbanhomesteader! Cudoes! (spelling [​IMG] ) I think that is marvelous, and am printing it off and copying! Hope that's ok? [​IMG] We are planning on tractoring meat birds next summer, on a borrowed acre, or 2, depending on the amount of birds. That looks exactly like what I want to do, with modifications for size according to bird count. Predator control would be electric mesh fencing. Thanks for sharing, and any advice on tractoring would be helpful. We have a small tractor in town for our 3 birds, just to make sure they get freshy (grass, bugs, and whatever else they can get their beaks on). But it is just a safety for "free ranging" when I can't watch them, the only perdators we have in town are cats, dogs and people. When I am outside they can range without the tractor. Thanks for any advice! [​IMG]
  4. biretta

    biretta Songster

    Jun 7, 2007
    As a newbie I found out the hard way that guidelines are not always applicable to reality. Last week I had to rehome 3 of my 5 hens. They were in a run 13'x7' and 7' high with a coop 3.5'x4' and they were miserable when they weren't free ranging. I don't know if I spoiled them but when I cut down on their free ranging time (from 2-3 hrs to 1 hr/day) they started squawking something horrible and paced along the pen. They were content once let out into the yard. This started soon after they began to lay. The lesson I think I can take from this is to be consistent. So to (kind of)address the topic at hand, they probably come to expect what becomes routine; according to the guidelines, 91 ft sq. of run space shoudl have been ample for 5 chickens but when I cut down on their time out in the yard, they were miserable.
  5. Omeletta

    Omeletta Songster

    Jun 12, 2007
    Alberta, Canada
    I agree with you, biretta, they like routine! They may be birds, but they are far from stupid.
    1 person likes this.
  6. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    There are many guide lines! this is what they know works! [​IMG]
    (they are guide lines any circumstance can change them)breed, climate, confiment, free range, etc...

    *If chickens doesn't have enough space they will peck each other!

    *If a chicken doesn't have enough fat in their diet they will peck each other!

    once these things happen it is hard to change the behavior it can also lead to cannibalisms!

    If you have a small area to work with you should get the right chicken [​IMG]
    you know a jersy giant will need less space than a 4.5 lb polish but are you in the right climate

    [​IMG] you want one that deals with confiment well!
    do you want an egglayer?
    do you want one you can handle?

    these sites will help you find the chicken for your needs

    If you watch your chickens you will know exactly what they need!
  7. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    I ment as Jersy Giant would need MORE space!
  8. nicolets

    nicolets Songster

    May 14, 2010
    Monroe County, PA
    Thanks for the post, tiffanyh!
  9. ThinkingChickens

    ThinkingChickens Songster

    Feb 18, 2011
    I don't subscribe to the standards. I can't even imagine how any large flock owner would keep their birds in 4sq feet per bird. My girls live three to an Eglu Go times two and they are healthy, good weight, never had any health issues, never had pecking. Their run is 9'x12' with six chickens. They sometimes get full yard access, but less since we had raccoons around.
  10. Chemguy

    Chemguy Songster

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    I treat the 4 sq. ft in the coop and 10 sq. ft in the run as a guideline, but I have not yet gone below that guideline. The way I see it, when on the roost there should be enough space available for birds that don't get along to stay out of each other's way. I figure that the roost length associated with a roomy enough coop takes care of this. The 10 sq. ft in the run, I believe, is the area that allows for adequate separation when outside of the coop. My birds do all get along, but I could not have known that in advance, so I followed the suggestions.

    I also believe that ample room allows for enrichment. If you've ever gone to a zoo and seen a human object like a toy, or a creative way of offering food, that's enrichment. It's what zookeepers do to keep the animals actively angaged in their surroundings. Boredom is not good for confined amimals, including chickens. For chickens a large enough run area, ability to free range, or the change that comes along with relocating a tractor provides opportunity for something 'new' to come along and spark interest. Balancing area and enrichment has worked well for my flock.

    So, what about an urban setting? I'd say that were I in that situation and using a coop I would consider the suggestions of 4+10 sq. ft first. If I couldn't meet that, then I would plan to add some regular enrichment. Dustbath areas, forage areas, oil seed tucked into nooks and crannies and perches in locations around the yard. Busy chickens are happy chickens.

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