Room in coop for more and how many would be ok?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JeninMN, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. JeninMN

    JeninMN Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    We are wondering if we dare order more chicks this year..right now we have 26, soon to be 24 in a coop that is 8 x 16 or 128 sq ft and then we have a run outside of that that is roughly 480 sq ft when that is finished...

    We'd like to order more chicks but we aren't sure we have the room inside the coop....we'll have 1 roo and 23 hens...they'll be a year old on 4/7...

    It sure seems like there is room in the coop for more but we dont' want trouble by overcrowding...

    Thoughts on this? We dont' really have room to expand the coop itself...I am mainly thinking forward to next winter as well as this winter really would not have worked for them to be outside much at all....our run is on the south side of our shop so they may spend most of the winter "cooped up".

    Thank you!

    Jen in MN
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  2. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I am new to chickens, but in my reading, the number I usually come across is 4 square feet of coop space per adult chicken. That would work out to a total of 32 for you. Of course, I have also read that they need less indoor space if they have room and the ability to go out everyday in a run or free-range... I don't think it's an exact science, but it sounds like you have room for a few more...
  3. My chicken is cuter

    My chicken is cuter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2009
    Houston, TX
    It depends on where yo live because if you live someplace hot, and they don't spend that much time in the coop then you could fit around 40.

    But if you live where it's typically cold then 32 is a good number.
  4. Momma_Cluck

    Momma_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2008
    N. West Michigan
    Our coop is 14 x 16 and we figured we can have 40 full sized girls... so the banties are getting their own "Banty Shanty" so they won't get trampled anymore...

    the 3 books I have all say 2-2.5 squ ft per bird indoors and 4squ ft outdoors in the run.... I'd go for at least the 2.5 if not 3....

    so you have PLENTY of space for 30-40... remember-- the ONLY time they are usually all indoors is to sleep, or if the weather is really bad (ours often stay out in the snow/rain--go figure!)

    Make sure there are enough perches to go around!~
  5. morelcabin

    morelcabin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    I agree with Momma...I always went by the 2sq foot rule that I read in all my books...and it turned out ok for me. This winter I cut back alot and did find them easier to clean up after but they weren't any more or any less healthy than when they were more crowded
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If the MN in your username means you're in Minnesota, then I do not think it is quite accurate to say the "only" time they are in the coop is to sleep. At least, it is not accurate for 4-5 months of the year. Even if you have very winterhardy and 'brave' chickens, and a somewhat sheltered run, there will be a lot of stretches of weather when they will just want to be indoors.

    I'm kind of in a similar situation (not as cold as most parts of MN, but still gets down to -25 F or lower every year, and we're in a very windy open location) and I would not personally add any chickens past what you've got now.

    Just kind of depends on your ideas about the 'behavioral happiness' of your chickens, and what your actual chickens ahve been doing this winter, and how much you want to push your luck.

    Good luck whatever you decide,

    Pat, with 15 sq ft per chicken indoors and I really can't see me ever going much less than that here (I've tried it, and they just do not act nearly as happy and relaxed and natural, these particular chickens in this particular situation anyhow)
  7. Chickadee93

    Chickadee93 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 1, 2009
    I've heard that 10sq feet per bird is a good rule to go by, the bigger the better.
  8. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I believe the 10 and 15 sq ft per bird numbers are for situations where the birds are inside exclusively, including for months at a time in extreme winters. In other situations, I believe those numbers are really unnecesarily high.
  9. Momma_Cluck

    Momma_Cluck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2008
    N. West Michigan
    I did say MOST of the time.. not always hun...

    Mine go out in the snow, freezing rain I said before..
    but it's their choice.... not ;like I throw em out there! LMAO!

    I close the coop door when the temps Inside it drop below 40f due to the weather, and at night....

    Most of the time they are back and forth between outside and in-- so neither of the spaces are always occupied by all of them at once-- except in bad weather and at night...

    And even so-- if someone is giving them more than 2.5 per chicken, that is better than suggested by most poultry books...
    I go by 3ft per bird... but that wasn't exactly her question.

    you'd have to have a HUGE coop for 10-15 ft per bird...especially if raising them for eggs! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  10. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I totally agree with Momma Chicken.

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