Size of breeding pens

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Roadsidefarm, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. Roadsidefarm

    Roadsidefarm In the Brooder

    Sep 6, 2016
    We are thinking about setting up a few breeding pens this spring, but this is our first time doing this. While we have a mixed flock of bantams and standards, I want to build all the pens to fit the larger birds. What size is a good size? I am worried about them being too small since our chickens normally free range and I'm going to have a hard time caging them.

  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing 7 Years

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    How long will they be in the pens and how many breeders per pen? There's a lot of variables. Say I've only two hens of quality to breed and will collect every egg from them for two months. I only need to put the cock bird in that pen for a day every week or two to keep them fertile. That's not a very big space needed then is it? Two birds living in a pen for a few months. In this way you'd have a row of long pens, say you decide 4x8 ft is enough per pen then two pens with a small coop each would comprise 8x8 structure. Or better yet a long on stilts coop that is divided into many mini coops along back wall and has exterior access to each to collect eggs and clean then the pen that has predator protection outside wall and cheap chicken wire as divider wall for each breed pen. A door for each pen in front.
    1 person likes this.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Agree we need more information about how many birds and how long.

    I kept a trio in a pretty small pen, 4x10, for several months and they did fine. Granted, it was all mature birds, no young hormonal issues. Hens had wonderful feathers, no breakage or bald spots, no screaming, everyone got along well.

    Can you count on that all the time? No. I was lucky.
    2 people like this.
  4. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Crowing

    Apr 11, 2016
    NW Missouri
    I keep my breeders in 5x10 pens year round. Usually a rooster and 4 or 5 hens.
    2 people like this.

  5. Roadsidefarm

    Roadsidefarm In the Brooder

    Sep 6, 2016
    Yes. Probably not more than a trio per pen. And probably just for a few months, just enough to have some more of our own birds and not necessarily to sell a lot of chicks or hatching eggs. Thanks everyone!

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