SIze of coop/amount of roosting space

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tyjorg, May 23, 2016.

  1. tyjorg

    tyjorg Out Of The Brooder

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    I have seem number of 1 square foot per chicken in the coop all the way to 4 square foot per chicken. I was wondering what thought you all have on that? How does a to small of coop effect egg production? How much space is enough?
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    If your birds are too cramped, they will be stressed. Stress will stop them from laying. Most poultry books and online sources will say you need about 1 to 2.5 sq ft of coop space per bird, but this is based on commercial standards.
    Most of us backyard flock keepers have found that chickens are happier, more relaxed, and more productive when they are given plenty of space. A general minimum is about 4 sq ft per medium sized bird. Larger, dual-purpose breeds need more, and bantams need less.
     
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    In addition to coop space, you must also provide run space. The general rule for run space is at least 10 sq ft per bird, and more is always better.
     
  4. MrsWoodfin

    MrsWoodfin Out Of The Brooder

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    Great advice. I have a coop and I am looking at building a run to attach to it. This gave me some great ideas.
     
  5. tlee1956

    tlee1956 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We're building a larger coop and run because my floculation has grown to about 50 birds if my meaties and ducks are included. During the winter I estimate about 40 birds will be living in a 10x10 coop with about 800 square feet of run. We get cold and snowy weather for about 4-5 months, about a full 30 to 45 days when the chooks stay mainly inside. Does this sound doable? During most of the year they roam the rest of our yard almost every day.
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Will the run be covered or is the coop the only shelter. A 10x10 coop is going to be a bit cramped under the best of conditions, throw in winter weather and you might have some serious crowding issues to deal with.
     
  7. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Its probable that the 1 ft relates to roost space, and the 4sqft coop space. As Junebuggena says, the more space, the better.

    CT
     
  8. tlee1956

    tlee1956 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How much of the run should I cover? Would another 100 square ft be sufficient? They're free to come and go cause their pop door is only closed at night as a precaution against predators or during a few hellacious storms we get. It's just the chooks themselves who choose not to dip their dainty toes in the snow if it's more than an inch or so deep:/
     
  9. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    A 10x10 coop is plenty for 40 birds. The extra space they have is exponentially more as your coop grows. Think about it, they tend to pack so looking around they individually see X amount of space. It's an illusion of more to them. Chicken psychology aside, if you manage for out of coop winters they will be happy. Personally I don't subscribe to 4 sqft per bird in a coop. It's not nearly enough if you coop your birds in foul weather. 10 sqft per bird for run space is a nice number, more is better. This is agreeable to them as they want to be outside- even in winter. Manage for it and they will be without any coaxing from you.

    I've never had a covered run excepting something to keep hawks out of growing chick areas. What we do is wrap a large section of prevailing wind corner or even two sides of run to block the North wind. Use to have smaller flock so shoveled out run and put down hay if icy and they had a raised coop to get under in storms. Honestly, they preferred to sit under the coop when snowing rather than in it. I moved and have new larger flock now. I'll post a pic of the quick lean to I'd built for winter. Coop is on skids so towed it in place and lean to makes for roof and North wall then a tarp was up on West side from coop to Lean to. Used hay and only shoveled from house to lean to and from there to their favorite bush to hang under. Put hay down under bush too. The spent most of the winter under the bush, stormy days in shelter and a handful of extreme sub zero (-25 F) mornings in coop waiting for it to warm up to -10 F. Those few mornings we put some water in coop and toss some sunflower seeds in for them to hold over until they come out.

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    There is hay under that bush under that thin layer of snow. Think I'd though the sun would melt it that day...oh well, they look happy.

    Few things I'd forgot: Scrap tin was used for lean to and staked the low end to ground so it wouldn't tilt from snow load and hill. We use an old wash basin for wood ash- winter bathing, rubber water dish to stomp out ice and refill and that black box is tamper proof chunk bait box for rodent control.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    If covering at least half the run is not an option, then you should provide plenty of spots around the run for them to duck out of the weather to warm up. If they are going to stay in the coop for more than a day or two at a time, you will need a much bigger coop.
     

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