Size of coop and run with chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by newTexan2chickens, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. newTexan2chickens

    newTexan2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2010
    I am brand new to chicken ownership and I was hoping I could get some answers to a lot of questions that I have! I live in Texas so warm weather is definitely the biggest problem- not cold. Right now I have a 4x12 that is about 6 ft tall attached to a 12x12 roofed run (same height). The chickens have their choice of being indoors or out... they spend time in both places during the day and night. The coop has a large window on one end and part of it is screened to the run. Right now I have 2 Barred Rock hens and one rooster along with 10 assorted young hens (6-10 weeks old). How many chickens can I reasonably expect to keep in this area. I should also mention the chickens are loose every night for about 3 hours to roam the land and eat bugs etc.

    We are in the process of designing and building a second coop.... coop would be 4x20 and the run would be 10x20. The idea was to maybe raise some chickens for meat but I was thinking of using a dual purpose breed like the Barred Rocks... would these chickens be 'meaty' enough and at what age would I butcher them? Thanks for the advice!
     
  2. shopchicks

    shopchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like you are set for a dozen on the first coop, and twenty for the one you're planning.
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Personally, I wouldn't go more than 14 birds in your current set-up, because I base it on run space in areas like yours more than coop space. And other than folks who don't use runs at all, there are typically days when free ranging isn't an option due to different factors (illness, vacation, trips to grandmas, busy, etc.). Twenty birds is the most I would put in the set-up you're currently building.

    I think I read that you butcher dual purpose birds no later than 20 weeks???
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    What they said. Your current chicken population in your current coop is already pretty well-stocked, I would not personally put any more in there, actually personally I'd put significantly less but most people get away pretty well with those kinds of numbers.

    Dual-purpose chickens -- and you need to be aware that they are a LOT different from supermarket chickens, the carcass is greatly less meaty (less white meat in particular, but a lot less meat *overall*) and more costly to raise per lb of meat, and requires different cooking methods; although they are also much more tasty -- are usually butchered at about 16 wks if being raised for the kitchen. You can let them go longer, and they will get somewhat bigger, but the feed conversion efficiency goes WAY down so your meat ends up being pretty expensive.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. newTexan2chickens

    newTexan2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2010
    Thanks for the responses! I personally feel that there are too many chickens in my original run and planned to move some of them to the new coop. I would like to have about 15 hens and 1 rooster at any one time.
     

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