Size of coop vs. number of chickens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by AnKa, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. AnKa

    AnKa Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 27, 2009
    I am only 'booksmart' when it comes to chickens and the books seem to disagree. What are the dimensions of your coop and how many regular size chickens do you house?
    Particularly in climates where hens might spend a significant amount of time 'cooped up' in winter...
  2. mendogurl

    mendogurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2009
    I'm feeling very nervous that my 8x8 coop isn't big enough for eight hens. So I look forward to hear the responses to your post !
  3. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    A good rule of thumb is 4sq ft per bird.
    Mendogurl, your coop is 64sq ft. You have 8 hens, thats 8 sq ft per bird. Yours is plenty big enough. [​IMG] You could even add some more. [​IMG]
  4. Master S.M.C

    Master S.M.C Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2009
    8X10 I have in 14 regular sized birds it could fit 20 though ( 4sq ft per Bird). [​IMG]
  5. briana1975

    briana1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2009
    Carleton Mi.
    I have been told and have read 4sq. feet for standard breed chickens. That is what we are gonna go by building our coop. But from reading a lot on this site people keep saying chickens are addicting. We also couldn't get the chickens my husband wanted in our order so I am already forseeing more chickens in our future.
  6. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    Normal most people recommend 4sqft. inside and 10 outside for standards

    (Edited because I need to stop trying to do math.)
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    It varies. A guideline is 4 sq feet inside and 10 sq feet outside each bird. However, the amount of time the birds have to be inside vs outside vs free ranging or in a run will make a difference. If you have cold winters with lots of snow, you'll want 10+ each bird inside if they can't go out, but if you have the ability to free range from sun up to sun down 360/365 days of the year, you may even be able to get away with 3 sq feet inside.

    Start with more space rather than too little space, as prevention is key. Prevention of boredom, picking, and bad habits like egg eating and cannibalism.
  8. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    Quote:LOL, ok I was fixing to tell you to try the math again. [​IMG]
  9. freshegg

    freshegg Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2008
    ok I see you fixed :)she has 64 so yes
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    As an alternative perspective, let me say that my chickens have 15 sq ft per chicken indoors, plus their run... which, given that they spend a LOT of time indoors in winter, is about right, if you ask me. (Two of the pens have roofed runs, one of which is plastic-wrapped, and the other pen will get a roofed run built this spring and I hope to plastic-wrap *all* the runs for next winter. But still.)

    I have tried keeping them with less space, but even though they have not self-destructed they really seem MUCH happier and more relaxed and more 'natural' with the extra space.

    Mind, I just happened to have a large enough building to do this... still, even if I was building a coop, I honestly do not see myself giving them less than maybe 10 sq ft per chicken indoors minimum, under these conditions and for my tastes regarding chicken behavioral happiness. As with horses or dogs or anything else, sometimes it is better to keep fewer animals *well* than see if you can shoehorn more in.



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