1. Ms Ellen

    Ms Ellen Chillin' With My Peeps

    242
    1
    123
    Aug 8, 2008
    Virginia
    So I am trying to figure out how much of the shed to fence off for the chickens. They will have an outside run too and will be allowed out into my fenced back yard also with supervision only though. How many chickens should I keep in an area 48 inches by 93 inches. It is regular shed hight 6 ft or something with rafters. Also should I fence them out of the rafters? I am trying to figure out if I need to fence off more but this area looks big enough to me?
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    87
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:That's about 31 square feet. I don't think there's anybody on this board who would put more than 15 chickens into that space and that is a WHOLE BIG LOT (very very crowded) unless you live in, like, Hawaii and they will never ever want to spend time indoors except to sleep at night.

    Most people feel much more comfortable with the flock dynamics at 4 sq ft per chicken or higher. At 4 sq ft per chcken, that'd be 7-8 chickens.

    Personally I'm really a whole lot happier with 6-10 sq ft per chicken of indoor coop space (plus run of course), in terms of how they act -- but this is partly influenced by my being in an area where there are long stretches of the year when outdoors is not really such an appealing concept to a chicken. FWIW, at my stocking densities, your coop would hold something like 3-5 chickens.

    Plus run space, of course. 'How much run space?' At least 10 sq ft per chicken but preferably a lot more, facilities and budget permitting.

    Whether to close off the rafters is a personal decision, but I probably would -- just makes extra hard-to-clean mess, and prevents you from being able to use droppings boards (which I am a major fan of), and so forth.

    Make sure the eaves (soffits) of the shed are very well predator proofed btw - raccoons are tremendous climbers.

    Have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2008
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    42
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I would put 7 or 8 in there.
     
  4. Ms Ellen

    Ms Ellen Chillin' With My Peeps

    242
    1
    123
    Aug 8, 2008
    Virginia
    OK thanks guys you have given me an idea of what I need to do. That area will be good for now I think and maybe add a second area later.
     
  5. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    I agree with Pat here. Originally in my 8'x8' (64 sq ft) house I had 6 standard sized chickens (10.66 sq ft per bird). Over the years chickens came and chickens went and last year I ended up with 20 (which narrowed down the sq footage to 3.2 per bird).

    I thought "With this many chickens they will really keep the coop/each other warm". The coop is insulated and they definitely kept it warm during winter but it was just way more mess than I wanted to deal with so I gave some away and ended up with 12 (which now have 5.33 sq ft per bird).

    These birds also have access to a 8'x16' run while they are in the coop so that really triples their total "house" space. They have a HUGE fenced in wooded yard as well (probably about 1/4 acre space) so they're not lacking for room to roam. So in my experience I would suggest instead of the normally used minimum 4 sq ft per bird to double it when possible. Your birds will be happier and so will you.
     
  6. Ms Ellen

    Ms Ellen Chillin' With My Peeps

    242
    1
    123
    Aug 8, 2008
    Virginia
    Hmm, OK so my pen maybe is for 6 chickens then unless I bump it out some, which I may end up doing. I put the chicks in the run I have so far though (little test run only as the hardware cloth is not up yet) and I don't think 10 square feet looks like enough per bird. My instinct is that they need about twice that? What do you guys think? I don't want it too much bigger than that.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by