So 3 hens don’t need a big coop?

New2COchicks

Chirping
May 6, 2020
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So I see some pictures where people use an entire tool she’s and then others the size of an extra large box, Do hens need a huge coop space or are they fine in a small space as long as they walk around outside? Also if the place Is secure do their coop door need to be closed each night?
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
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Hens need:
--space to roost (about 1 linear foot per hen)
--space to nest (at least one nestbox, 2-4 hens can share each box)
--feed and water (available all the time they are awake, in a place that doesn't get rained on or snowed on)
--space to walk around and scratch (at least 4 square feet per hen, constantly available--if someone must open a door for them to reach it, it's not available enough for this purpose.)

It's good to also have an outdoor run, with 10 square feet or more per bird.

Most of the differences in chicken coop sizes are because of different numbers of birds, and partly

Climate also makes a big difference.
Someone in Alaska might have a cozy shed that's as big as a "run," because their chickens do not go outside at all in the winter time.

Someone in Texas might have a structure that looks like a run with a roof, because the climate is so different. (As long as the roosts, feed, and nests are in a safe place that doesn't get rained on, this works fine.)

Some people build a very secure coop and shut the chickens in it at night, and give access to a less-secure run during the day. Automatic chicken doors, that open in the morning and shut in the evening, are handy if you can't be there at just the right time to open or shut the door.

Some people make a coop and a run that are both completely predator roof (covered run, something to keep predators from digging under, and so forth). In that case, shutting the chickens into the coop itself is not necessary.

Have you looked through the articles about coops?
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/categories/chicken-coops.12/
Many of them mention how many chickens they have, and where they live, which are two of the biggest things that affect what size it needs to be.
 

New2COchicks

Chirping
May 6, 2020
107
74
93
Hens need:
--space to roost (about 1 linear foot per hen)
--space to nest (at least one nestbox, 2-4 hens can share each box)
--feed and water (available all the time they are awake, in a place that doesn't get rained on or snowed on)
--space to walk around and scratch (at least 4 square feet per hen, constantly available--if someone must open a door for them to reach it, it's not available enough for this purpose.)

It's good to also have an outdoor run, with 10 square feet or more per bird.

Most of the differences in chicken coop sizes are because of different numbers of birds, and partly

Climate also makes a big difference.
Someone in Alaska might have a cozy shed that's as big as a "run," because their chickens do not go outside at all in the winter time.

Someone in Texas might have a structure that looks like a run with a roof, because the climate is so different. (As long as the roosts, feed, and nests are in a safe place that doesn't get rained on, this works fine.)

Some people build a very secure coop and shut the chickens in it at night, and give access to a less-secure run during the day. Automatic chicken doors, that open in the morning and shut in the evening, are handy if you can't be there at just the right time to open or shut the door.

Some people make a coop and a run that are both completely predator roof (covered run, something to keep predators from digging under, and so forth). In that case, shutting the chickens into the coop itself is not necessary.

Have you looked through the articles about coops?
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/categories/chicken-coops.12/
Many of them mention how many chickens they have, and where they live, which are two of the biggest things that affect what size it needs to be.
thanks a lot.... I’m only getting 3 Brahmans I think and I want to do the right thing.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
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thanks a lot.... I’m only getting 3 Brahmans I think and I want to do the right thing.

I recommend building the chicken coop larger than seems necessary-- too much space does not cause problems, but too little space does.

If you get a 4th chicken, you'll need more space.
Or if one of your three decides that she needs extra personal space and chases the others away, more space is also helpful.

Personally, I don't think I'd go smaller than about 4 x 6 feet of floor space, no matter how few chickens-- just to give them enough room to walk a bit, scratch and dust bathe, and so forth, even when the weather is too bad for them to go outside. But that's a personal preference on my part, and I know that some people, and some chickens, in some situations, do OK with a smaller coop than that.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,517
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Southeast Louisiana
You might follow the link in my signature to see what I think is important when it comes to space. It's not a simple magic number, there are a lot of variables.

Something people don't mention much on here is that it needs to be comfortable and convenient for you. You are an important part of the equation. I find the more I crowd them the more behavioral issues I have to deal with, the harder I have to work, and the less flexibility I have to deal with things that happen. Those are more about me than the chickens but the chickens benefit too if you consider those things.

Chickens don't need a large coop. They don't think in terms of coop room versus run room versus free range room. All they know is whether they have enough room when they need it, wherever it may be. As NatJ mentioned, if you live where they are going to be confined to the coop only for extended times you need a larger coop than if they always have access to the outside. They may be confined to the coop by weather or maybe you leave them locked in the coop section only for long periods for a variety of reasons.

If you consider your run predator proof you can leave your coop door open 24/7 so they have access to the outside whenever they are awake. Many people do. You are the one taking that risk, it's your decision. Another consideration may be weather. Are you leaving them exposed to harsh weather conditions by leaving that door open? That depends on your weather and how your coop and run are built. More variables, different answers for different people. If you are considering leaving the door open make sure you are protected from flying and climbing predators and digging predators.

I don't know enough about your situation (weather, rural versus urban, how you plan to manage them, what your land looks like) to make any specific suggestions but yes, build it bigger than the absolute minimum, coop and run both. Give yourself convenient access to all parts, inside and out. And enjoy.
 

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