Space needed for chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ChrisnTiff, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. ChrisnTiff

    ChrisnTiff In the Brooder

    Jan 11, 2007
    Crane, Missouri
    I thought I would start this one of with my opinion on size of coops. I would say the minimum amunt of space for happy chickens would be 4 square feet per bird. This of course if you are offering a small outdoor run of about the same size. Now we free range our chickens during the day so we only provide about 2 square feet per bird in the coop and the whole world as there run.

    We also find a smaller coop will provide the birds with more warmth in the winter. They pack in nice and tight on they're roosting boards and keep warm. We don't heat or insulate our coop but we make sure there are no drafts and provide ventilation With a few eave vents. My next post will discuss our deep litter method. stay tuned....


  2. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator

    I just LOVE coop pictures! This was always my favorite part of the BYC site.

    Thanks for posting Chris!


    Quote:Excellent, can't wait!!!
  3. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    What a cute coop! Can you post pics of the inside?

  4. cakkleberrylane

    cakkleberrylane In the Brooder

    Jan 13, 2007
    Looks lovely and cosy!
  5. Henriettahen

    Henriettahen Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    aww its so cute!
  6. PortugalBreeder

    PortugalBreeder Songster

    Oct 9, 2010
    LOL first post ever. wow
  7. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Looks nice...and you're quite right about space requirements for a coop that's primarily just for roosting. The key thing there is to have enough roost width (about 10 - 12 inches per bird) so that the chickens can jockey for position and settle in comfortably at night.

    About having a smaller coop for winter warmth, though, I find Patandchickens' reasoning on this subject more convincing:

    Total coop size Don't fool with this just for thermal reasons; although

    a smaller coop requires less input to warm, a

    larger coop has more thermal inertia and 'swings'

    less with outdoor temperature changes, and

    also gives chickens more living room.

    There is a common misconception that in the cold North you need a small tight snug coop to concentrate chickens' body heat... a coop "small enough that the chickens can keep it warm". On the contrary, there is NO SUCH THING AS TOO LARGE A COOP. By partitioning off part of it (either a coop-within-the-coop type arrangement, or a drop ceiling or hover or suchlike to keep body heat near the roost) you can have the best of both worlds -- a warmer area for the chickens and lots of room for them to utilize when the weather makes them reluctant to spend much time outdoors. Actually I would argue that in cold winter areas, you ideally should have a LARGER coop (more space per chicken) than you would want in, say, Hawaii -- simply because the chickens are likely to be shut in, even if only voluntarily, for long periods of time and you don't need them getting crabby and pecky and starting habits that may be hard to break.
  8. Kyfreeman

    Kyfreeman Hatching

    Apr 14, 2012
    Leipers Fork, TN
    What are the dimenisions of your coop?

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