Space per Chicken

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Shalva, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. Shalva

    Shalva Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2012
    New Hampshire
    I live in Northern New England, and I am designing my coop now for my June chicks.... I would get them sooner but we have a National Specialty Dog Show the second week of June and will bring home the chicks as soon as we get home.... none the less...

    I was reading in the "Storey" book last night about space requirements for our 9 Orpingtons and 3 Rocks and they said for areas where the chickens will be confined for long periods that they needed 10 feet per square foot..I had heard 3 feet per square foot in the stuff I read from our cooperative extension... so my question is how much space should I plan on. I know that there are advantages and disadvantages in places with long winters where the chickens will be confined but I could use some guidance...

    We have a dozen chickens coming... and I need to get crackin on this coop... so perhaps you all could tell me... for a place like ours wiht long hard winters... how much space per chicken would you go with.

    thanks
    s
     
  2. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2011
    S.E. Michigan
    Most seem to think that 4 sq ft per chicken inside the coop and 10 sq ft per in the run is kind of a rule. I put 15 in a 8'x8' coop with 24' of roost boards, they had a grass run that was 10'x 22' - I kept them confined until I was sure they knew where to lay eggs. My space should be enough for 16 in coop and 22 in the run. IMO not enough space - the grass was gone in a week so, we added 4" of sand which now is packed down hard. We will use the rototiller to loosen it up and add more sand. I know let them free range everyday for 16 hours. My barn cats don't bother them and the automatic pop door keeps them safe at night.
     
  3. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    2 to 3 sq. ft. per hen will work inside the house.... the place where they sleep and roost. Then you will have run space for the chickens to spend the majority of their day moving around, eating, drinking, scratching, etc. I agree that 10 sq. ft. of run space is adequate but more is better if you have the room. If you think that you're hens will be confined to the house for long periods of time in the Winter then I would give them plenty of room in the house. Much more than the 2-3 sq. ft.
     
  4. Shalva

    Shalva Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2012
    New Hampshire
    I am thinking we can easily do 5 sf inside the house and then a nice sized run... hopefully wiht time they will be able to free range inside of our 2 acre dog yard (the goal is for them to eat the ticks) but we will have to wait and see how they do with out 8 retrievers and Irish wolfhound... for the time being they will have their run and free range only when the dogs are inside... at least that is the plan .... thanks a bunch for your help
     
  5. Back2Roots

    Back2Roots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2012
    Ontario, Canada
    We have not yet started actual construction of our coop_run, but we do have finalized plans, and the total square footage of our is 66 - 12ft x 5.5ft for coop and run combined. The coop will take up approximately 1/3 of the total space, so about 4ft x 5.5ft.
    Like the OP, I am not sure about what is sufficient space either. I know that more is better, but we have space limitations based on where our coop_run will be located in the winter (in an alcove by the garage). During the spring / summer / fall, we plan to move the coop _run into a "moveable" gazebo so that there is more roaming space for them during during the warmer months. I think they will have plenty of space during this time because the gazebo is about 100 square feet (just a "guesstimate" - it's 12-sided and each side is approximately 3 3/4 feet). My question is, for 3-5 chickens, are the winter accommodations - just the coop / run - sufficient?
     
  6. TinyLittleFarm

    TinyLittleFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 8, 2010
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    Honestly if I was to rebuild my coop, which I am not doing, I would build for 6-7 sq ft per LF that I planned to have. This makes for happier chickens, easier poop management, more room to move around while doing chicken chores, and most importantly it leaves you room to add some more chickens once chicken math takes hold of your brain.

    I'm desperate for a few spring chicks, but I don't really have room for more than 2. ugh.

    ETA Right now we have about 4.5 square feet per bird, so they're hardly squished or anything. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  7. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2011
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    If I understood 22 sq ft coop w/44 sq ft run ? You should be ok for the number you have planned.
     
  8. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    S.E. Michigan
    When I was planing my first coop and run, I did a bunch of research on this site and most seemed to use these numbers as a "rule" for (LF) Large Breeds. I think Bantams are listed as 3 sq ft . I know you can do less space in coop and run but, hens can start pecking and I know mine are happy with more room. I did a quick search for you here is a link https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/420642/how-many-square-feet-per-chicken & Here are poll results from this site https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/635337/official-byc-poll-how-many-square-feet-per-chicken/140
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  9. Back2Roots

    Back2Roots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2012
    Ontario, Canada
    Yes, that's right - 22 sq ft for the coop and 44 sq ft for the run. I'm relieved to know that we are big enough. [​IMG]
    Thanks!
     
  10. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2011
    S.E. Michigan
    But your not accounting for Chicken Math [​IMG]
     

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