Sq Footage/#chickens & other questions...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Bleenie, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    I am building a new coop because I have cochin babies coming out of my ears right now! It is 4' x 3' and i can't remember the height right now. So how many chickens can i house in a coop this size? (bantam & standard please)

    I was going to have interior nesting boxes but that would decrease the Sq. Footage so it would be better to build them on the ouside of the coop, right? (like the hinged roof type)

    I want to have good Ventelation and so i dug out an attachment for my drill that will drill out 3" holes in the plywood and i can cover them from the inside with hardware cloth. I should do that on both the front and back, right?

    For access, Would it be better to have a hinged roof or side door?

    We've built a few coops but since moms last one she built to sell I wanna make sure this one is right in case i ever have to sell it in the future. Thanks for the help guys.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  2. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

  3. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    You need 4 sq ft per bird inside the coop & 10 sq ft per bird outside the coop.

    So your 4x3 coop is 12 sq ft.

    3 large birds - 4 banties
  4. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    On a small coup nest boxes through the side wall make more sense in my opinion. You are right you don't want to rake up any more space with those than you have to. Your ventilation plan sounds ok, just as long as you have good cross ventilation. For access I would have a hinged roof to get into the nest boxes ASN a side door to make it easy to clean, feed, water, adjust roost, etc. Make that clean out door plenty big enough for you to get in there and work thus making it all that much easier. I read a post here not that long ago from someone asking how much they could sell a small coup for. The biggest hangup for most people was that it did not have a clean out door.
  5. Bleenie

    Bleenie Wyan-DO's

    The post about the small coop for sale was by me, it was one that my mom had built but it was lackign a lot of things. That's why i decided to ask input here before i built one for myself again, just in case i may have to sell it in the future. All our old coops have been open air or had big or lots of windows in them. we don't get much snow in the winters here anymore so they chickens seem to do fine, but i still want them comfortable.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If the coop is only 4x3 then it will be hard to have nestboxes high enough above the floor to let chickens walk underneath WHILE STILL keeping them lower than the roost and easily accessible to the chickens; so in your case I think a persuasive case could be made for external nestboxes, yes.

    The hole-saw approach to ventilation is not usually a very good one, especially in small coops and especially when summer heat is an issue. Bear in mind that a 3" diameter hole gives you only 7 square inches of opening; it takes more than TWENTY of those holes to equal just ONE SQUARE FOOT of vent space, which I would say is about the *minimum* you'd want and really more would be a whole big lot better. Larger openings would really work a whole big lot better for you.

    Hinged roof vs side door is up to you. Side door is easier for cleaning bedding out but harder on your back unless the coop is quite high; hinged top is easier on your back if the coop is *not* too high, but is harder to clean out and a bit more annoying to build and manage (because of the clumsy weight of the top when you have to open it to reach in). Personal choice, I don't think one is overall way better than the other.

    Good luck, have fun,


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