Square feet per chicken

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by jvzookeeper, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. jvzookeeper

    jvzookeeper New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Mar 18, 2013
    Is the rule of thumb of 4 square feet per chicken, for sleeping in the coop or for overall space? I have a big run area so the chickens won't be in the coop much unless they are sleeping. How big of a coop do I really need?
     
  2. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Overrun With Chickens

    2,093
    499
    256
    Jun 23, 2013
    Hilo, HI
    If I recall it's 4sqft per bird in the coop, 10sqft in the run? Anyone?
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    28,490
    14,160
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Regardless of outside space, the coop space minimum recommended space of 4 sq ft exists because during times of inclement weather, the birds are likely to hang out in the coop. It's during these periods that space is crucial. It's no coincidence that the number of threads asking about feather-pecking / bullying increases during winter time.


    The more space you can give your flock, the more content they and you will be. I would never aim for minimum space requirements - I'd go for as much as I could practically afford.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  4. jvzookeeper

    jvzookeeper New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Mar 18, 2013
    Good to know. Also, how open are your coops? Because of the hot weather here, I am debating between a sleeping area that has open fencing on 3 sides or a more enclosed coop that just has a couple of small windows for air flow.
     
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    28,490
    14,160
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Where are you located? Guess it also depends on if the coop is in a sheltered position or not. Protection from breeze remains important, regardless of temperature.
     
  6. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    829
    292
    126
    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    Mine is "open air" (only solid on 1 side) but I have panels that can be placed over the wire mesh as needed during colder/wetter weather. It really depends on your climate whether or not that will work. My panels were good enough to hold up through a few days of snow this year, with no issues.
     
  7. jvzookeeper

    jvzookeeper New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Mar 18, 2013
    I am in AZ. It will be on the east side of my house so shaded in the afternoon. But it is still 85-90 degrees at night here in the summer. An enclosed coop sounds horribly stuffy to me and I am not covered with feathers! We don't have to worry about snow here and it rarely gets below 30 at night in the winter. Normal night time temperatures are in the 40's.
     
  8. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    28,490
    14,160
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Maybe have a chat with members from your area to see what their builds are like - https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/270925/find-your-states-thread#post_3239224
     
  9. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    20,795
    3,953
    401
    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    You can build something that is enclosed to protect from wind and rain and leave the upper portion of the walls open, covered with wire. Completely closed up coops are never a good idea, no matter what climate you live in.
     
  10. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    829
    292
    126
    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    Since you're out in the desert an open air set up should will work for you as it's great for ventilation. I do like the suggestion that you ask folks on your state thread to weigh in to see if anyone else in your general area can give you some pros/cons. I'm also glad you thought about putting it on the shady side of the house. You may still want to consider having some sort of option to either panel up or tarp over some of the open sides in case of severe rain but if you really don't get wind driven rains (or if the house blocks the direction that those type of storms would come from) then I wouldn't worry about that at all. Heat will be the main thing you'll have to deal with there.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by