Square foot per bird?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by honeydoll, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. honeydoll

    honeydoll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    I've read alot about needing 4 sq. foot for bird in the coop but I keep getting conflicting ideas about the run. How many square feet per bird in the run? I am thinking of winter and am concerned about them being too cramped. So just wondering how large your runs are, how many sq. feet do you have in the run.
  2. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    The "standard" answer is 10 sq. ft. per chicken in the run. But I think that is a little tight--15-20' per bird is a lot more comfortable. Of course, if you free range most of the day, 10 ft. is probably plenty. For chickens that are in run 24/7 I would go for more area.
  3. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    The standard is 4 sf in the coop plus 10 sf outside in the run. Some of this depends in the chickens. We have 24 sf per bird (roughly) in the main run. Our run actually connects to a smaller run behind it that we use to separate birds if needed. Usually it is open, which increases it to a little over 30 sf per bird. They are plenty content with the 24 sf though and are just spoiled with the rest.

    ETA: We have 30 standard sized chickens including about half that are considered large breeds (larger than the average standard). 10 sf for a bantam is MUCH different than 10 st for a 13 lb rooster.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    The more room your chickens have, the less work you'll have to keep things clean enough for health. Less work...I like that idea.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    As big as possible. I would not go less than 8-10 sq ft per chicken in the run, but that is a bare minimum you can get away with -- you are WAY WAY better off with MORE.

  6. honeydoll

    honeydoll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    Thanks alot, I feel I have a more concrete idea now. Now another run question, mine is too small so we will biuld a bigger one. I need ideas on the cheapest way to do this. Our smaller one is very nice but expensive. To double it in size the way we did it would be costly. I am not saying I want it poorly built, just some ideas on how to save money making one. I have seen coops be built like a military base in Iraq and others where I wonder how the chickens survive at all. I am looking for a reasonable middle. I don't want my chickens being an easy target to predators but I also don't need Fort Knox either. Thanks.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  7. Clay In Iowa

    Clay In Iowa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Near Wilton Iowa
    I have 38 birds and a 12x12 coop with a 4,500 + foot run enclosed with electric poultry netting. The birds are VERY happy and healthy. In addition to their run i try to let the,m out every afternoon for 3 or 4 hours to range my 10 acres.
  8. Karrie13

    Karrie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    My run is 600 square foot for my 20 birdÂ’s standard girls and they love it... though I do plan on expanding my flock in the future. Fortunately the fun will be easily to extend lengthwise. Can't go any wider than 20 feet... I cemented in my corner posts and gate posts. I wanted to make sure the posts didn't "lean in" over time. We have a lot of rocks so as the frost comes up each year rocks come up and posts like to lean. It cost me about $180 to build the pen. I used 2 X 4 welded wire (thicker gage for strength) 6 foot tall. 6 inch diameter wooden corner posts and metal t-posts between the wooden posts. I made my gate out of 2x4's and hardware cloth. I plan on installing hardware clothe around the bottom of the fence so that they will keep their heads in and keep any smaller chicks inside. I also buried my wire 8-10 inches; I wanted to do more but just couldn't dig down any further... way to many rocks!
  9. honeydoll

    honeydoll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    Thanks for the ideas, really helpful.[​IMG]

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