square footage questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 1987MJ, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. 1987MJ

    1987MJ Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Jun 12, 2011
    I'm pretty new to this and have couple questions regarding my coop/run size.

    We have 11 total chickens...7 of which will most likely not get much larger than say medium sized and 4 that are on the high side of medium.

    We just got the other 4 today...and two of our others are roosters so chances are one of them will go away leaving us with 10 total birds.

    THe 'house' has 19 square feet of floor space and it is always open to the run which is 48 square feet.

    From what little reading I've done I see where you need anywhere from 4-8 square feet per bird. I want them to be comfortable and plan to add on to the side of the current run and make the run total 80 square feet and of course the house will remain at 19.

    Does this sound right? So about 99 square feet total for 10 birds.
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well...it'll depend on who you ask. Most on BYC go with 4 sq. ft of housing space and 10 sq. ft. of run space per bird as minimums. Of course folks in areas that don't get winters can get by with less indoor space, but ideally they'd have more outdoor space to make up for it. And of course folks who freerange their birds for a few hours daily can get by with less run space...
    A lot depends on how mild mannered your birds are and your personal view on how "natural" vs. commercial you want to keep chickens.
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    34,028
    462
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It also depends where you are. They need a lot more coop space if they will stay in the coop a lot, as many do with a lot of snow on the ground. Where I live, 2 sf is probably enough if they have a good shady breezy run where they will spend most of their time.
     
  4. 1987MJ

    1987MJ Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Jun 12, 2011
    We're in Florida so even though we do get some colder weather it's usually not for very long and rarely below 25*. Plus we have some extra heat lamps that we use for our goat and potbelly pig in the winter so keeping them warm won't be an issue.

    I'm very reluctant to let my birds free range at all as we have a LOT of predators on our property...hawks, 2 different kinds of owls, foxes, racoons, cats, dogs, and coyotes have recently been around.

    It sounds like I need to expand my run to 100 sq ft instead of just 80? Even in the winter I will keep the run open so they can gooutside when they want to.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,852
    39
    249
    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    10 birds produce an amazing amount of manure overnight. A coop that is less than 20 square feet is going to get pretty poopy pretty fast. I would suggest droppings boards or trays under the roosts and consider cleaning them daily.
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:Very true! Do a search on dropping boards. And yes, a 100 sq. ft run would be better. Just know that you will most likely need to clean the run fairly often as well, as it will build up quickly. More space = easier clean-up/maintenance.
     
  7. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    501
    3
    111
    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    As it stands now you have room for five birds.
    Do not use less than 4 sq ft per bird in the house and 10 sq ft per bird in the run. Variables apply of course, but chickens packed
    in tightly together get aggressive. Give them lots of play room and things to play with. Dirt to scratch, branches to climb and
    sit on. Turning over a shovel-full of dirt can provide hours of entertainment, believe it or not.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  8. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    In FL your coop will probably work but be sure it has a LOT of ventilation and run space. How about going bigger on the run and shade it then you can hang some roosts in the run so the birds can perch outside on hot evenings. Also I agree that you need to keep a close eye on the birds for agressive behavior as those birds can get grumpy if there is not enough room!
     
  9. 1987MJ

    1987MJ Out Of The Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Jun 12, 2011
    Quote:That is my plan as of now [​IMG] I only need a few 2x4's and I'll have enough material to expand my run from 48 sq ft out to 112. It will also be easy to build some roosts/boxes in the shade in it as well.

    Thanks everyone! I will probably have it done tonight or tomorrow.
     
  10. Browner71

    Browner71 Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Jun 10, 2011
    Sonoma, CA
    Good info here, I was about to ask the same question about indoor and outdoor space.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by