Square footage

8x12 = 96 sq ft, divided by 40 chickens = 2.4 sq ft per chicken.

Rather tight, I wouldn't do it myself, but if you live somewhere that has a beautiful climate year-round and they will truly spend all day every day *all year* outside it should have a reasonable chance of being ok.

Good luck, have fun,

Pat
 
That sounds kinda tight... Myself, I aim for a minimum of 3.5' square/per bird, preferably 4'. The more room you give them the healthier and happier they'll be, and the less you'll have to clean the coop!
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If you're mixing standard-size birds with bantams, I'd be inclined to give them plenty of room so that the bantams won't be bullied and picked on...
 
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Are you planning to get dairy cow(s) or goat(s)? I have three milk cows, and one recommendation I'd make is to have plenty of space in that area too. You're going to be spending a fair percentage of your day in their, so you'll want it to be roomy. Besides, you probably wanna keep your Mom happy right?
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One thing you MAY consider is to just make it 8 x 12, have only 24-27 chickens or so, and then later build another coop or add on to the one you have. You'll find a million and half uses for keeping multiple flocks. Separating age groups, breeder flocks, quarantine, a broody with chicks, extra roosters, the list goes on and on! Also, if these are your first chickens, I'd recommend starting small. When I got started with chickens, I got too many too fast, and then lost many of them to beginner mistakes. Just my two cents worth.
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ETA: I'm dying to know what breeds you've chosen to get!
 
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