such a thing as "too big"?

bagendhens

Songster
10 Years
Mar 29, 2009
854
7
141
Outside the Boundries
when it comes to chickens is there such a thing?

were getting 4-5 pullet chicks this spring...
want to keep building the coop super simple in terms of as little waste/cuts as possible...
so it would end up being a 4x4 (perfect for 4) or a 4 x 8...

is it possible to have too much space inside the coop? (they will also have a 10 x 10 run)
were in CT so long cold snowy winters, ive heard the 4sqft p hen rule...but ive also been told if the coops too big they will be cold in the winter...

thoughts?
 

ChickenToes

Songster
11 Years
May 14, 2008
2,141
11
191
NE Wisconsin
You'll want to go with at least 4 sq ft per bird. If the space is too small they will peck at each other. 4 x 8 sounds good to me, you never know if you'll want more birds in the future.
 

bagendhens

Songster
10 Years
Mar 29, 2009
854
7
141
Outside the Boundries
well more birds is definatly not going to happen, were within city limits and RIGHT on the borderline in terms of being within city ordinances...
in otherwords if someone complains...so were doing "stealth" our only 2 imediate neighbors dont mind and are actually looking forward to having them, and were up on a hill out of site of passing traffic, but still...
the ordinances here are incredibly strict and 5 hens only is the max for anything under an acre.
and while we dont mind "rocking the boat" for most things we dont want to get everything all settled in only to run into trouble cause we have too many lol.

im thinking bigger is better but my father also doenst want to spend a fortune building the coop and run, were going to use as many leftovers and recycled materials as possible but still, keeping cost to a minimum is always good.
lol.

im actually now thinking a 4 x 6 wouldnt be too hard, a few more cuts but certainly not complicated ones...
it would be enough room for up to 6 standards it should cut us back by a whole sheet of ply and some studding.
mum wants it tall enough to stand up in and match the roofline of the shed its going to be "attatched" to so that means about 8ft at the front and 6 ft at the back.

oh and if it makes a difference the nest boxes will be up off the floor, planning on putting food and water under the boxes to maximise usable open floor space.
 
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sherrydeanne

Songster
10 Years
Mar 3, 2009
1,066
5
161
At my computer, where are you?
Go as big as you can. I had 4 birds in an 8x8 last winter and they were just fine. The 4x6 sounds fine, as would a 4x8. I wouldn't personally do a 4x4 as cold as it is here, unless you're going to enclose the run with plastic so they can use it year round.
 

Kittymomma

Songster
10 Years
Sep 9, 2009
3,873
31
204
Olympia, WA
Quote:
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chickbotfamily

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jul 16, 2009
27
1
24
I have an 8x8 coop for 2 chickens. The chicks love the extra space. Also allows me to sit in the coop during the long winter and spend time with the chickens.

36893_finished_coop.jpg


36893_100_2454.jpg
 

Badlatitude

Songster
11 Years
Feb 24, 2009
171
0
142
CT/FL
We just built a new 8x8 sand run and a 4x8 coop raised 2ft off the ground. for 6 birds. The coop itself is lean-to in shape I guess you could say.

Its all framed up and wired just need to plywood it but with this rain comming this weekend I dont see that happening. Id llloovvvveeee to share pics BUT My computer decided ( even tho under devices it says its working) That my SD card reader does not want to read cards. The cars still work in the camera tho so who knows.
 
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bonniebe

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 20, 2010
70
2
39
petoskey, michigan
i am in northern michigan and we can get very cold up here. i don't think it matters how large/small it is, your chickens won't heat it with their body heat. remember, chickens wear down coats. as long as they have plenty to eat, and are DRY they can actually withstand a lot of cold, especially if you put a heat lamp out for them. it isn't the cold and dry, it is the cold and wet that causes problems. my girls went thru the winter in a stock trailer. i had some lights on a timer to give 10 hours a light in dec, jan and feb. in the middle of feb the lights were turned off. from 4 chicken i got 3 eggs a day, all winter. the front half of the 16 foot long trailer had plexiglass over the openings, and that's where their perches, nest boxes and feeder was. they were out of drafts, but the trailer had a lot of venilation. the back half and the back end's openings were not covered and the waterer was in the back half. i snow-blowed clear up to the trailer, and shoveled the last foot or two to get in. my girls were able to free range, uh, snow range all winter. they explored the lean to and the tractor shed. i was pleasantly surprised because i put in one bale of straw last october and it is all still dry except for the one wheelbarrowful i took out just today. there is no smell whatsoever. i fluffed the straw about once a week and tossed leftovers, scraps and scratch to encourage them to keep it churned up. i would say not to worry about keeping it warm. if it is closed in enough for you to keep it warm, it is closed in enough to stink. i think they do better with more room. moving around gets muscles warm and moving. the one thing i am going to do next year is to up heat lamps over my night roost, but i think this is more for my peace of mind. also be sure to use wood for perches, nothing metal, that can sap warmth from their feet. if your roost is big enough for them to hunker down on their feet (i have the 4 inch side of a 2x4) i think you'll be surprised at how well they do. i think our birds are tougher than we give them credit for.
 

bagendhens

Songster
10 Years
Mar 29, 2009
854
7
141
Outside the Boundries
thansk for the suggestions.
smile.png

im planning on doing a nice "wide" roost (4") anyway so thats good to know...
i know there fialry cold hardy but i also dont want to take any chances lol.

we were discussing today and were going to see if we can get a cheap metal shed, move everything out of the wooden shed in back into the new shed and turn the back 1/3rd of the wooden shed into a coop (the rest of the shed will be used as a potting/garden shed) if we can do this it would be sooo much easier and theyd get a good 5x8 ft section.
my biggest worry with going bigger is the temptation to expand, lol...must resist silkies must resist silkies lol
 

MANNA-PRO

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