This subject has probly been beat to death....but....

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dsmdaryl, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. dsmdaryl

    dsmdaryl In the Brooder

    Feb 8, 2008
    North Central PA
    I have about 20 chicks right now. I'm going to be building a coop shortly. I need a min and max size idea for the coop. I'm on a tight budget, but I'm not going to crowd them either, just want to know what range I have to work with. Also need to have height factored in. Lastly, the roost, does it mater how far off the floor it is? Is higher better? Anything would be a help right now.
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Figure 4 sq ft per bird inside floor measurement. 8x8= 64 sq ft divided by 4 sq ft=16 birds, for example.
    If you have larger standard breeds, you do not want an excessively high roost to prevent leg injuries and bumblefoot from jumping down hard. Mine is a huge ladder that starts about a foot off the floor and goes to within maybe 2 ft of the ceiling. They can jump from rung to rung and never have to jump very far. Make it tall enough that you can walk into and it will be easier to clean, etc.
  3. countryboy

    countryboy Songster

    Oct 31, 2007
    thanks speckeledhen for wording it like that. in the books i have and information i have read i don't think i ever saw that 4sq.ft per bird is how to figure square footage. much appreciated.
    i woluld put a big smiley but last time i went to i picked up a virus. so pretend its a big one. [​IMG]
  4. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    I have a smaller area, I have 2 sq feet per bird. But they free rangeeach evening and no matter what the weather is they have access to the run. They only go in the coop as predator safety at night. My run has 8 sq ft per bird. Although, it is about to have more than 10 again! My brothers chickens are heading back to him!

    They actually all sleep on top of each other in the same corner!!
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    4 sq ft sure helps if you have to lock them up inside for a day or three due to some situation like weather, though.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I wonder if you would maybe be a lot better off either planning for a plastic-covered run in winter, or building the largest coop you can afford, since you are in North Central PA which can get snowy and cold for loooong periods in the winter.

    Even just 4 sq ft per bird is going to get awfully tight, I think, if they end up staying indoors all day every day for a good long while. It's just *asking* for problems with them trying to disassemble each other.

    Personally I would really not plan for anything less than 4 sq ft per bird but I think you and your chickens will have a much better time of it if you can get more like 10 sq ft per bird in coop and semi-enclosed run *combined* (which could be something like an 8x10 coop plus a 10x12 or 8x15 roofed-and-plastic-wrapped-for-winter run). At *least*.


  7. dsmdaryl

    dsmdaryl In the Brooder

    Feb 8, 2008
    North Central PA
    What my problem was is I didn't account for the extra chicks they sent to keep the B. Orps warm (they look like barred rocks to me). I was going to go with an 8x10 and let them out during the day. The thought of a run hasn't really been pressing yet. Not until fall anyways. I will probly put something up, I like the plastic covered run idea. I'll probly use that. I have 2 dogs outside that keep the yard clear of predators. (rott and beagle) I'll probly let the my jack russell out with them during the day to keep them in the yard. So really the only time they'll have to be in is at night and when it's really nasty outside. I appreciate all the helpful answers:) I'm glad I joined this forum!
  8. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    One thing to keep in mind is that the ''warmer chicks" are more than likely roosters so you probably won't be keeping all of them long-term anyway.

    I'd also watch the JR with them......I wouldn't trust him with them, or to keep them in the yard.
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I wouldn't trust ANY JR terrier with a bird. Someone just some of my lost Orp babies to a pack of them. Terrier types are not great with birds, period.

    Pat is correct-the 4 sq ft per bird interior space is to me a minimum. With protracted periods of inside living, that can even become pretty tight. A covered run will also help because they can be allowed outside even in bad weather then.
  10. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    I live in Upstate NY, and I didn't plan on the extra hens I was given. That said, I now have 3 sq. ft. per bird. It is tight but not like I had expected. On the cold days, they actually help heat up the coop. The nesting boxes dont' take any room away. I think that helps. Make sure you have cold hardy birds and you'd be surprised how much they actually go out. Mine only stay in when it's under 15-20 degrees, but I keep the door open for them almost always. I had only one fight so far this winter. The only reason I would suggest building bigger is if you decide to get more in the coming years.


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