To Small Of A Coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by 6RandomBrownLayers, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. 6RandomBrownLayers

    6RandomBrownLayers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 23, 2011
    My coop is 4x4 and 6 ft tall in the back and 7 ft tall in the front so the rain slides off. My question is: is this coop to small for 6 chcikens? They're not Bantams, however they are able to free range all day, from 8 to 4:45. They only go into the coop to sleep.
  2. hemet dennis

    hemet dennis Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes [​IMG]

    opp's i mean it is ok as in not to small

    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  3. sj3364

    sj3364 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 21, 2011
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I have a 4x4 coop and currently have 5 LF in there. It's a little snug for my taste. My plan was for 4, but you know how chicken math goes. I am re-homing my rooster soon so I'll be back to 4 which I think is the perfect number for my coop.

    If you live in a warm climate and they only sleep there, it would probably be fine. I have 2 roosts and they can easily fit 3 or 4 to a roost. If they have to spend time confined in there in the winter I would say you'd be pushing it.

    Hope this helps.
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    If you confine them even some of the time, they should have about 3 square feet per bird - you have 16 square feet, enough for 5 hens (you have to subtract space used for feeders, waterers and nest boxes). You are ok if this is for daytime lounging with access to a run or yard.
  5. 6RandomBrownLayers

    6RandomBrownLayers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 23, 2011
    They have access to 6 acres of woods/pasture all day but today there was snow, so they decided it was better inside. [​IMG] Which is fine. How big should a roost be and how far off the ground and away from the walls? I have 3 roosts but only 2 of 6 seem to use them. Any reason some wouldnt be using them?
  6. redhotchick

    redhotchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2011
    Fort Worth
    Man,I see on BYC all the time people saying you need 3sq feet or more.I just dont see it.I have a 6x9 coop & 30+ birds that sleep in there.Half farm birds & the rest bantams.You just dont need a larger coop.My birds all huddle together on one side anyway.There is still about 65% roost space left.I do not have a chicken yard,I let mine free range.If all they do is sleep in there,you are more than fine for more birds. There is a lot of animal rights types on this site."Oooooh poor chickens"They are still animals.My birds are healthy & happy.One thing that is very important is air-flow.Chickens need fresh air.It also needs to be easy to clean.I build all metal coops & spray mine out with a hose.I shovel out the floor & have a shavings covering. Wood absorsb more than steel. Worry more about air and how to clean.They will be fine.Now if you have a small yard for them,all of this goes out the window.You would need a larger coop.
  7. epeloquin

    epeloquin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    I think the recommendation for 3sq. feet is including run space keeping in mind that many backyard chicken owners can't let their chickens out. Obviously if they are only using the coop for laying eggs and roosting then the space requirements are different.
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There are so many different things that go into space requirements for chickens that there is no one right answer for all. Room means both in the coop and other room available, whether in an enclosed run or with a lot more "free-range" space. If someone is talking about coop space only and ignores the additional space component, they are not talking about the whole picture.

    Each chicken has its own personality and each flock has its own dynamics. If you get a vicious brute, hen or rooster, then the others need extra room to get away. If they are all relatively laid back, then they don't as much room. How you manage them plays a part. How often do you leave them locked in the coop while they are awake instead of giving them access to additional space.

    Climate plays a part. How often do you have weather that keeps them in the coop? Again, chickens are different. I've had some that will walk through snow and forage once they get used to it, while others would never set foot in snow. Mine generally don't mind cold, but they don't like wind. If the wind is not hitting them, they will go out and forage in single digits Fahrenheit weather. But if they can''t get out of the wind, they pretty much stay inside or find a protected place. Whether they have a place they can get to that is protected against snow accumulation and wind makes a difference.

    Then there is the issue with how hard you want to work. Do you want to go out and clear snow whenever it falls, or maybe scatter something on top, like straw, for them to walk on? You'll probably need to clean that straw up later. How often do you want to get involved in poop management? Some people manage poop on a daily basis. I shovel up the poop accumulations under the roosts maybe once every 4 to 6 weeks and just rake the rest. It's been years since I cleaned out the whole coop and that was more to get compost material that because it needed it.

    I find that by giving them extra room, I work less and I have more flexibility in how I manage them. My coop is oversized, so if I want to sleep in some mornings, I can. If I want to take a trip, it is easier to get someone to take care of the chickens if they don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to let them out. If I have a predator problem, I can leave them locked in the coop and run (which is also large) while I deal with the problem.

    The bottom line is that there is no one set answer to your question. You might be fine with your set-up and that spacing, even if they are trapped in there a fair amount of time this winter. The tighter they are housed, the more likely you are to have behavior problems with them and the more you will probably have to work. I am certainly not going to guarantee that you will or will not have problems. I don't know.
  9. 6RandomBrownLayers

    6RandomBrownLayers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 23, 2011
    They have, if they want 7.8 acres to go around but stay in less then an acre. Would my coop be big enough for more chickens? Cause we all know chicken math. If so how many?

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