Too many different answers about, "How many chickens to a coop?"

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by babiracki5, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. babiracki5

    babiracki5 In the Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2010
    We have a chainlink "dog run" that is 10'x10'. We will be covering the top with more chainlink to make it coyote/owl proof. The coop finished dimensions will be 6'x4' with 4 nesting boxes attached. I plan to lift the coop up off of the ground by 11" high. So, I think the hens will have the entire 10x10 area to run around. Can I put 10 hens in this coop/run??? In case it might help I am currently brooding 5 week old and 3 week old chicks and in my guest bathrooms bathtub. They are, 1 EE, 1 ameraucana, 1 New Hampshire, 1 Black sex link, 2 Light Brahamas, 1 Delaware, 2 black ones with white speckles, and a Rhode Island Red. So, Do I have enough room for them all??? Also, Is there such a thing as "toys" for chickens? Thank you so much for your time!! [​IMG]
     
  2. cterbizan

    cterbizan Songster

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    you are suppose to have 4 sq ft per standard chicken in the coop for the size you have you have enough room for 6 so it would be a little cramped for them in the coop. The run you should have at least 10 sq. ft for each standard chicken you do have enough room for them in the run.
     
  3. nancypo

    nancypo Songster

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    My Coop
    I had read about 4 square feet per hen. I have 3 hens in a 7' x 2 1/2' main coop and then a 2 x 6' tractor, that I can attach or use alone. That sounds like to many chickens to me personally from what I've read. You could attach another area to it and expand it, or get a 2nd run. Make sure you add a covered roof for rain/snow/shade. I'm putting a mister out today ($8.00 locally) since it's in the high 90's to keep my girls cool...

    As to toys, I have added a mirror to my little brood when they were still inside. A lot of people here post setting up food "toys"- add a hanging ( 3 or?) suet feeders filled with veggies, core out a cabbage and hang it up. Some veggies will flavor your eggs though. Just keep reading this site, lots of info.
     
  4. babiracki5

    babiracki5 In the Brooder

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    OH! Hummmm!?!?!? (Im scratching the top of my head now). OK! Thank you so much for the super fast reply. [​IMG] back to the drawing board.
     
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    As cterbizan and nancypo said, a little tight. If you are planning on free ranging at all then it might be OK.
    Chickens don't really play with toys much. Food toys as nancypo said work.

    Imp
     
  6. babiracki5

    babiracki5 In the Brooder

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    A Mirror?!?!? Sounds like fun. I will try that today. We will put a solid cover on the top very soon. We only get about 3 or 4 inches of snow where we live. The wind and sun is another issue! I will find some neighbors that can adopt some of our girls. Thank you all again. [​IMG]
     
  7. SandyK

    SandyK Songster

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    Why not think if you were a chicken, I would want plenty of room and not be all crowded with my friends. The more crowded, the messier and smellier it will be without lots of cleaning. We are building a 12'x12' area for the girls plus an area for my sink and supplies. This is our second coop, first will be used for babies, and I don't want to have to ever build another one.
     
  8. nancy1zak

    nancy1zak Songster

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    The coop might be ok for your hens because my hens only go in there at night to sleep and lay eggs. At night they crammed all into each other and only use about 2 feet of the roost. They do use all 6 nest boxes though. Mine are morning layers. I have 8 hens and two of them are bantams. As for the run...you should definitely invest on much bigger. We had 9 x 4 and it was too small. They need more room. We added another 12 x 6 run to what we already have and so far it has worked. We had feather picking when we did not have enough space...and that is misery for the chicken and chicken keeper. At the moment, our EE is in a once-was-a-rabbit-hutch-turned-chicken-coop because she got picked on. And, one little bantam sweetie pie is in the broody breaking box...so actually we are down to 6 in the run. And...I think 6 would have been a better number because everyone is getting along fabulously. If you can free range then your size might work, but we can't because we have two giant chicken loving hawks. Oh...for sure...cover the top of your run.
     
  9. tasymo

    tasymo Songster

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    Personally, I think it really depends on your chickens (how well they get along with each other), how much space they have outside, and how much time they are "cooped up". I have a small coop, 4'x4' that stands 6' at the peak, and six standard size hens. I've had them for well over a year now, and there has been NO feather picking or major squabbling. Up until a month ago, they had just an 8'x10', completely enclosed run, but I let them out to free range for a couple of hours each day, weather permitting. I expected more issues in the Winter time, when free ranging wasn't available, but didn't experience any problems. I never left them cooped up all day- even in the Winter they were allowed access to their outside run all day. I may just be fortunate to have easy going Girls that are content with their places in the pecking order. I'm sure I will expand (add another small coop) eventually, simply to add more chickens, but for the time being all is calm in Chicken Hollow!
     
  10. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    There ARE many different answers about "How many chickens to a coop?" because it really depends on many different factors.
    For someone with a commercial chicken house mentality, room to barely turn around may be adequate, with 2 sq. ft. seeming generous (have you LOOKED at what 2 sq. ft. actually is???). And for the person who has 1.5 lb bantams, a coop may seem roomy, while that same coop housing 8-10 lb. chickens seems overly crowded. And for the person who lives in an area with severe winters, where the birds spend a lot of time indoors, a roomy housing seems crucial, while the person who lives in the deep south may not even need a traditional coop housing, just lots of covered shade and roosts. Same with run space...depends on how you view your birds and your attitude toward animal care. What you will never hear, from beginner to "expert," is that chickens will do better in a smaller space.
    Now that I'm typing this, I can't see your area. Normally, I would say appx. 2.5 sq. ft. of housing per bird is going to cause problems for your birds. However, if you're in an area that has year-round good weather, it's doable (provided you have close to 10 ft. of roost space inside)... I go by the 4 sq. ft of housing guideline often quoted on BYC as a minimum rule of thumb, not as an ideal... Would it be possible to do a 6 x 8 coop???
     

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