Very new and want to ask a question about coop size............

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by paradiscroozin, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. paradiscroozin

    paradiscroozin New Egg

    Mar 11, 2014
    I have read through a lot of threads and saw the minimum amount of space for a hen is 4 square feet. I am bad at math but will be making a pallet coop that is 4 feet by 4 feet on all sides, not including the nesting box and roof. This will be lifted by 2 feet poles and the outside run will be located on both sides. One will be about 6 feet high, 3 feet wide, 2 feet long ( this is this tall because I want a door to come in and clean) and the other side will be 4 feet high,6 feet long and 3 feet wide.

    I'm not really worried too much about the run since it will be on both sides as well as under the coop. My question is.... Is a square 4 by 4 feet coop the ideal size for 4 birds only? I am about to make plans to order the birds and have pallets and hardware cloth to make the coop but just want o make sure that I make it big enough.

    Some of these coops that I've seen in stores seem small but say they house 5-8 hens. I really wanted 5 chicks but I want to know about the size of the coop. The whole square feet thing is throwing me off. If I wanted 5 hens, will making it 5 feet high and 4 feet wide work?

    I'm confused and want them to have enough room. I am asking about the housing only. Please don't tell me about square footage and tell me width, length, and height in feet talk only.

    I appreciate the help!
  2. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2013
    5x4x5ft tall or 5x5x5 tall will be plenty.
  3. paradiscroozin

    paradiscroozin New Egg

    Mar 11, 2014
    Thanks so much!!!! :)
  4. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2012
    Remember "It's all relative". When you see the number of 4sq/ft per bird that's a suggested number that doesn't take EVERYTHING into consideration.

    For instance the recommended roost length is 1ft/bird. I have 7 hens and 8ft of roost, all 7 jam into just 4ft of roost so that number has gone out the window for my birds.

    If you have bantams then you'll need less space.

    I have a coop that is never closed up, they have access to the run 24/7. So in my case I would expect that I can exceed the recommended number of birds for my space and they should be ok to a point. But how much can I exceed it, 1 extra bird, 2, 3, 4? At some point the max would be reached, but that max is an unknown number until it's hit. My birds mostly jump off the roost in the morning and head out to the run, so they spend less time all together in the coop.

    Also it depends on the birds themselves, one flock might be fine with only 3sqft/bird while another might need 4.2sqft/bird due to personalities.

    Also there's the issue scale, for instance a 2x4 foot coop is 8sqft so should be good for 2 birds. But with 2 birds in that small space it might be difficult for both birds to flap their wings at the same time without hitting each other or walls. As you scale up the size of the coop there will be more free space available for each bird to move around in as it will have more unused space. If you add 1 extra bird to the 2x4ft coop then you have 2.7sqft/bird but in a 40sqft coop with 10 birds if you add one more then it's 3.6sqft/bird so it's much easier to exceed recommended numbers as the size of the coop grows.

    Food and water inside the coop takes up space vs outside food and water.

    If you want to exceed the recommended number of birds for a given space then you'll have to keep an eye out to make sure that they are all getting along and there are no issues between the birds caused by a lack of space.

    Of course all my rambling ignores Chicken Math but that's a whole other topic.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014

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