What is the appropriate sized flock for my chicken area?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kmlmgm, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. kmlmgm

    kmlmgm Chirping

    Aug 2, 2013
    My chickens have a 10X14 shed for shelter, and an enclosed attached run of 200 feet. What is the ideal number of hens I should have? I'm worried if I have too many, obviously, they won't be happy. But, if I have too few, will they be cold in the winter? The shed is not insulated.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging 7 Years

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    You're right for not wanting to crowd.
    The building could take up to 35 but the run only about 20.
    The more space the better - always.

    On the other point. Unless you're above the arctic circle or you choose non-cold hardy breeds there is no concern about cold. None of my buildings are insulated and have big open windows year round.
    Chickens need fresh air not warmth. Your biggest issue is having enough ventilation if you have very many birds.
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    In my experience if you have about 10 large fowl in a 200 square foot run it feels about right.

    The general rule of thumb on BYC that people quote is 4 sq. ft. in coop per chicken PLUS 10 sq. ft. per chicken in the run.

    However, I have found that I can squeeze more chickens into the coop just fine because our winters are not very cold except for a couple of weeks, and so they live in the run.

    If your chickens will basically live in the shed because of snow and ice, then they need much more room than what I do.

    I have found that having a nice large run for the number of chickens makes them happier. So while you could fit 35 if you only consider your coop and 20 if you only consider your run, I'd say 10 is comfortable because of the size of your run. If you are going to be free ranging them each day for a small portion of the day, then hey I'd go with 20!

    If they will be free range except for emergencies, then you can fit 35 in there unless you have very cold winters.

    Just my opinion!!!

    (They WILL peck each other and cannibalize if overcrowded and thus it is best to not overcrowd. If you are going to have bantams then you can fit more.)
    They will be just fine in the shed if there isn't a breeze blowing on them on their roosts.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2013

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