What is the suggested amount of space for 30 hens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by triple j farms, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. triple j farms

    triple j farms In the Brooder

    Nov 21, 2015
    I have a barn stall made into a coop.(6×15) They also can go outside in an area fenced in with chainlink fence 6ft. high. The fenced in area is 12×15. How many hens will be comfortable in this amount of space?

  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member 6 Years

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    Your coop space would allow 22 hens, but you are restricted by your run space, which allows for only 18. The rule of thumb is 4 square feet per bird in the coop and 10 square feet per bird in the run.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
  3. triple j farms

    triple j farms In the Brooder

    Nov 21, 2015
    Thanks. Right now I have 20 hens in there. Although several are not full grown hens and some are bantam size.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    We keep chickens in different climates, have different goals, use different management techniques, each chicken has its own personality, there are just so many different variables that no one set of numbers can cover us all. If you look through this forum you’ll see recommendations anywhere from 2 square feet per chicken in the coop with no provision of run space to 16 square feet in the coop. They are all right, depending on the variables. The 2 square feet requires commercial management techniques which I do not recommend. 16 square feet per chicken is extreme overkill for the vast majority of us.

    I just don’t know enough about your unique set-up and plans to be able to make a solid recommendation. From what little I know I suggest you start with no more than 15 hens, which is the minimum order from many hatcheries at certain times of the year, and see how it goes. You’ll probably be OK.

    If you wish, you can follow the link in my signature to see some of the variables I think are important. In general the tighter I crowd them the more behavioral problems I have to deal with, the harder I have to work, and the less flexibility I have to deal with things that pop up.

    If they are all the same sex and the same age you can generally keep them in less space. You can usually add one rooster to a flock of hens without space requirements going up, but if you add two or more roosters the space requirements may increase tremendously. If you ever plan to integrate new chickens in the future, maybe for replacements, or ever have a broody hen raise chicks with the flock, your space requirements go up.

    Chickens poop a lot. The more chickens you crowd into a small space the more you have to work managing the poop. I clean my coop once every three or four years and scrape the droppings board every two to four weeks, depending on flock size and such. Others are out there managing poop daily. That’s just one example of working harder if you have less space.

    You may notice most of my comments are not about the chickens’ comfort. They are pretty adaptable though if you crowd them too much they can become cannibalistic. It’s about your comfort. Chickens should be a pleasure, not a burden.

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