What size coop is needed?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by shadowmane, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. shadowmane

    shadowmane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay, I have 15 chicks that will one day be full grown chickens. What size coop will I need to build in order to house them if they are going to be free-range without a run? I've been trying to do the math myself, but its boggling. I thought about an 8x12 coop, but that might be too much for the number of birds I have. What's the smallest we can get by with. I have approximately 3 weeks to get this thing built.
  2. beefmaster

    beefmaster Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 17, 2012
    the 8 by 12 will be just right for your flock.an itll give you room to move around in it.
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    15 chicks X 4 sq ft is 60 sq ft. An 8X8 = 64 sq ft. So 8X12 they will love, plus it leaves room to partition off a section for new chicks, a broody, an injured bird, etc. And a galvanized garbage can or two to hold feed, grit, Boss, etc. will fit nicely.

    Of course there are lots of factors, and the 4 sq ft is a broad rule of thumb only. If snow will keep them in a lot in winter, 8X12 is almost skimpy. If it's hot, 8X8 is plenty; they can live in a lot less.

    So many people build small then regret it. I have 11 birds in an 11X17 coop, because i had the materials. (I've had a lot more in there.) Somehow a coop never feels too big.

    I really like this post about space: (post #8)

    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
  4. shadowmane

    shadowmane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the responses. How about 8x8? Would that be sufficient space for them? I'm looking to build something portable, but I don't have a lot of supplies or $ to do it with.
  5. shadowmane

    shadowmane Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've just discovered the idea of building a pallet coop. I think that one is right up my alley. Now I have to find a place to get some pallets. I might have a line on some from Craigslist.
  6. darin367

    darin367 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 1, 2010
    Shelton, Wa.
    your more than fine with an 8x8 for 15 birds.......
  7. TomGallopavo

    TomGallopavo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Hillbillyville, MO
    I have 13 chickens, 12 hens and a roo, in an 8x8 coop. They free range and do fine...however, if you have the stuff, by all means build the 8x12, you'll love the extra space. BTW, if your free ranging, you will not have 15 chickens for very long...you'll lose a few now and then...unless you are freakishly lucky.
  8. shadowmane

    shadowmane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Gee thanks, Tom. I'm attached enough already to these little fluffballs, and now you're telling me I'm going to have some attrition!!! [​IMG]

    I'm going on a pallet gathering expedition today. Hopefully, this Wednesday, I can begin the coop in earnest (I have to work Monday and Tuesday).
  9. TomGallopavo

    TomGallopavo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Hillbillyville, MO
    Just preparing you for the realities of free ranging...I'm attached to mine as well. For me, the rewards out way the loses...of course you are also prepared for fencing anything thing you want up...flowers, tomatoes, etc........no roundup, no lawn ferts, poisons.....unless you also build a run so you can keep them locked in for some time...like I have. Good luck with the coop and please post some pics.

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