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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by funonahonda, Apr 5, 2011.
Gonna have 8-10 hens, which size would be the best and how many nestboxes?
Two or three boxes is plenty, as they love to share.
As for size, as big as you can realistically make it, and afford to make it. A week or three being "cooped up" with a foot or two of snow leads to horrid boredom. Whatever size you "think" you'd make it, add a few feet in length. Seriously.
Oh, and enjoy!
I am not an expert and I am sure that someone else will chime in, but I am pretty sure its 4 sq ft per bird and 1 nest box per 2 birds.
all the advice you'll get here will say figure 4 sq ft per girl. you only need 1 nest box for every 4 girls, so you're looking 32 to 40 sq feet, 2 or 3 nest boxes
Going with your higher number, I'd recommend a 6x8 housing (and really, an 8x8 would cost about the same, and would give extra room in case chicken math ever hits) and a minimum of a 100 sq. ft. run, unless you're pretty much a total free-ranger. With 10 hens, I'd opt for 3 - 4 nest boxes.
I notice you have an incubatoir. Don't build for the minimum number of chickens. That would be a mistake.
The rule of thumb is one nest for every four hens. Most will lay in the same one, but there have been times when an extra one comes in handy, if you have broody, for instance. For 8 to 10 hens, I'd build 3.
The rule of thumb on here is a MINIMUM of 4 square feet per chicken in the coop and 10 square feet per chicken in the run. There are a lot of different things that go into these numbers. Some people get by with less, but some people try less and run into trouble. If chickens are too crowded, they can become cannibals. That's why a lot of commercial operations that really crowd their laying hens automatically trim their top beaks so they don't eat each other.
There are diminishing returns at some point, but your chickens are usually a lot happier if they have plenty of room. You will find that they are also easier to manage if they have plenty of room. One example is their poop. They poop a lot. If they are packed in fairly tightly, you have to manage that poop on a regular basis. If they have lots of room, you have to manage that poop a whole lot less often.
The reason Teach1rusl said an 8' x 8' is about the same cost as an 8' x 6' is that most building material comes in 4' or 8' dimensions. You will use a little more material, like maybe one extra sheet of siding and possibly some roofing material, but you will also have less waste and less cutting. And with that incubator, I'm not convinced 8' x 8' is big enough. Those incubators are dangerous. I know. I'm adjusting my temperatures now.
I have seven hens in a 4x8 house and they were fine all thru the winter, even on the days they had to stay in all day. The amusing thing to me is that I have two nest boxes, but all seven hens lay in one nest box; always have.
I have 15 Welsummers 13 Hens and 2 Roos in a 10x18 Room and I am in the process of building a run. I have 6 milk crates stacked with the fronts cut off and secured to the wall. Many times I have had 12 eggs in 1 nest box and I have seen 2 in all 6 before. They mainly use the lower boxes but they use them all! For a coop with 10 hens either a 8x8 or 8x12. My bator gets a lot of use and I mainly sell the chicks but m flock has grown quite a bit. I have a 20x30 coop with 26 hens that free range most days and in that coop I have a 8x10 room as a grow out pen for chicks 4-12 weeks old. The more space the better.
For instance, here in Oklahoma we received 38 inches of snow in about 10 days with temps dropping to -25. My flock stayed inside for 4-5 weeks. They were fine with the space. I bought 2 heated 3 gallon waterers and they didn't freeze but the temp in the coop was around 0 to 5 degrees at night and 30-40 during the day.
I live in Michigan and we get alot of snow, so I go with 3 sq ft per bird so they stay warm in winter, not sure where in Ohio you are and how much snow you get but something to consider! Go as big as you can on space though.... you will inevitably want more chickens!
I am building a 4x10 chicken tractor. I keep hearing different things on how many chickens I can put inside.