whats the "right" size?

wildfire8

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 23, 2012
36
0
24
North Idaho
Ive started reading some of these "coop" stories. And size seems to be something of an issue.
m a bit stumped. I guess its cuz if you are wanting more than say 15 birds then why not build a bigger set up?
If you KNOW your only keeping a small 5 to 8 birds hobby flock then one of these tiny set ups is no big issue but anything more than that I guess I would just figure one would be prepaid for growth in numbers.
Well anyway the mane reason this Cancers me is I dint know what is acceptable size for any amount of birds. Do you need a nesting box for each hen? If they have ample roost space is that sufficient? And we let ours out during the day to free range they put them self up at dusk. When the snow is high they still insist on being out. The only time other than night they stay in is during a snow storm, heavy rain and when its cold strong wind. Our current coop is rustic but does the job. We move in two weeks and will be crafting a better coop and want it to be movable. Not a tractor but something we can haul up on a flat bed so when next we move we can bring it along. And then that will be a second coop. looking at being serious breeders on a small scale. About 40 birds total in the end. I know for some that's a lot but for us that's small. Eggs are an issue. Were a family of 10 and I want to ensure good layers through winter. Not all of the birds we have chosen are winter layers.
So on and so forth.
So again, how do I know Ill have ample space for a growing flock?
 

Scooter&Suzie

Songster
8 Years
Jun 23, 2011
2,512
50
221
Pennsylvania
Ive started reading some of these "coop" stories. And size seems to be something of an issue.
m a bit stumped. I guess its cuz if you are wanting more than say 15 birds then why not build a bigger set up?
If you KNOW your only keeping a small 5 to 8 birds hobby flock then one of these tiny set ups is no big issue but anything more than that I guess I would just figure one would be prepaid for growth in numbers.
Well anyway the mane reason this Cancers me is I dint know what is acceptable size for any amount of birds. Do you need a nesting box for each hen? If they have ample roost space is that sufficient? And we let ours out during the day to free range they put them self up at dusk. When the snow is high they still insist on being out. The only time other than night they stay in is during a snow storm, heavy rain and when its cold strong wind. Our current coop is rustic but does the job. We move in two weeks and will be crafting a better coop and want it to be movable. Not a tractor but something we can haul up on a flat bed so when next we move we can bring it along. And then that will be a second coop. looking at being serious breeders on a small scale. About 40 birds total in the end. I know for some that's a lot but for us that's small. Eggs are an issue. Were a family of 10 and I want to ensure good layers through winter. Not all of the birds we have chosen are winter layers.
So on and so forth.
So again, how do I know Ill have ample space for a growing flock?
You need a nesting box for every 4 hens + 1 extra nesting box. So you need 2 nesting boxes for for 2-4 hens, 3 nesting boxes for 5-8 hens, 4 nesting boxes for 9-12 hens, etc.

A hen needs 10 inches of roost space and four square feet of coop space UNLESS you give them a huge run, or let them free range. Then I find that 2 square feet per bird works fine.

I would recommend a coop with 80 square feet, so maybe a 8' by 10' coop?
 

wildfire8

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 23, 2012
36
0
24
North Idaho
That sounds reasonable.
One question about the roosts.
Are there any rules? We try to get hefty pine branches two to three inches diameter. This way they are rough enough to grip and large enough that the feet are resting rather than tightly gripping a small pole. Does that make sense?
 

Scooter&Suzie

Songster
8 Years
Jun 23, 2011
2,512
50
221
Pennsylvania
That sounds reasonable.
One question about the roosts.
Are there any rules? We try to get hefty pine branches two to three inches diameter. This way they are rough enough to grip and large enough that the feet are resting rather than tightly gripping a small pole. Does that make sense?
I would think that would work. In the wild chickens just roosted up in trees, so I would think that would be very comfortable for them.
 

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