I'm not sure if this belongs here or in the Coop/Run forum but since we're dealing with babies I thought I'd stick it here... My 15 chicks are currently split up into a group of 5 meaties in a 25" x 42" brooder (18" high), and the other 10 (boys=meat, hens=layers) are in a 2ft high x 2ft x 4ft brooder. We have almost finished the coop which is a 4ft x 8ft A-frame construction and will have a sand floor over plywood. The inside is pretty pitched, but it sits over a fully-wired-in 3ft tall base, so they have protected outdoor access. Even the bottom is wired. Since Tennessee stays mild for quite a while, my plan is to leave their little hatch door open at night so they can have twice the space while enclosed in the coop, and then letting them out into a sizable pen during the day, probably something constructed out of 48" netting or wire fence or such. I thought this would be okay with 15 birds until the boys reach slaughter age, but didn't realize how FAST the chicks would grow!!! I have Speckled Sussex, Buff Orpingtons, and White Plymouth Rocks, 5 of each. Ultimately there will only be a few hens as the SS and BO came as a straight run so I don't expect more than 4-5 girls at most, if I'm lucky. The Rocks are all cockerels. Given that slaughter age should be around 12-16 weeks, do you think they will be okay crowded in that coop until then? (This sounds like a math problem ). I've spent hours making that coop snug and safe and don't have anywhere else to stick the birds. Is it going to get horrirbly filthy and nasty in that coop? Is this a really bad idea? This is -obviously!- my first go with chickens and I kind of under-estimated their growth rate.... What do I do?