Will My Coop Be Big Enough?

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

  1. Elleoz

    Elleoz Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 13, 2011
    Fort Mill SC
    My husband is getting ready to build a coop for my small flock of 4. I have 1 Buff Orpington, 1 Golden Comet, 1 Silver Laced Wyandott, and 1 Easter Egger - all @ 3 weeks old. He has some scrap wood and framing that he wants to use. It is approximately 2' X 5' X 2'. Will that be big enough for my girls? We are going to put the nest boxes on the outside to give them a little more room.

  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Having a coop two feet tall will make it hard to clean, and there will barely be enough room for them to roost, take my word on this mine is three feet tall.

    The general rule of thumb is floorspace per chicken, at 4 square feet per standard bird.

    All of your birds should be standard size, so you will need 16 square feet, that could be in any sane arrangement.


    the plan of 2*5 is 10 square feet and good for 2.5 standard birds or two standards and one bantam.

    Here are pictures of my coop and run.


    the coop part is three feet across (wide) counting the nest boxes with external access and three feet tall not counting the stilts, it is 5 feet long. with 10 total 12inch*12inch nest boxes and a central roost bar...

    In the end it will depend on how you will use your coop, if they will always have access to a closed run (like mine), you never go on vacation and your weather is perfect year around- you can get away with a smaller coop then 4 square feet per chicken, if you might have to leave them in there due to deep snow or a hurricane warrning or illness or vacation you will want more room then recommended per bird.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  3. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    I prefer a coop I can stand in. But I also like them on wheels. So I make them 4 ft tall and accessible from all sides when they are made to be roll-about. When permanently sited, a minimum of 6 feet tall is best.
    I also have a design that allows for both - wheeled mobility, yet big enough to stand in. It is the perfect chicken tractor.

    That 4 square feet number is a compromise from the early industrial side of the business. It suffices; that's the best we can say about it. Chickens should not be confined in that space indefinitely. There is some room to wiggle, of course, but coops are not where chickens should live; they're for roosting and nesting.

    Your goal should be to keep them OUT of the coop at other times. I would concentrate on an open air henyard of sufficient area, first. Adequate nest and roosting shelter for 4 hens will be the easy part.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2012
  4. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    Please consider who and how the coop will be cleaned and maintained. The litter will need to be cleaned, the roost bars scraped off periodically, the cobwebs removed as well....

    Our coop is 3" too short. It was supposed to be 5'6" tall (so I could stand inside it)....somehow it ended up at 5'2" tall. Ah, math skills and building. Hey, it's plumb and level - just short!

    So I can go inside the coop and stand up between the rafters. I just have to remember NOT to move a certain way, or I klunk my head on a rafter (ouch!). I've learned. But it does make cleaning the coop a bit harder than it should.

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