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Author Topic: How many hens can I keep  (Read 547 times)

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alexroyall85

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How many hens can I keep
« on: February 05, 2017, 12:01 »
Afternoon all

Just a quick check. My run is 64 square metres and was just wondering how many I can keep in it

Thanks in advance

Alex


grinling

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Re: How many hens can I keep
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2017, 14:58 »
recommended is 1 hen per square meter. The run needs to be fully enclosed from wild birds, so unless mesh is very tiny to stop wrens/sparrows, you will need additional covering. The top needs to be solid to stop bird droppings.

New shoot

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Re: How many hens can I keep
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2017, 18:12 »
The minimum is 1 square metre per bird, but that's pretty cramped.  Most of us allow much more than that. 

What kind of hens do you want and what size coop have you got, or are you trying to work out what to buy depending on the answers you get?  If you go for hybrid layers, you can expect an egg almost daily for the first year at least, so think about how many eggs you actually need.  A few hens in a spacious run would make them happy and be easier for you to keep clean.

Sorry to fire questions back at you, but it will help us to advise you better  :)

alexroyall85

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Re: How many hens can I keep
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2017, 17:54 »
Hi at the moment I have 3 hybrid browns a French maram and six Rhode Island reds.


Was just wondering if I can have anymore with the size of run I have?

grinling

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Re: How many hens can I keep
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2017, 18:21 »
yes, but always quarantine the new hens for a few weeks, and with possible avian flu then quarantine well away from your current flock. Biosecurity will be very important when 2 different sites are in use.

alexroyall85

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Re: How many hens can I keep
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2017, 18:28 »
I won't be getting anymore until the avian ban has been lifted hopefully at the end of the month.

Just trying to plan ahead

New shoot

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Re: How many hens can I keep
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 21:06 »
Wise move to wait.  You should still quarantine new birds as a safeguard.

Space-wise, your run will hold more birds, but consider the size of the housing, whether there will be enough nest boxes and what breed you are getting. 

There is a ton of advice and information on the main site. It may be worth a look  :)

http://www.chickens.allotment-garden.org/keeping-chickens/

Beekissed

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Re: How many hens can I keep
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2017, 06:46 »
Most folk allow a square meter or more for each bird in the coop, three square meters or more for each bird in the run.  Anything less and you run into trouble with feather picking, bullying, cannibalism, health issues, etc.   


ghost61

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Re: How many hens can I keep
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2017, 07:18 »
I think a square metre per hen in the coop is unrealistic for most people.  I have an eglu go that is less than a metre squared and my three hens are happy in that, and it could accommodate four large hens.  My hens only sleep and lay in the coop.  They rarely go in it even if there's bad weather.  The important aspect is the run and making sure that you have several feeding/water stations and pecker blocks/greens hanging around to keep them amused.  A deep litter floor is great as they can scratch about for bugs etc and also create their own dust baths. Perches in the run are a must too.

Beekissed

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Re: How many hens can I keep
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2017, 15:35 »
Quote
I think a square metre per hen in the coop is unrealistic for most people.

Is that due to having no space for larger coops or is it just preference? 

 I read many, many threads on several different forums~this one especially~ about people with small coops and runs experiencing social issues with the chicken flocks and most, if not all, can be eliminated by more space. 

alexroyall85

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Re: How many hens can I keep
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2017, 19:24 »
I always think the more space you can give them the better

snowdrops

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Re: How many hens can I keep
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2017, 20:06 »
Quote
I think a square metre per hen in the coop is unrealistic for most people.

Is that due to having no space for larger coops or is it just preference? 

 I read many, many threads on several different forums~this one especially~ about people with small coops and runs experiencing social issues with the chicken flocks and most, if not all, can be eliminated by more space.

I think it is mainly due to our housing stock not having gardens that allow for larger hen housing

New shoot

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Re: How many hens can I keep
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2017, 21:36 »
I think 1 metre per bird in the coop is not really needed.  I have covered runs, so mine only go in to lay eggs and sleep, when they hunch up together anyway.

I would rather use the room for extra run space, as that's where they spend their waking hours digging big holes for me to fall in, preening and generally mucking about.

Sassy

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Re: How many hens can I keep
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2017, 09:54 »
It is important to consider ventilation in the coop.  :)
Experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted!!

ghost61

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Re: How many hens can I keep
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2017, 10:55 »
If you want to provide a square metre per bird in the coop, then for my three I would need a 1x3 metre coop - that's about 3 ft x 9 ft!  Goodness knows what they would do with that space - I've read that having too large a coop is bad - so as long as your birds are happy - and happy birds lay eggs, then I don't really think that you need to worry about the coop  (apart from making sure that it is dry, ventilated and free of mites etc) - my birds want to run around outside all day, so run size is important.  They have been remarkably well behaved during their confinement given that they usually have the run of the garden.  They have about 9 sq metres to run about in, plus perches.

I do think that if you have a bully amongst your flock, they will be a bully regardless of the space provided -coop or run.

 


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