How many chickens can I fit in my coop?

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Han Goddard

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How many chickens can I fit in my coop?
« on: November 24, 2020, 10:29 »
Hello all. We have spent ages constructing a coop and run for our chickens and before purchasing any I would like to know how many chickens I could keep in my coop? They would only be in there over night as they'd be in their run all day every day. I have attached a photo. The main area (not including nest boxes) is 86cm x 83cm and the nest boxes both go out 34 cm and have 3 slots in each (I've heard you don't need very many nest boxes so I will probably take the divides out of one side and use it to put their food/water). There is so much conflicting information out there so I would appreciate any help! Thank you in advance :)
Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 10.27.30.png

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samuria

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Re: How many chickens can I fit in my coop?
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2020, 18:44 »
first thing  is what size hens do you want?
you say they are in the run all day, is it covered? chickens do not like getting wet. so if not covered will go back in coop....
i was always told 2-3 sq feet per bird in coop, and 8-10 in run.
bantams would be less  though.

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Han Goddard

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Re: How many chickens can I fit in my coop?
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2020, 10:05 »
first thing  is what size hens do you want?
you say they are in the run all day, is it covered? chickens do not like getting wet. so if not covered will go back in coop....
i was always told 2-3 sq feet per bird in coop, and 8-10 in run.
bantams would be less  though.

We don't want all bantams but they won't be huge hens (excuse the rubbish description! :wacko: ). The run is about 100 square foot so they will have plenty of access to space all day every day and we have a cover for it for when it it's rainy/windy

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New shoot

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Re: How many chickens can I fit in my coop?
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2020, 11:06 »
The absolute minimum space per bird is 1 sq foot, but to my mind, that is too crowded and I would allow more space per bird as Samuria advises.

You need to make the coop easy to clean and if it is full to capacity, that is a lot of poop dropped in there every night.  You also wants the hens to be relaxed and happy and overcrowding breeds stress and tension.  They tend to bunch together to sleep, but that doesn't mean they want to be crammed in like sardines with no choice.  The pecking order can be harsh and hens need to be able to split off into smaller groups if they want to.

Hope that helps  :)

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Han Goddard

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Re: How many chickens can I fit in my coop?
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2020, 11:38 »
The absolute minimum space per bird is 1 sq foot, but to my mind, that is too crowded and I would allow more space per bird as Samuria advises.

You need to make the coop easy to clean and if it is full to capacity, that is a lot of poop dropped in there every night.  You also wants the hens to be relaxed and happy and overcrowding breeds stress and tension.  They tend to bunch together to sleep, but that doesn't mean they want to be crammed in like sardines with no choice.  The pecking order can be harsh and hens need to be able to split off into smaller groups if they want to.

Hope that helps  :)

That's great, thank you for the information! It's good to hear from people with experience rather than just relying on Google. I will probably only have a small amount in that case to give them enough room:)

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grinling

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Re: How many chickens can I fit in my coop?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2020, 20:04 »
Similar size to mine, so I would go with 6. Have you got perches at different heights? They need to be higher than the nest box.
Do not put food and water inside the house, but hang outside.
I use a washing up bowl for water in mine as easy to clean.
Permanemt roof over the house and part of the run would be useful to keep them dry and stop to much mud.
My girl is on concrete with a sandpit with soil and ash in it with a tunnel going onto a wired greenhouse.

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grinling

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Re: How many chickens can I fit in my coop?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2020, 20:09 »
Get the chickens from the same place and breed,or you should quarantine different groups.

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Han Goddard

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Re: How many chickens can I fit in my coop?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2020, 22:46 »
Similar size to mine, so I would go with 6. Have you got perches at different heights? They need to be higher than the nest box.
Do not put food and water inside the house, but hang outside.
I use a washing up bowl for water in mine as easy to clean.
Permanemt roof over the house and part of the run would be useful to keep them dry and stop to much mud.
My girl is on concrete with a sandpit with soil and ash in it with a tunnel going onto a wired greenhouse.

The perches are at the same height however I plan on moving a couple up tomorrow for that reason. Did you have to move the perches up in your coop? I'm trying to work out the best way to do it!

Great tips, thank you! I'll definitely get some shelter going, don't want the ground becoming too sludgy in the rain.

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Han Goddard

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Re: How many chickens can I fit in my coop?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2020, 22:48 »
Get the chickens from the same place and breed,or you should quarantine different groups.

Thank you for the tip! We are getting a mix of hybrids from the same lady and I believe they are all within the same coop at the moment so should be ok

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grinling

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Re: How many chickens can I fit in my coop?
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2020, 15:38 »
Think U with straight sides and put perches within it. I bought a house, must be about 13 years ago, but it has always been under cover. Painted with Culprinol and have heavy duty castors on it for easy moving. My house is on concrete as easy to clean unlike earth.
I have metal panels for the roof and guttering into a water butt, currently draining into polytunnel.
A useful run area is one which can can be divided, so they eat one side , then given the other side.
Hens prefer short grass.

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RubyRed

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Re: How many chickens can I fit in my coop?
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2020, 19:15 »
I have an all singing all dancing oak coop that sleeps 8 officially. Right from the start it has has 9 in it. I bought another coop that slept 4 and bought 3 more as you do. After having them seperate and fenced off they merged as a flock and after 3 weeks I went to lock them up and all 3 newbies had decided they wanted to sleep with the others. So i had an empty coop so I bought 3 more, naughty I know but its a waste of a coop otherwise. At this moment I now have 14, yes 14 that have decided they can't be without one another and just 2 left sleeping in the new coop. It's their choice daft things. They are what I call a rainbow flock. Every one is different, large small and different eggs from white to the darkest brown and blue and green. I love em all.

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Han Goddard

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Re: How many chickens can I fit in my coop?
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2020, 19:37 »
Think U with straight sides and put perches within it. I bought a house, must be about 13 years ago, but it has always been under cover. Painted with Culprinol and have heavy duty castors on it for easy moving. My house is on concrete as easy to clean unlike earth.
I have metal panels for the roof and guttering into a water butt, currently draining into polytunnel.
A useful run area is one which can can be divided, so they eat one side , then given the other side.
Hens prefer short grass.

Ahhh yes I understand. I love the guttering idea! Might add some to the run to utilise any rain fall. Thank you  :)

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Han Goddard

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Re: How many chickens can I fit in my coop?
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2020, 19:43 »
I have an all singing all dancing oak coop that sleeps 8 officially. Right from the start it has has 9 in it. I bought another coop that slept 4 and bought 3 more as you do. After having them seperate and fenced off they merged as a flock and after 3 weeks I went to lock them up and all 3 newbies had decided they wanted to sleep with the others. So i had an empty coop so I bought 3 more, naughty I know but its a waste of a coop otherwise. At this moment I now have 14, yes 14 that have decided they can't be without one another and just 2 left sleeping in the new coop. It's their choice daft things. They are what I call a rainbow flock. Every one is different, large small and different eggs from white to the darkest brown and blue and green. I love em all.

That is so sweet!  :D they must love eachothers company!

We bought our girls home yesterday! We only got 3 in the end (a Lohmann brown, speckled maran and coronation Sussex) as I know you have to add in at least pairs. The coop looks so roomy now we have added them so hoping to add more next year!

Thank you for your reply :)

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New shoot

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Re: How many chickens can I fit in my coop?
« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2020, 20:38 »
We bought our girls home yesterday! We only got 3 in the end (a Lohmann brown, speckled maran and coronation Sussex) as I know you have to add in at least pairs. The coop looks so roomy now we have added them so hoping to add more next year!

That sounds like a good plan.  The other reason not to cram the coop full is to make sure you have hens at different ages.  As the older ones slow down a bit, it is good to have some room for newbies and it is pretty easy to put together a temporary quarantine bit for them  :)



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