Think about how you will access the nest boxes from outside the coop, so you can gather eggs easily. If you're a beginner, this can add up to a lot of frustration quickly, and the item might not be worth the time. Wild jungle fowl tend to have a range that averages about 2 acres per bird. The run should be at least twice the size of the coop. For lighter breeds, like the White Leghorn, chickens that are allowed to forage outside during the day should have at least 3 square feet per bird, so a 4′ x 8′ coop could house 10-11 birds. The smaller bantam breeds require less, about 7 square feet per chicken. Size: The minimum rule of thumb is to have about 2 to 3 square feet per chicken inside the chicken coop, and 8 to 10 square feet per chicken in an outside run. The run has a walk-in service door, with latch, for access to your chickens. The standard size of chicken coop door ranges from 10”x10” , but this is the rough estimate as it solely depends on the farm owner that what type of breed and how many chickens he would like to own in his backyard . You can get by with 1 square foot per bird if you have a run and your coop has more cubic feet (height). The minimum rule of thumb is about 2 to 3 square feet per chicken inside the chicken coop, and 8 to 10 square feet per chicken in an outside run. ... For further information on building a suitable chicken coop, we recommend you purchase a copy of ‘Poultry Penthouse’. At the beginning I thought raising chickens means keeping them in a temporary shelter without considering the underlying factors that determine their well-being. On the contrary, a wholly fixed coop is usually more substantial and more expensive. Also, if you relocate homes, you can take this coop with you. Review a few tips before you get started. Position roosts at least 12” from the nearest parallel wall, 12” from each other and no more than 2-3 feet from the floor unless a ladder is provided. Make sketches of your coop. Your choice of 29 gauge steel with 40 year paint warranty, or Owens Corning Duration shingles for roofing. I don’t believe it’s this simple to determine the right square footage for all situations. The larger standard chickens such as the Dominique, Faverolles or Australorp will each require the full 4 square feet of coop space. These factors all play a part in determining the ideal chicken coop size. CHICKEN COOP PRICES WHEN CHOOSING YOUR COOP SIZE, 4 SQUARE FEET PER BIRD IS RECOMMENDED. You will need to include a full-sized door in the plans to allow for a human to enter easily and clean it out. They prefer to roost off the ground to discourage ground parasites. This would require an area of approximately 6′ X 10′. If you want more chickens consider the space you have available and determine your size accordingly. The nest boxes also need to be a couple of feet off the ground, or they generally won't get used. But there's no need to go overboard on the construction. Plan for 8-12” of roost space per bird inside the chicken coop; 2x4s are commonly used as roosts, but natural tree branches accommodate the natural grip of a chicken’s foot better. Coop Kits; Coops by Flock Size. It also makes them more apt to have issues with external parasites such as mites and lice who like the dark, warm, damp area between the chickens' bodies and the straw or shavings you use on the floor of your coop, so you want your hens to perch on their roosts at night. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. to well make up for floor space. For yor future knowledge, the main reason books & sites say 4 foot per chicken is due to stress in the chickens from being crowded. The ramp cleverly doubles as the chicken door. If your birds have access to an outdoor run, give a minimum of 2 to 3 square feet per bird inside the coop and about 4 square feet per bird in the run. The owner of this site is an affiliate of some of the products and/or services recommended herein. Make sure you have solid plans, sketches, and have thought about all the variables involved in a coop—cost, size, portability, and ongoing maintenance. If your birds have access to an outdoor run, give a minimum of 2 to 3 square feet per bird inside the coop and about 4 square feet per bird in the run. 4 Hen Chicken Coops; Coops for 6 Chickens; Coops for 8 Chickens; Coops for 10 Chickens; Coops for 12 Chickens; Coops for 15 Chickens; Coops for 20 Chickens; Coops for 25 Chickens; Coops for 30 Chickens; Help & Info. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. They should feel security and a sense of relief! Chickens are active animals but also need to be confined for several reasons. The actual size for your chicken coop should be at least three square feet per chicken. Your email address will not be published. Cramped coops make for aggressive birds pecking at each other and disease spreading faster. If your birds are cooped all winter (chickens don't like snowy surfaces), allow for 5 to 10 square feet per chicken. Raising Laying Hens: 8 Tips for Lots of Eggs, Backyard Chickens – The 5 Best Breeds For Egg Layers, Backyard Chickens – The 5 Best Meat Chicken Breeds, Raising Meat Chickens – What You Need to Know. The run should be 40 square feet. A movable coop is going to be smaller and lighter. Pens or runs are very important for good production. The doors must be open inwards and not outwards; otherwise, your birds might find their way out. Do not rush through the construction of your coop. For birds confined in a chicken tractor without an outdoor pen, make sure you have a minimum of 5 square feet per bird. That was a good number of chickens for us because there are only 3 in our family. Do they have a large run or are they allowed to free-range? If the roosting poles are more than 4 feet high, they will need a way to get up to them, such as by a plank with wooden strips for makeshift steps. The first question I think of is how many square feet per chicken in a coop? You may even get a great idea while pouring over those plans. Think about ventilation, perhaps add some sliding windows for those hot summer days. Now you might think with chicken coops the bigger the better? Using recycled materials is terrific but to a point. … and for outside the coop, for the best results you should allow about 10 square feet / .92 square metre of outdoor space per bird.” SETTING UP A CHICKEN COOP. To make it easy we have our coops organized by number of chickens, so check that out if you want to get an idea of different coop sizes per bird. Chickens sleep ‘flat-footed’, so the perch should be between 2-4 inches wide for their comfort. The actual chicken coop needs to be at least 3 square foot per chicken. Chickens descended from jungle fowl. Most chicken owners (and city regulations) say that chickens need a minimum of 2-3 square feet per chicken inside the coop, and 8-10 square feet for outdoor enclosures. Big coops (whcih you'd be making, if you want to house 50 chickens, banty or otherwise) have the advantage that even if sq footage per chicken is the same as in a small coop, the chicken has a much larger *total* amount of space at its disposal, so there is potentially less crowding stress than in a scaled-down version of the same thing. Choosing a chicken coop size is one of the most critical issues to consider when buying a new chicken coop. Provide roosting poles that are at least 2 to 3 feet off the ground (they don’t like to be too low). Cramped coops make for aggressive birds pecking at each other and disease spreading faster. Develop a list of materials and equipment needed and flesh out all the details. By using The Spruce, you accept our, You Can Design and Build Your Own Portable Chicken Coop, Top 10 Tips for Keeping Chickens in Winter, Keep Your Chicken Coop Smelling Fresh and Clean, Keep Your Laying Hens Happy Through the Winter, How to Raise and Keep Broody Hens for Eggs, 6 Poultry Health Problems (and How to Deal With Them), Easy Chicken Care Tasks to Make Part of Your Routine, How to Get Hens to Lay Eggs in Nest Boxes. A roof of chicken wire over the chicken run will prevent chickens escaping. More square footage is better. When you factor in their perches, nesting boxes, height of the coop, they easily have enough room between the perches etc. When it comes to coops, there are two options: portable and stationary. Aim for one nest box for every four to five hens at a minimum. If you're new to woodworking and the world of do-it-yourself projects, find a chicken coop plan in a book or online that goes through the steps in detail. What size chicken coop do we have? In the run they should have no less than 10 square feet per chicken. For 4 chickens this would be a total of 52 to 56 square feet. A single roof covers the coop and run. Consider the functionality of your coop. Plan for at least 6 to 10 inches of roosting space per chicken. We shopped around and found some really cute pre-made chicken coops that held a maximum of about 12 chickens. Introduction Chicken keeping seems like a random exercise but there’s more than meets the eye if you dig deeper. Ideal flock size Flock size is ... A perch length of 15cm or more per bird is recommended. But, if you have some basic woodworking skills and a lot of patience, you can build a great coop that will house your hens comfortably for years to come. The Backyard Chicken Farmer. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. So following on with our example of six chickens, the coop needs to be at least 18 square foot. Chicken coop roosts: are your chickens getting the best? The bigger, the better. You can save money on the cost of your coop by upcycling or taking used materials and making something great out of them. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. You might want to use that or build upon those plans. A chicken coop is more than a shelter: ... Plan a coop size that works for your yard and your chickens. The Bottom Line. And, they do not like sitting in their droppings. Your pen should have at least 250-300 square feet per chicken, but if you want fencing and permanent runs, consider 250 square feet or more. Calculate the ideal square footage for your future chicken coop below. For chicken coops, a good rule of thumb is 1.5 to 3 square feet per bird. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. These cookies do not store any personal information. This means the total size will come to 10 multiplied by 3 square feet to give you at least 30 square feet on average. This type makes the most sense if you are going to have a large flock. Be willing to scrap the idea if it is. Roosting bars should allow around 8 inches per chicken and the standard 12x 12 inch nesting box will work well. It also has to have a solid floor to keep raccoons and other predators out. Lauren Arcuri is a freelance writer and an experienced small farmer. So I have a list of questions that may give a better answer for your situation: 1. (More square footage is better, of course – many people will actually say 4 square feet per large fowl inside, and 10 outside is minimum. It is undeniable that to keep the chickens healthy, happy, and safe, you must have a clean chicken coop and a perfect sized chicken coop door. The square footage of the ideal coop for you depends on the size of your flock and where they spend the majority of the daytime. A chicken coop should be 2.5-4 square feet per chicken for chickens who have a large run, and 5-10 square feet per chicken for chickens who have a small run. If your chickens free range most of the day, you can get by with less space. Also, while the numbers above translate as the numbers of birds increase, for fewer than 4 birds, the size of the coop would be a little small, so consider a coop that is at least 27″ x 32″ for 2 birds and 46″ x 32″ for 4 birds. The bigger, the better. If you have a fixed coop, remember that you will have to muck it out several times a year. If you have some wily creatures hunting your birds, you can look at electric net fencing. This book provides specifications for building a semi-portable chicken … Sleeping on the ground also leaves chickens more susceptible to pathogens and bacteria in the litter on the floor of the coop. Chickens are healthier and happier when they have more space to roost comfortably. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Money earned from these products helps maintain The Backyard Chicken Farmer website. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. Write out your steps. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. The chicken coop door size rests on the criteria of the breed which decides the chicken coop dimensions. Are you free ranging the chickens during the day, pasture raising, keeping them in a secure run, or co… ... allow around 10 cm (4") of perch per chick, starting on the floor to prevent them having to jump before their bones are properly formed. This 96 square foot coop has both a full size door and a chicken door at either end. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Chickens that are confined should be given at least 7 1/2 square feet of space, so a 5′ by 10′ coop would be big enough for about 6 chickens. You may plan on allowing your chicken to free-range, but are you prepared to bet the farm that you will let them do it all the time? This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Size of the Coop: Our chicken coop should be at least 12 to 16 square feet. Your coop needs to be sturdy. Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all answer for how many square feet each chicken needs in a coop. The type of coop you choose depends on whether the chickens will live full-time in it with access to an outside run or larger portions of pasture, or if it needs to be a movable coop that can be relocated frequently to provide fresh ground for the chickens to forage. Ideally, your chicken run should have 10 square feet of ground space per full size chicken. You can move the birds to pasture them on fresh grass. Skimping on space requirements for a flock of chickens can cause stress, cannibalism, pecking, and sometimes even death. The long answer to calculating chicken coop size. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. If you use the deep litter method for the floor of the coop, you will eventually have compost for your garden. Building a chicken coop may seem like a daunting task at first. To provide such facilities, you will have to make or buy a chicken coop door with the size of 10×10 inches . We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. You do not want to use worn, rotting wood or low-quality materials that will end up wearing out quickly. In this case, you are looking forward to house ten chickens in a single coop. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. However, we decided that we … Roosting perches should allow for 8-12 inches of space per bird. Read the long answer for the nitty-gritty on space requirements and calculating chicken coop size. Well this certainly isn’t the case. A chicken coop doesn’t need to be complicated. Most importantly, figure out the maximum number of birds you plan to house in this coop. Sometimes the irregularities of a scavenged window may be too hard to work around. But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. The number of chickens you plan to house determines the. Chickens love to roost or perch on woodpiles, the tops of their waterers or feeders, and even the roof of the coop. Chickens are healthier and happier when they have more space to roost comfortably. While the cost of raising chickens can make it tempting to cut corners with the size of your coop, it’s important to keep other factors in mind as well. If birds are free-range, smaller bantam breeds can cope with around 2 square feet per chicken, while larger breeds need 3 to 4 square feet per bird.