If you are here, it means that you have already decided to become a stock farmer to your own flock of birds! This is an amazing decision, and one of the first steps to make is to choose the right size chicken coop for your chickens.
You might be thinking that it‘s alright to just let them roam in a fenced space, but this is not the case. It is crucial (and you will find out below why) to pick the proper dimensions, to ensure a happy life for your livestock.
Welcome to the Ultimate Guide on how to choose the right size of your chicken coop, depending on your own personal situation!
The Reasons Why You Have To Choose The Right Size
There are three possibilities when buying or building a chicken coop. It will be either bigger, smaller, or exactly in the dimensions you actually need.
If you are concerned about the healthy living of your chickens, read below to find out why the size of the chicken coop must be exactly the one needed for your feathered friends.
What happens if the chicken coop is bigger than it should:
- I get it that you might want your chickens to have plenty of space in order to be comfortable. That is not a bad way of thinking, but as always you must avoid exaggerations because winter is coming. When chickens are closer to each other, into a closed space, they will be able to warm themselves more than if they were in a large space. Although You can use a chicken coop heater to warm your chicknes.
- A large chicken coop will be more difficult to control when it comes to predators. There will be more space to close up from everywhere, and if you miss a spot, it is possible that a weasel or a snake might get in and endanger your birds’ lives.
- There is a practical reason for you to not build an oversized chicken coop. The larger the coop is, the more time will take to clean it. If you don’t want to put yourself into that kind of labor, then a smaller coop is ideal for you!
What happens if the chicken coop is smaller than it should:
- One word: Hygiene. A smaller coop might be easier to clean, but you have to clean it more often than a normal sized one. If you don’t, problems will begin to appear when there will be a big amount of manure and the ammonia levels will be high.
An environment like this will trigger infections or diseases which will spread amongst your chicken in the small chicken coop. This is why a chicken coop floor and bedding are also important. You can find some advice here about the floor and here about the proper bedding.
- When we talk about chickens, we must all be aware of the antagonistic behavior they might have. In a small place their aggressiveness will increase in a search of space to roost and lay eggs and they will start fighting between them.
- As a result of the above points, your birds will not have a good psychology. This will end up in a stressful environment for them and there is a high probability that their egg production will be reduced to zero!
Some More Advice Before Choosing A Chicken Coop
- Make sure that you have the right number of nesting boxes and that they all fit in the chicken coop. You will need approximately one nesting box per 3 – 4 hens in order to reach the best numbers of egg production. Too many might result in broody hens.
- Wooden flooring and ventilation are pretty important. The first one is easy to clean and it assists in protection from predators, and the second one, for the avoidance of diseases and the right temperature in the coop.
- You will need a door large enough for the birds to get in the chicken coop easily. However, not a very big one because they will need protection from the weather conditions! It is preferable to be able to open and close it.
- When you start planning about how big the chicken coop will be according to the chickens you‘ll raise, don’t include the open space outside, meaning the outdoor run. Think about it as a balcony you would have at your house. Necessary but not the main residence.
- The size of the chickens is the most important thing to consider. Smaller breeds need less space while larger ones need more space. It is a logical assumption! Larger breeds are quite popular when their purpose is meat production, and if you are interested in acquiring those, check out more details about largest chicken breeds!
- Finding the best location for the chicken coop might be tricky and in order to do that you must understand that chickens need sun and shade at the same time, like humans.
The best thing to do is to have the chicken coop at a location with shade, maybe close to trees. And then let them walk to the yard or the run and enjoy the sun. But their home must be protected.
The Ultimate Guide For The Chicken Coop Size In Numbers
Some general advice is always necessary, but what happens when you have specific needs and questions? Let’s answer some of them and in the process learn how to determine the right size on our own!
The first thing to consider is the size of the chickens:
- Large Breeds: They will need 4 square ft. each in the coop if you have a yard where they can walk freely. If you have a coop with a run on its own, which is closed, calculate about 10 square ft. per chicken.
- Medium Breeds: They require 3 square feet for every one of them if they have a large free space. Also, 8 square ft. will be enough if they are confined in a closed space.
- Small Breeds: 2 square ft. will be enough for a small breed chicken to roost and lay eggs, while 5 square ft. will be proper in an opened space.
Two Basic Rules In Order To Calculate:
- If you want to determine the size of the chicken coop, you must multiply the number of the birds with the square feet they need depending on their size (4, 3 or 2 sq.ft.)
- The number of nesting boxes will come if you divide the number of your chicken with 3 (since you need one nesting box for three hens)
Now, let’s answer some queries:
- How many chickens can you put in a 4×6 coop?
This is one of the smallest coops you will find. It can include 6 large bred birds, 8 medium ones, and 12 small ones, like the Bantams.
- How many chickens can you put in a 4×8 coop?
If you have a large breed, 8 chickens will be perfect. For a medium breed, 10 birds will do and as for the smaller ones, they can fit in there up to 16.
- How many chickens will fit in a 6×8 coop?
As your flock grows, you will need more space. If you own big chickens, this one is for 12. In addition, 16 normal-sized chickens can be put there and a large number of 24 small ones.
- How many chickens will be put in a 8×8 coop?
Although this chicken coop might seem of a decent size, only 16 large birds can be put in there, 21 of medium ones and 32 of the smallest kind.
- How many birds can be put in a 10×8 chicken coop?
This is a chicken coop for a respectable number of 20 big birdies. Moreover, 27 of the normal size chickens will live happily in there and 40 of the smallest type as well!
- How many chickens can you put in a 10×10 coop?
In this case, we are talking about a 100 sq. ft. chicken coop. It will fit 25 large birds, 33 medium birds, and 50 small birds.
- How many chickens will fit in a 10×12 coop?
A 120 square feet chicken coop can be a wonderful home for 30 large breed chickens, 40 medium breeds, and 60 small breeds.
- How many birds will fit in a 12×12 chicken coop?
Well, this is a quite large coop, for you who chose to be a parent to many chickens! Specifically, 36 big hens will roost there, 48 normal ones, and 72 (wow!) tiny ones!
What if we own a large number of birds and do not know how to determine the size of the chicken coop? And, apart from that, we don’t really know where we will find a coop of that size online or elsewhere!
There, you have to be a little enthusiastic about the whole idea, and try to build a coop by yourself (and with friends of course), or buy a small ready-made barn. A wooden building would be exactly what you would be needing. Which is the right size though?
How much space do I need for 100 chickens?
If your chickens are big, you will need 400 sq. ft. only for the coop. If they are medium ones, 300 sq. ft. and for the small ones you will have to build a 200 sq. ft. coop.
How much space do I need for 1000 chickens?
Like we said before, large chickens need 4 sq. ft. to live healthily, so, 3000-4000 sq. ft. will be a fine space for your friends. Since you can do it approximately, and you might not have only large birds, let’s say for 1000 standard-sized chickens 2500 sq. ft. will be more than fine! Small ones will need just 1800-2000sq.ft.
Extra Tip: You will be able to DIY nesting boxes and save as much space as possible. Check out this video to get an idea!
Concluding, we must say that there are many reasons to have the right size for your chicken coop and the best course of action is to learn more about it before you decide to buy or build it! It is pretty simple to calculate the space and create a chicken coop to remember! Decorations are allowed, and with some imagination and two good hands, you will build a home for your birds ensuring that they will have a happy life!