Here is a handy dandy chart to help you determine what size chicken coop you will need for your chickens. This chart shows the results for 8 hens.
|Breed Size *||Free range during the day||Penned/confined at all times|
|Sq ft per hen||Coop size for 8 hens||Total sq ft of floor space needed||Sq ft per hen||Coop size for 8 hens **||Total sq ft of floor space needed **|
|Heavy (Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, etc.||4||4′ x 8′||32||10||8′ x 10′||80|
|Light (White Leghorn, etc.)||3||4′ x 6′||24||7.5||8′ x 7.5′||60|
|Bantam||2||4′ x 4′||16||5||5′ x 8′||40|
|* Use this chart to determine which breed size you have.|
|** A good rule of thumb for confined birds with a pen is to make the actual hen house the same size needed for the free range hens and make the pen the remainder.|
Here is a simple way to figure out what size coop you need if you have more or less than the 8 hens the chart shows:
For quantities of birds other than 8, multiply the sq ft per bird by the number of birds desired. You will then have to total Sq ft of floor space required. Take the number and divide by 4 (the width of a sheet of plywood) or 8 (the length of a piece of plywood). The 4 or 8 is the first number you need to determine your coop size. The number you end up with after dividing is the second number you need to determine the size of the coop. see the sample below for clarification:
Type of bird: Heavy breed
Number of birds: 6
Free ranged or penned: Freeranged
Space needed per bird: 4
6 x 4=24 Sq ft of floor space required.
The coop size would be 4′ x 6′
Of course, you can adjust the size of your coop up or down a bit, but keep in mind that a chicken coop that is too small will result in the manure piling up quickly and ammonia levels in the coop can climb to high levels. Also, a small coop will tend to cause the hens to peck each other.
A coop that is too large may result in the hens being cold over the winter because the coop is too large to maintain a comfortable temperature. If the coop is found to be too large to keep the hens warm, you can cordon off a section temporarily to help.
Did you find this chart helpful? Let me know by leaving a comment.
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