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Floor Space for Chicken Coop and Runs

People are looking for information on building chicken coops. I know, because, many visitors to this site and to my garden blog site click on “A Chicken Coop for a Garden” and “A Space for Chickens“. I think that building your coop is one of the most important steps you’ll take to ensure success in backyard chicken keeping and a little research before beginning the project, is in order. Due to space limitations, some folks are looking for a coop that will fit into their yard and garden, but still fulfill minimum requirements for healthy, active hens.

Ladder provides vertical space for hens.

Most books and articles advise you to have at least 3-4 square feet of floor space for each hen and 10 square feet per hen if restricted to an indoor environment. Our little henhouse is a compact 20 square feet. It was designed for four hens and we have six. Opps, I got carried away and couldn’t stop bringing home those cute little fluffballs. There are two four-foot roosts, two nest boxes which hens can enter from the inside, and a bar for them to hop up on to get into the next boxes. This tiny henhouse would not have adequate space if the hens had to be closed in during the day.

The outside run measures 8′ x 16′. We put in a ladder for vertical space, which the hens love. The hen spend the day outdoors. In this mild coastal climate, they need only be locked in from dusk to dawn, and only to be secure from predators. As I walk down the path at daybreak, I can hear their low agitated clucking, scolding me, for sleeping beyond first light. They scurry past my legs as soon as I lift the hatch. They are like children being released for recess. ┬áThe run is partially covered, providing shelter on rainy days.

There are many ideas and recommendations for building coops on the Backyard Chickens website. For years, people have been posting designs and pictures of their chicken coops to share with others. On their forum, you can post individual questions about coop design and you will have a group of chicken enthusiasts to give you advice.

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3 Comments to “Floor Space for Chicken Coop and Runs”

  1. Very nice site! Excellent!
    When I was looking at your chickens on the cam I would count to ten and then click to refresh the page and I would get a new view of the chickens. Pretty chickens… pretty coop.
    This is a fun and very helpful site. Congratulations!

  2. Hi Callie,
    It means a lot to me that you like the site. I’ll get it right, one of these days. You are an expert compared to me. Thanks for taking a look!

  3. Marisa (AKA Mrs.GreenThumbs)

    Wonderful blog post! I’m sure it has helped a lot of people find the experienced assistance from the chicken crazies (myself included) over at the BYC.

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