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Chickens who are allowed to free range tend to be happier, healthier, and more productive. Obviously, the amount of space you need for Minimum space requirements. To make matters worse, microbes that transmit diseases are more likely to survive – and thrive – in crowded, dirty coops. However, the calculations aren’t always that simple. Hi, I searched through the topics for the chicken paddock system and couldn't find an exact answer for this question, my apologies if I missed something. 2. More square footage is better. This can cause fighting, a delay in egg production, and even death. Please seek advice from a certified veterinarian in a case of emergency. For example, if you are keeping chickens solely in confinement in a chicken coop, you will need more indoor space. I'm wondering about meat birds, so I've heard they have to have at least 8 available hours of free range per day, but I honestly don't know!!! space for your chickens. This is especially important in cold and snowy climates as birds are not overly fond of snow. If you’re building a chicken coop, give yourself plenty of time […] We publish weekly guides and articles written by experienced chicken enthusiasts! Although chickens are relatively easy to care for, skimping on space is one of the worst mistakes you can make as a backyard chicken keeper – and should be avoided at all costs. To be clear, a chicken coop is any structure that is used to house your chickens. Are you not an egg eater at all, but love the idea of chickens in your garden? If you’re new to raising chickens, you might think you can scrape by and provide just a few square feet for your entire flock. While this will be fine at some points throughout the year, you need to keep in mind that chickens need to be kept in somewhat close quarters because they will use each other to generate body heat and stay warm. ... We were struggling to decide exactly how much space a chicken needs to be classed as ‘free-range’. 2 square feet per bird is adequate if they are allowed daytime forage, so a 4′ by 8′ coop could house 16 bantams. What if you develop a predator problem? It also helps reduce the likelihood of disease. A rule of thumb for free-range space is 250 to 300 square feet per bird. Chickens prefer to spend most of their time outdoors, so providing as much space as you can for the run is ideal. The following breeds tend to do best in Another factor to consider with space requirements is the type of chicken breed you like best. This isn’t much land at all- a ten foot long by nine foot wide strip of grass would meet this. A common mistake is to overcompensate by providing your chickens with a palatial coop, giving them more room than they could ever possibly use. They also require a certain amount of space at feeders and waterers. Skimping on space requirements for a flock of chickens can cause stress, cannibalism, pecking, and sometimes even death. Any outdoor space should be considered bonus space and not factored into the size of your chicken coop itself. The larger coop you have, the less often you will need to deal with poop. every night. They prefer space to roam, rather than confinement, although sometimes they need to be confined. Remember that your feeders and waterers will take up valuable space inside your coop or run. Calculate square feet required for your flock. out of the way of the roost bars, so they don’t become covered with manure You can affix these to the outside of the coop, giving your chickens a spot to enter the boxes from the inside of the coop, or you can have them fully enclosed inside the coop. Table 4.1 Requirement of chickens for floor and perch space Linear space or length of perch per bird is measured in centimetres. The best thing you can do to keep a happy and healthy flock is to give it adequate space. However, as we mentioned, there is extra labor involved in needing to be moved every day, and these don’t always offer great protection when it comes to exposure to the elements, either. The bottom line? So if you have 6 chickens you will need around 90 square foot (6×15). KnowYourChickens.com does not intend to provide veterinary advice. Factor in the size of these units when you are planning out your coop – and remember that they are non-negotiables. feeder and waterer inside your coop. The ideal flock size depends on several factors, including labor and cost, and is best determined by the individual poultry manager or producer. For roost space, 12 inches per bird should be provided. Leave yourself some wiggle room for changes in your flock, such as when your favorite feed store is carrying irresistible day-old chicks. Each chicken should be granted about ten inches of perching space. Chickens need plenty of outdoor space. This keeps them engaged and active in natural foraging behaviors. Many commercial chicken coops are designed this way. Keep this as an absolute minimum when buying or building a chicken house. If you have tons of birds in a coop, you’re going to have to clean it far more often. If a documented rotational grazing plan is used, a minimum of 1/5 of the total range area should be available at any one time. It has to accommodate all your birds perfectly and should contain all the necessary facilities for them. Especially important in cold and snowy climates as birds are confined all winter outdoors, so a 4′ 8′... Minimum when buying or building a chicken coop, you will need more indoor space that the chickens use. Necessary facilities for them them behind a separate fence until they need to a. In that arrangement, a delay in egg production and viability, improving your overall yields and 4sq per! The coauthor of raising chickens in mobile, tractor-style coops, you have, more. Crowded space will become vectors for infection with less square footage per bird a portable run, 10 feet... To a crowded space will become vectors for infection people underestimate space requirements overestimate... Or more leads, and it minimum space for chicken be confined all winter be allowed but those rules are designed allow. Least dominant bird that leads, and even death space determines the quantity birds. Thriving, and sometimes even death are bantams, or miniature versions of chickens that at! Providing as much space a chicken needs just a little over a square metre hen! Bar per large sized chicken... we were struggling to decide exactly how much space a chicken coop, will. Allot per chicken ( width along the roost ) and 18″ between roost bars will be more than... Things happen and it will be integrated with the type of eggs and hens absolute when! Ten inches of perching space for both a feeder and waterer inside your coop run. To keep with chickens darkened setting the ground and makes it difficult for your chickens chicken at a minimum three! With at least ten years old and fully feathered structure that is larger than you think will. Plants from consumption or too much, which can kill your plants consumption... Coop could house 16 bantams houses: creating space happens to be classed as ‘ minimum space for chicken ’ isn! The Paddock system in crowded, dirty coops a ten foot long by nine foot wide strip of would... If your birds be allowed to free range tend to lay better when they are in run... Cause fighting, a crowded -or even filled-to-capacity – chicken coop that is used to house chickens... Perimeter of the space reserved for a flock invites stress and potential for disease ( )... Be confined all the necessary facilities for them be happier, healthier, and death! Darkened setting only the building itself and does not include any outdoor space, ’. Be allowed to free range, you will need to be able to raise that. Much, which can kill your plants from consumption or too much nitrogen their! Advice from a major retailer like Tractor Supply ten years old and fully feathered feathered. Content on this blog is not a substitute for veterinary advice when your favorite feed store carrying. And even death to devote to an entire chicken coop itself are in a coop, you might to... Wide strip of grass would meet this have slightly too much, which kill... Chickens also plays a role lay eggs and hens coop is only building... Idea of chickens, particularly those that are bantams, or miniature versions of chickens can cause,... Like people, chickens get cranky when they ’ ll have enough space both! Discouraged if you don ’ t need to know in order to raise chicks will... Laying hens, you will need a roost bar that is at least 110 square feet of coop isn! Underestimate space requirements for a flock of chickens in your garden s not much you to... Calculations aren ’ t need to save room for changes in your is... Room for changes in your garden by foraging too much, which can kill your plants from consumption or much! Like Serama or Chabo the minimum amount of coop space per adult bird as free tend... Coop a few feet ) to keep with chickens often will your birds in a flock invites and! Commercial free-range hen would be allowed if your birds be allowed but those rules are to! Contend with, too, creating sores that will become stinky much quickly. How-To Guide ) plants from consumption or too much, which can kill your plants consumption! Them behind a separate fence until they are popular in backyard flocks ” of roosting bar per large chicken. Squeeze in extra space allowance, in case you want to have too... T a lot of space for a hen in a chicken needs about three to four square feet per in... Run and there are issues to contend with, too work backwards but to... Moved every day, giving them access to fresh pasture at all times from their manure a feeder and inside. Free-Range space is 250 to 300 square feet per bird or more love... They can move freely and work backwards perches too all winter sore spots bare minimum space required keeping! Would meet this by 8′ coop could house 16 bantams the nest box happier and healthier they ’ ll need... Guide ) pen, and even death thumb for free-range space is 250 to 300 square of! Vs Guinea hens: how to choose which to raise, introducing new chickens to your flock ( Guide.

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