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What Size Should a Chicken Coop Be?

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 17 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Chicken Chickens Coop Chicken Coop

More and more people are choosing to keep chickens and they can make good pets to keep in a garden. But what size should an ideal chicken coop be?

If you’re going to keep any type of animals, then it’s at first important to do your research and make sure you know exactly what type of living accommodation they need and how much space they should have. In the case of chickens, you need to carefully consider issues surrounding chicken coops and most importantly ensure that you get a decent sized coop that will give your chickens plenty of space to move around in and be happy in. After all, the happy they are, the more eggs your chickens might lay!

Choosing the Right Sized Chicken Coop

According to guidelines from poultry experts, the minimum size to allow when you’re buying, making or choosing a chicken coop is one square foot per chicken within the chicken coop accommodation area. You should also have a minimum of two to three square feet of space for each chicken outside in the run area.

The hen house, or chicken accommodation, is where your chickens will sleep and lay their eggs. Although it may be tempting to choose a really large chicken coop, getting one that is out of proportion to the number of chickens you have might not be good for them. During the winter, chickens will huddle together to keep warm when it’s cold, but if their coop is very large, it could be draughty for them.

It’s very important to get the size right for the outside pen or chicken run, especially as this is where the chickens will spend the majority of their time. The more space you can provide for them outside, the better – and if they have the run of a whole farmyard or paddock, then that’s great.

Another reason for a large run outside is to help stop the chickens from getting bored. If they’ve got lots of space to move around in, and a big environment to explore, they’re more likely to be happy chickens. If your chickens have too small a space, they could get bored; bored chickens may develop bad habits, such as pecking out their feathers.

Chicken Perch Sizes

In addition to the size of the chicken coop and run, it’s also necessary to think about the size of perch you’ll need. If you’re keeping bantams, then the perch size should be a minimum of 8 inches in size; for other chickens, a 10 inch perch should be adequate. When you’re arranging the perches, remember to leave plenty of room between them – a space of at least 12 inches is recommended.

The chicken house itself should be raised up off the ground, so that the chickens are protected from predatory animals, such as foxes. Allow plenty of space inside for the placement of feeders and waterers.

If you increase the number of chickens you have over time, then don’t forget to re-examine your chicken coop and run and always ensure you’re providing enough space for your chickens to live a comfortable life.

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