Choosing a chicken coop size is one of the most critical issues to consider when buying a new chicken coop. While the cost of raising chickens can make it tempting to cut corners with the size of your coop, it’s important to keep other factors in mind as well. Whether you’re an expert chicken farmer or a novice, the size of your coop in relation to the number of chickens in your care will have a major impact on the health of your flock.
Why is chicken coop size so important and what are the potential impacts of a coop that is undersized?
Chicken Coop Size Guidelines
As you can see, maintaining a healthy flock size in relation to the available space inside your coop is very important. So how much coop space does one chicken need? That depends on the breed of chickens in your care and whether or not you allow your chickens to free-range during the day. Here are a few guidelines.
Other Chicken Coop Size Considerations
There are other considerations to keep in mind besides square footage inside the chicken coop.
Space to Roost
Chickens need a place to roost at night, so you’ll want to make sure your coop has adequate roosting space for each bird. You should provide 10-12” of roosting bar per large sized chicken. Bantam hens won’t need that much but it’s always good to give plenty of room rather than not enough.
As a general rule, you should provide one nesting box for every 3 chickens. If you provide too many nesting boxes your chickens may become broody and stop laying eggs. If you provide too few you may have problems with competition for existing boxes, chickens laying in other places besides boxes, or damaged/dirty eggs.
Chicken Coop Size Case Studies
Here are a few case studies that highlight 3 unique situations and the recommended coop size for each situation. Different chicken farmers have a variety of situations and goals, so be sure to do your research and check with other chicken experts before making a final decision.