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Calculations for coop building

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1 Calculations for coop building on Thu Nov 14, 2013 9:57 am


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I did a lot of research to find the best recommendations for square footage etc. before I began building my coop. I thought I would compile it all here for future reference.

Square footage:
4 sq. ft. of floor space per chicken (Note: I found recommendations as small as 2 sq. ft. per chicken, however, more space will mean less fighting/picking)

8" to 12" of roost space per chicken (depending on the size of your breeds)
Use 2x4's ON THE FLAT as roosts (4" side is the side your chickens will roost on). At this width, chickens can drop down over top of their feet in the winter, so their toes don't freeze. You may need to add supports to long lengths, or with heavy breeds.
Roosts should be 12" apart horizontally so the chickens don't poop on each other.
The height at which roosts begin depends on your personal preference and the athletic abilities of your chickens.

1 sq. ft. of ventilation per 10 sq. ft. of floor space (assuming you are at your capacity of 4 sq. ft. per chicken) - this is for passive ventilation.

Pop door size:
12"x12" is pretty standard for large fowl breeds, but extra large breeds may need more height. My own pop doors are 12x16 and 16x16. It's easy to make a door smaller, but much more difficult to make it larger after you've framed it in and sheeted it!

Outdoor runs:
10 sq. ft. of run space per chicken (this would be for permanent runs. You can get away with less space if you're using a portable coop that is moved frequently) - but more space is better!

Chicken wire will not keep predators out.

12"x12" would be the minimum size. You may want to go larger for big breeds.
One nest box for every 4-5 hens.

Nipple waterers:
One nipple for every 4-5 chickens.


Links and resources:
Flight netting for tops of runs, best price I found (even after shipping): http://www.qcsupply.com/
Nite Guard Solar Predator Control light: http://www.amazon.com/Nite-Guard-NG-001-Predator-Control/dp/B0014FGT8C

On-line Poultry Supplies in Canada


2 Re: Calculations for coop building on Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:03 am


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Golden Member

Last edited by HigginsRAT on Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:59 am; edited 1 time in total


3 Re: Calculations for coop building on Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:16 am


Golden Member
Golden Member
Good Post Af
Thank you will be helpful to alot of people just starting out

4 Re: Calculations for coop building on Wed Jan 01, 2014 1:09 pm


Addicted Member
Addicted Member
Gosh..great bunch of info here. We are having ventilation issues with our new hen house. The problems lies with where we had intended to have open rafters ..at the front of the building. Sadly though this is the direction that most of our weather comes from and while standing where the roosts were to be, i felt a horrid and cold draft..ack!..plans changed..
Then we (actually husband) covered in the rafters at the front, and we (again husband) drilled large bore holes in the covers to allow some air escape. Problem:: yikes. There is so much humidity in the house that the roof is dripping moisture. Roof, is plywood, with tar paper and tin on top of that.
So...now we(i guess this should always read husband) are opening up the rafters, putting up hardware cloth, and sealing the flat side of the roof and making very large holes for ventilation. I added another heat lamp to help dry the place out until we can get this work done and it is helping...me knowing full well that the warmer the air, the more moisture it will hold...ghads!
Ventilation is the largest issue and something we thought we had a handle on. I have just put hardwar cloth over the windows and have opened all the front windows...Some day we will have a functional chicken coop

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