Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How Many????

How many chickens can I keep in my coop?
I'd suggest no less than 3 to 5 square feet per bird. 10 square feet per bird would be better. Don't keep more than 1 Rooster for every 10 hens. That is plenty of Rooster to take care of all the hens, for happy hens, and fertile eggs! More than that, and it invites the roosters to fight. We currently keep 3 heavy roosters on about 36 hens, and everything is going along just swimmingly.


  1. this was copied from the link on the chicken chicken chicken post... not a direct quote from JOY at all..... just sharing gathered info

  2. i sent out that email before i read this post.

  3. sure...... you just want us all to know that you know your stuff..... JK

    LOL :0)

  4. yesterday I found out that I do not know anything about chickens or eggs.

    can you imagine ME taking fertilized eggs away from a brooding mother?

    That is what I did.......

  5. It might be my imagination but I think my baby chicks grew overnight. They all seem so much bigger and the grass is greener and the ground is still wet. Rain is good for everything and everyone!

  6. or maybe it is because they are all in Babbits old cage and able to stretch out..... Maybe they were holding all their growth genes in....... suppressing them... Or maybe they are like fish and need space to grow..


  7. "I should clarify. I was confused about this also, and i contacted a woman in Tennesse who is one of the most knowledgeable chicken women i've ever spoken to. The 1.5 square feet per chicken guideline is for chickens who are in separate individual cages, like you would likely find in a commercial operation of side by side - as many as we can fit in a building - egg producers. But when the chickens are together in the space, overcrowding generally or often results in the chickens' pecking one another, which can lead to chicken cannibalism, which is apparently very difficult to break a chicken of.

    The recommendation i was given was 4 square feet per chicken inside the coop plus additional, preferrably at least 6 square feet per chicken in an outdoor run. This recommendation also was for large/standard size chickens. I'm sure bantams can be comfortable in a slightly smaller space.

    The question arises that if the chickens are going to be in the run all day, and in the coop only at night, why so much space? Answer: this is hurricane country. And also, it occasionally - thought not this summer - actually rains. You need to be prepared to shelter your chickens from bad weather, and they need to not go crazy on each other while "cooped up" in the coop.

    Personally (though i am certainly no expert), i think i feel comfortable with 3 square feet per chicken for my birds, but that's because orpingtons are known as a docile breed, and my birds have shown pretty much zero aggression toward each other. If i had some other breed or a mixture of breeds, i don't think i could safely take that liberty.

    Hope this helps."

    (copied and pasted from an email from a chicken lover who digs until she gets all the correct information)


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