How Much Space Do Chickens Need? What Is The Best Size.

How much space do chickens need to be happy is one of the first things you’ll ask if you’re raising chickens. There are many variables that will affect the appropriate size of your chicken coop. What size are your hens? Are they mature adults? Will they go for a run outside?

In general, it’s preferable to give your hens more room than not enough. If they are caged up too closely for an extended period of time, chickens can get a little cranky.

You may also want to read about the best chicken coop.

Sizes of indoor chicken coops

How much space do chickens need in their coop? A reasonable rule of thumb is that if they have access to the outdoors, regular-sized chickens need at least three to five square feet of coop space per chicken. Make sure to get a great chicken coop.

You should aim to allocate space that is on the larger end of this size range.

The precise guidelines change depending on the size of your bird. If kept free-range, little chickens like Bantam types can be housed in coops as small as two feet per chicken. Smaller species like Leghorn require a coop that is only three square feet in size, whilst larger breeds like Plymouth Rock require a coop that is at least four square feet.

What size chicken cage would you therefore need to accommodate ten chickens? This would add up to about 30 square feet for a chicken coop if you’re using the minimum of three feet per medium-sized bird because you also have an outdoor run. If you can, try to plan for more. For ten grown chickens, some people advise 60 to 80 square feet, or an 8×10-square-foot chicken coop.

The coop space must be greater than the examples given above if it is extremely chilly outside or if your chickens won’t have access to a yard for another reason. Five square feet per chicken, as opposed to two, would be required for a small breed like Bantam. A larger breed should ideally have ten instead of four, while a medium breed should have eight instead of three.

For a little extra assistance, you may even locate online calculators for calculating chicken coop size. They frequently overestimate the required space by a small amount, and some provide various figures based on whether you have a yard, a coop, or a run.

how much space do chickens need
How much space do chickens need?

Running outside and Roosting

Give your hens an opportunity to explore the outdoors if you can. You can get away with a smaller indoor chicken house for them to sleep in at night if the weather is moderate and you can let your chickens spend the majority of the day outside.

A minimum of 10 square feet of outside area should be allocated for each chicken. Yet, your chickens will be happier the more space you can provide them.

Your coop should feature roosting bars, preferably at least eight to twelve inches per bird, so the birds may rest peacefully at night in addition to outdoor space.

For the winter months, you can use a heated Thermo-Chicken Perch instead of wooden perches.

Also, you should offer a nesting box for each group of three to four hens. Consider putting a heating pad inside during the cooler months.

Chickens require privacy.

How much space do chickens need? You may have observed that all of these sizing suggestions have ranges, and they all say that it is preferable to have a coop that is too large as opposed to one that is too tiny. Simply choose the larger sized coop if you have the space.

Why do chickens require their own space?

When chickens are cooped up in close quarters for too long without space to walk around, they can grow a little cabin crazy. They might turn hostile, begin picking at each other, or even rip feathers. Chickens under stress can potentially produce fewer eggs. Generally speaking, giving too much space is preferable to giving too little.

Go for the largest size that your space will allow when designing your chicken house. Even better if you can provide your chickens a place to spend some time outside each day. Chickens require a small amount of private area to call their own, just like people do. Your hens will be appreciative. You can count on receiving a ton of excellent eggs in return.

About the Author
The Poultry Feed Team

The Poultry Feed Team

I am Ehsan from The Poultry Feed Team. We all started out as poultry novices ourselves, so we know just how confusing it can be to try and figure everything out on your own. That's why we're here! We want to help you become the best caretaker of these lovely feathered animals.