Choosing a chicken coop might seem like the easiest task when you get chickens. But what most people don’t realize is that there is more to it than picking out a cute design. The coop is a haven for your flock, and if you don’t choose the right one, it could turn ugly. Let’s talk about how to choose the right chicken coop size for 6 chickens.
How Much Space Do Chickens Need?
It might surprise you to know that chickens need more room than you think. Backyard chickens need a coop to sleep in at night to protect them from the elements and predators. But they also need a chicken run if they can’t free range. So, how large of space does each chicken need?
In the backyard chicken coop, your standard size chickens will need 3 sqft per chicken. But if your hens are large chickens, you might want to up that to 4-5 sqft per bird. And for smaller bantam chickens, you can get away with less room with 2 square feet of space for each chicken.
Outdoor Run Size
Free-range chickens usually have plenty of space if they have access to your entire yard. But if you can’t have free-range chickens, you will need a space large enough for them to stretch and forage. Most of these areas are covered in wire mesh to keep them protected and in the yard without compromising their food resources. We recommend at least 10 sqft of outdoor space per chicken, no matter how large or small they are.
How Many Nesting Boxes Do I Need?
Inside there are a few other amenities that you need to measure and plan. The first thing is nesting boxes. There is no magic number for this, but a good rule of thumb is one box per four chickens. Most chickens will share the boxes. And you don’t want too many, or else your hens will sleep in the nesting box. The only time you will want more than one box is if your hens tend to go broody a lot.
And finally, your roosting bar even has space requirements. Chickens will need 10 inches of space each to sleep and keep warm. You can go a little bigger in the roosting bar or add more than one to prevent fighting. But always make sure that your hens have enough space to keep them from sleeping in the nests.
What Happens If Your Chickens Don’t Have Space?
You might be wondering why having enough room for your hens is so essential. And the answer is quite simple. A small space will lead to disgruntled pecking order and fewer eggs. Your hens won’t want to roost in the safety of the coop because of crowding and ammonia build-up. And not to mention, your hens will get sick if forced into a small area for too long.
But there is the opposite side of it. Most people might think that bigger is better in every situation. But when it comes to extra space in the coop, there could be adverse side effects. If your hens are in a large and spacious coop in winter, it’s harder to keep them warm. There’s nothing wrong with leaving a little room to add a few chickens to the backyard flock, but not too much.
What Should I Look For When Buying A Chicken Coop?
How to choose the right chicken coop size for 6 chickens isn’t always easy. Picking the right size is only part of the deal. The best chicken coop will also have:
- Plenty of ventilation for winter and summer
- Easy access
- Large flat roosting bars
- Plenty of nesting boxes
- A tad more room to grow your flock
- Wood floor for easy cleaning
- Added insulation or space for it.
If your hens have all of this, they will be happy birds. And a happy bird equals lots of delicious eggs. They don’t need something that looks amazing. As long as it keeps them warm in winter, cool in summer, and protected, they will be fine.
How To Choose The Right Chicken Coop Size For 6 Chickens?
So now that you know the amount of space each chicken needs, you might need a little help choosing the size of your flock. So let’s look at the standard sizes on the market and the number of chickens that can live in them.
How Many Chickens Can You Put In A 4×8 Coop?
Alrighty guys, here is where your basic geometry will come in handy. To figure out the square footage of your coop, you will multiply 4 by 8. That equals a 32 sqft hen house to work with. If each chicken needs 3 sqft of coop space, you need to divide 32 by 3 to get the number of birds that can fit. That means you can add ten chickens to a 4×8 coop. But if you have small breeds, you divide 32 by 2 to get 16 bantam chickens.
So if you start with six chickens, this is a perfect size. It gives you enough room to grow, but not too large that it becomes an issue. Your hens will stay comfy, and you won’t have to worry about ammonia or keeping warm. In fact, this is the standard size that most starter coops run.
How Many Chicken Fit In A 6×8 Coop?
For those of you with a larger flock in mind, you might be wondering about the next size up. So let’s walk through that math one more time. 6 multiplied by 8 equals 48. Then you divide 48 by 3 to get 16 chickens in this coop. Or you can divide 48 by 4 for large chicken breeds like the Jersey Giant to fit 12 hens into it.
How Many Chickens Can Go In An 8×10 Coop?
Another typical size is the 8×10 foot coop. So using that math, 8 times 10 equals 80. Then divide that by 3 to get 26 standard-sized chickens. Or you can divide 80 by 4 for a heavier breed to get 20 giant hens.
How Many Chickens Can Fit In A 10×10 Coop
One of the largest coops you can find is a 10×10 foot coop. These coops can fit 25 to 33 hens, depending on the size of your chicken. So if you plan on starting with a large flock, this might be the ideal size for you for optimal breeding and egg collecting.
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Chicken Coop For 6 Chickens?
The next question everyone has about chicken coops is how much they cost. And this answer will vary depending on where you live, the materials used, and how sturdy the coops are. But the average person will spend about $600 on a small coop for six chickens. For this price, you will get a very standard coop that might need a few modifications. But all in all, it will last you for several years.
On the other hand, more expensive coops can cost you thousands of dollars for the same size. Amish coops are probably the most costly and can cost at least $2k for a small 4×8 coop. But these care coops worth the money if you never expand. They last forever and are the most adorable little things.
So you can spend less on a small coop that won’t last long if you plan to upgrade in a few years. Or you can invest in a coop that will last through the ages if you don’t intend to expand. The choice is up to you.
Is It Cheaper To Build Or Buy A Chicken Coop?
We are big believers in DIY. That’s why most of us have gotten into caring for chickens in the first place. And what better way to save money than it is to build a coop? Building your coop will guarantee that you are getting exactly what you need.
On average, most chicken owners spend about $300 for a small coop. But there are always ways to save money on this as well. You can download free coop blueprints online instead of buying them. And if you know where to look, you can get a lot of supplies for free. You can use recycled materials to reduce the cost of your coop.
However, there is a catch. You will also need to be pretty handy and have time on your hands. If you aren’t a natural builder, this task could take weeks to finish. And if you make a mistake, then you will have to pay to replace it later. So it really depends on how much your time is worth. If you’ve never built anything, it might make more fiscal sense to buy a pre-made coop.
And That’s All You Need To Know
How to choose the right chicken coop size for 6 chickens isn’t as hard as you thought. With a bit of math and planning, you can get the coop of your dreams and a flock in no time. And it’s not even that big of a headache!
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!