Here I will try to give you a rough idea about what size of the chicken coop is suitable for 10 chickens. But before I embarked on the long journey of keeping chickens in my backyard, I had the impression that one needs a large portion of land to get started-perhaps an acre or so but that was sheer imagination, to say the least.
After trying out with a few breeds I concluded that a large piece of land was not icing on the cake for you to have a few chickens roaming here and there within your home. Just like me, you too will be surprised by the actual amount of space chickens need.
Now here is the question that every newcomer in the business of chicken keeping asks, “What size of the chicken coop is suitable for ten chickens?” The answer to this question is fairly simple and straightforward. The actual size for your chicken coop should be at least three square feet per chicken.
In this case, you are looking forward to house ten chickens in a single coop. This means the total size will come to 10 multiplied by 3 square feet to give you at least 30 square feet on average.
But the hardest part is probably the method you will use to determine the actual dimensions of your chicken coop. However, the total amount of space chickens need depends solely on several factors. Also, it will depend on the number of hours per day that your chickens will stay in their coop. Finally, the total number of chickens you intend to keep.
How to Determine the Actual Dimensions of the Chicken Coop
As mentioned earlier, this is the most challenging part when it comes to determining the size of your coop. But you can start by taking into account the space that is likely to be occupied by each bird. Below are some quick shortcuts to determine the correct figure in square feet required per single chicken:
Let’s start with the free-range across the day. For the heavy breeds place each chicken in an area of 4 square feet. When it comes to the light breeds like the White Leghorn, you can keep each one of them in an area not exceeding 3 square feet. And finally, the bantam breeds should occupy 2 square feet for each bird.
Once you are done with calculating the area required by each chicken on the free-range, you can now shift your attention to the confined or penned birds throughout the day and night. The two groups cannot share the same space given that each one of them spends different hours in the coop.
For the confined birds the heavy breeds should take up 10 square feet for each bird while the light breeds should occupy 7 ½ square inch per chicken. The bantam size of chickens under confinement should take up 5 square feet for each bird. These are just preliminary figures that you can use to arrive at the actual size that ten chickens will occupy depending on how you keep them.
The Formula for calculating the Actual Size of your Chicken Coop
By now you are fully knowledgeable about the size each breed of chicken needs. In this regard, you can easily figure out the required size of your chicken coop based on a given number of chickens under your care.
Also, make up your mind if your chicken will be left to free-range during the day or confined throughout. Then multiply the total number of chickens by the area in square feet that each bird occupies. You will be able to get an answer that will help you in calculating the size of your chicken coop.
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Take this example:
- A chicken coop for 10 free-range large breeds will occupy; 4 (square feet/bird) x10 (number of birds) =40 square feet needed to house 10 birds.
- A chicken coop for 10 confined light breeds will occupy; 7.5(square feet/chicken) x 10 (the number of chickens) =7 ½ square feet required to house 10 birds.
- A chicken coop for 10 birds under confinement but in this case, the bantam chicken breeds will occupy; 5 (square feet/chicken) x 10 (the number of chickens) = 50 square feet required to house 10 birds.
How do you calculate the Size of your Coop?
Now, this is the most challenging part of finding what size of the chicken coop is suitable for 10 chickens. Chickens come in various breeds and each breed has different requirements. Actually, this is one of the reasons that make it trickier when figuring out the right dimensions of the chicken coop.
Regardless of how difficult it is to calculate the exact size of the coop, you must find a way out. In this case, it will be easier to take into account the measurements of a piece of plywood as the starting point.
Typical plywood measures 4 by 8 feet. Use any of the two dimensions (4 or 8) to figure out the exact dimensions of the floor.
Another reason for using the measurements of standard plywood is that it is easier to construct a floor that is 4 or 8 feet wide or uses a multiple of 4, unlike other numbers. Therefore, you will not need to cut complete sheets of plywood into smaller width or length. To get the correct dimensions of floor space that can house 10 free-range large breeds of chickens that will require 40 square feet, you will have to divide 4 or 8 by 40 to find the two dimensions of your plywood.
As such, 40 (the total square feet needed to house 10 birds) divided by 4 (the width of the plywood), you will get 10. So, your chicken coop will have a floor dimension of 10 x 4 feet.
Alternatively, you may use 8 (the length in feet of the plywood) instead of 4 and this is what you will get; 40 (the total square feet needed to house 10 birds) divide by 8 (length of your plywood) and you will have 5. This means you would require a coop that measures 5 x 8 feet.
To calculate the floor space dimensions required to house 10 chickens (that require 75 square feet), you will have to divide 75 by 8 or 4. This will give you the two dimensions of your piece of plywood.
So, 75(square feet needed) divided by 8 (the plywood is measuring 4 feet wide) will give you 18.75. Based on these figures, your chicken coop will have a floor dimension of 18.75×4 feet.
On the other hand, you can divide 75 (square feet needed) by 8 (the plywood is measuring 8 feet in length) to get 9.375. From the results, it’s obvious that you will need a floor dimension of your chicken coop that measures 9.5×8 feet.
This formula will help you determine the right dimensions including the size of a coop that can house 10 chickens. When working out these figures, bear in mind the factors we’ve highlighted above. Use them to determine the size that suits your flock.
How big should Your Chicken Coop be?
The size of your chicken coop should be determined by the number of chickens. The breeds and whether they are free-ranging or confined. All three factors play a crucial role when designing the coop. Additionally, this structure should be easy to access, easy to maintain, and safe for your chickens. After all, this is a place where your flock will sleep, roost or probably lay eggs.
What else should you include in your design of a chicken coop?
Besides housing your chicken, the coop should have enough space for other structures or facilities that chickens need. Your coop will also house the perch (or roost), nesting box, doors, and ramp. All these features play a key role in the well-being of your chicken as well as their productivity.
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At least you have a clue of what size of the chicken coop is suitable for 10 chickens. Actually, the size of this structure is what matters the most when you are getting started with this project. You only need the right size of the coop that accommodates your chickens and you are good to go. There you have the dimensions and sizes of major categories of chickens that you are likely to keep. Choose what is appropriate for you and get started with your first flock as soon as possible.