How Much Space Do You Need to Keep Chickens in the Backyard?

May 19, 2022

Like human beings, chickens also need their space to live and roam. You cannot keep their tie in one corner with a huge crowd. It is pretty necessary to treat them well because they may behave badly when stressed. It is easy for them to get stressed, and it can irritate you too.

If you aim to develop a harmonious feeling in the massive chicken flock, you have to care about the space you provide them in the backyard. You need to determine the size of the coop and running space separately. There can be various factors that you must determine to know the required space they actually need.

In this write-up, we will discuss those factors and what can happen if you do not provide enough space for your chickens. There can be issues like health, behavior, etc. Let us discuss everything in detail.

Factors One must Determine while Creating Chicken Space

1.   Size

You need to check the size of the chicken before providing any space. If you own standard-sized chickens, then you can prefer bantams. They look small, but there is not sufficient space to jump and fly. It is quite perfect for all the higher perches. But if you own big chickens that require enough space for moving and roaming, such ones require open space.

Now, one can easily determine the size of the coop for their chicken flock after determining their size. The bantam is around two square feet, the standard size of the coop is almost four square feet, and the large one is eight square feet.

2.   Temperament

It is pretty crucial to develop the feeling of harmony within the flock. Chickens are of high temperament, and they can get into a fight very easily. Therefore, it is quite necessary to maintain the dynamics of the hen flock to handle the temperament. Comparatively, the docile breeds can easily stay together in a small space.

But the dominant as well as aggressive breeds require significant personal space to keep themselves away from any fight. If you dominant breed in large amounts, it is quite better if you keep them separately to avoid unnecessary fights.

3.   Distractions

If you do not provide a free range to hens, they will run everywhere. If you put more distractions, your hens can stay easily in smaller places. The distractions can be blocks, bales, perches, etc. You can also introduce areas to hide and lower their levels of stress.

4.   Broodiness

In the case of broody hens, you need many nesting boxes. If other hens are grouped, they will get sufficient space to rest and stay longer. In this way, you can motivate the laying process without any interruption.

It is okay to put many nesting boxes everywhere and allow them to lay eggs wherever they feel comfortable. If your hens in the backyard are unable to access the nest boxes, they will lay anywhere, making their eggs broken.

5.   Climate

You can easily determine the perfect space by checking the weather in your area. You require a small-sized coop when the free-range is too much. In winter, you can provide smaller places to make it cozy and comfortable. But ensure that there should not be mischief, and if it happens, you must provide ample space for hens.

What About Running Space?

A chicken requires sufficient space for running, too, along with the hen’s coop. For bantams, it is quite necessary to provide a five square feet area for running. If you have standard-sized hens, you require eight square feet of space for every hen. But if you own the larger ones, then it is pretty important to provide at least 15 square feet of space for running.

What Additional Things One Should Add for the Hen Flock?
  1. Area for Dust Bathing: Generally, hens like to enjoy the dust bath with buddies. It can be an area where hens can enjoy and have a happy time. Ensure that you cover the area very well to avoid getting wet due to rain.
  2. Leaf Piles: Through leaf piles, a hen can access tasty snacks like bugs. You can also make it a perfect sitting place.
  3. Prepare Quiet Areas: Sometimes, a quiet space is also necessary for your chickens. A peaceful place can reduce their stress levels.
  4. Seed Scattering: Wherever you keep your chickens, you need to scatter seeds everywhere. It helps them in pecking and scratching bugs. It is the best way to break toenails and prevent them from getting too long.
  5. Hanging Cabbage Pieces: One must hang the cabbage so that your hens can peg on it. But you need to keep them at some height to make them jump.

What Will Happen if You Do Not Provide Sufficient Space to Hens?

1.   Bullying

In tight spaces, chickens can get stressed, and they start bullying each other by plucking feathers. The plucking is quite painful, and dominant hens do this. They make the team and target other innocent hens. Too much pecking can make them bleed, and some drops of blood can make the situation worse. Overcrowding leads to the death of chickens by the dominant breed.

2.   Health Issues

In a small place, hens can poop anywhere, making the place dirty and unhealthy for all the chickens. The water and food you provide become contaminated. It may have dangerous viruses and bacteria. While pecking on poop, chickens can also consume flies and sickness. Hard poop balls can be quite painful and infectious for hens.

3.   Laying Issues

If one does not have sufficient nest boxes, your hens can lay eggs anywhere. It can become dirty or get broken.

4.   Parasites

In a small place with more hens, mites, as well as lice, can occur. There is a risk of pests when hens come in close contact. Mites can drink your chicken’s blood and make them weak.

Final Thoughts

It is pretty necessary to determine the proper size of the coop for a comfortable stay for your hens. You can click here to get hens’ coops in different sizes. The information in this write-up can save the lives of your hens.

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