How Much Space Do Chickens Need To Keep Them Healthy : The Complete Guide

How Much Space Do Chickens Need To Keep Them Healthy : The Complete Guide

Although raising hens is enjoyable, getting started can be difficult. It can be intimidating to ask yourself things like "How much space do hens need?" and "What do I need to do?" 

If chickens are allowed to forage outside throughout the day, they will be happier and healthier. They should be maintained in a chicken coop or other form of shelter at night since they need protection from predators. The number of birds you have, their sizes, and whether you let them out to forage throughout the day or keep them cooped up determine the ideal size of the coop.

If the coop is too tiny, excrement will quickly accumulate inside of it and the air's ammonia content may rise significantly. Neither you nor your chickens should do this. Additionally, chickens will tend to peck each other more and be more susceptible to illness. The ideal situation is to provide your chickens lots of coop area.

You may begin your journey toward successfully raising hens with a little perseverance and research. To make sure your chicken coop is big enough, read the following.

What size chicken coop, how many chickens, and other information will be covered.

It's crucial to understand how much area chickens require whether you want a chicken coop big enough for 6 birds or room for 12 or more. You will be ready to provide your hens with a happy, healthy life after reading these instructions!

How Much Space Do Chickens Need?

Chickens require adequate space to ensure their comfort, happiness, and health. It can cause a lot of issues if you don't give your flock enough room. Pecking, stress, cannibalism, parasite infection, and other illnesses could affect your chickens.

Two regions are included in the square footage needed for your flock of chickens. The interior of the chicken coop counts as one "indoor" area. The hens can wander and graze freely in the second area, which is the "outside" or run.

Factors That Impact How Much Space Chickens Need

The size of your hens is the first thing you should consider.

Less space is needed for bantams than for regular chickens. Since they are smaller and prefer to fly higher, higher perches are ideal for them.

Larger hens need more room, and their perches must be a little closer to the ground.

Larger breeds (such Brahmas or Jersey Giants) need a lot of area to move around. Don't try to cut corners when it comes to space, especially if your birds won't be allowed to roam freely.

Coop space manual

Large Breeds

If you let your heavy breed chickens out to forage during the day, such as Barred Rocks or Buff Orpingtons, then the coop that you put them in at night needs to have at least 4 square feet of space per bird. Consequently, a 4 by 8 foot coop would be sufficient for roughly 8 chickens.

You should allow 10 square feet each chicken if you keep them confined to the coop at all times. For five chickens in this situation, a 5 by 10 foot coop would be sufficient.

White Breeds

For lighter breeds, like the White Leghorn, a coop measuring 4 feet by 8 feet can hold 10 to 11 chickens. Chickens that are allowed to forage outside during the day should have at least 3 square feet per bird.

Considering that confined chickens need at least 7 1/2 square feet of area, a 5 by 10 foot coop can accommodate roughly 6 chickens.


Due to their reduced size, bantams require less room per bird. They are well-liked in backyard flocks in part because of this. If permitted to forage throughout the day, 2 square feet per bird should be plenty, making a 4′ by 8′ coop large enough to accommodate 16 bantams.

If kept in a small space, we advise a minimum of 5 square feet per bantam; so, 10 bantams might fit in a 5 by 10 foot coop.


To maintain peace in your flock, this particular aspect is crucial.

Your hens' personalities will either improve or worsen the dynamics of your flock.

A flock of Silkies, for instance, is significantly more submissive than a flock of Asils.

Silkies can coexist in relative peace as a flock, however Asils need to be closely watched as they can and do fight among themselves.

As a result, more submissive breeds may get by with less space, but more dominant and aggressive animals require more. If you have a variety of breeds and some of them are too aggressive, you will need to give them space and separate them for the sake of the flock as a whole.


If your flock is unable to roam freely, they will be kept entirely inside the run.

The more diversions you can offer, the less space is an issue in the long term.

You can make use of hay bales, flock blocks, cabbage pinatas, leaf piles, perches, and other items of a same nature.

In order to reduce stress, it's also crucial to provide places where kids can hide away and be alone if they so choose.


How many nesting boxes you need will depend on the breed of chickens you have (Orpingtons, for example).

If a few of your hens opt to sit, your other chickens will require a spot so that laying can go on without interruption.

Additionally, having a few extra nesting boxes is beneficial for everyone involved in general. When a hen wants to lay an egg but cannot get to a nest box, she will lay it wherever, which results in soiled or broken eggs.


The temperature in your area will also have some bearing on how much room you need.

You can get by with a little smaller coop if you live in a location where they are permitted to roam free all year round. However, if you reside in a region where they will be cooped up for a sizable chunk of the winter, you might want to offer them a little extra space.

Give them ample of room because the long, monotonous winters can lead to trouble in the coop.

Calculation Space Do Chickens Needs

Flock Size Coop Size Minimum Run Space
6 standard 24 square feet 48 square feet
12 standard 48 square feet 96 square feet
18 standard 72 square feet 144 square feet
6 bantams 12 square feet 30 square feet
12 bantams 24 square feet 60 square feet
18 bantams 36 square feet 90 square feet

It's crucial to estimate the space your flock of chickens will require. If you want to expand your flock of chickens in the future, you must factor that into your math.

Remember that many people eventually end up adding chickens, so you might need to make changes in the future.

However, you can start with simply enough room for the number of chickens you want. From there, just keep in mind to adapt as necessary over time dependent on how much space hens require.

As soon as you get going, you'll realize how beneficial the learning experience is. With regard to chicken coops, you can get creative and even let them have access to a garden or other area that you might not have thought of.
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