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How many chickens?

9 replies

Confusedm87 · 10/03/2023 10:46

So i have a 3m x 4m x 2m high walk in, omlet run and have attached a nestera large raised coop with the 2m run. So a decent size. I cant free range them where i am so thats all they will ever have acess to. Juts wanted to know roughly how many i could get? I was thinking 6 and that would give me the option to add some hens in a few years when egg production drops. Am I over estimating how many i can have or does this sound ok? Thank you

OP posts:
Tockomtele · 11/04/2023 20:28

I'd go lower than you think, as there'll always be restrictions now due to bird flu. It also depends on the breeds and the size of your coop.

Umbellifer · 11/04/2023 20:42

How many eggs do you want - 6 laying hens means 42 eggs a week, will you use that many?

Generally the more space you give each hen the happier they are, and the longer it’ll take them to dig over the floor. Confusingly they’re better with less space overnight, so they cuddle up and keep each other warm.

And as @Tockomtele says, small breeds or true bantams will take up less space than bigger or floofier breeds.

If you’re new to keeping chickens I’d start with three or max four and see how it goes…

Gildenel · 01/06/2023 09:11

We bought seven, day old chicks, we only wanted 3 but the seller said he only sells in batches of five and then gave us 2 extra, they are 5 weeks old now, and the indoor run they have is getting a tad small my partner hasn't built their run yet, not sure what to do? They keep fighting.

YourWinter · 07/06/2023 13:21

Gildenel · 01/06/2023 09:11

We bought seven, day old chicks, we only wanted 3 but the seller said he only sells in batches of five and then gave us 2 extra, they are 5 weeks old now, and the indoor run they have is getting a tad small my partner hasn't built their run yet, not sure what to do? They keep fighting.

Are you sure they’re all female?

crabbyoldappletree · 07/06/2023 14:08

How easy is it to move the run? Chicken scratch and poo a lot! so personally I'd go for a trio. I vaguely remember being told the minimum space for a happy health hen is 1 per square metre (for day time, much less room needed for nesting) although I always felt it was a bit small.

steppemum · 07/06/2023 14:24

Our fixed fox proof run is a bit smaller than that (like just the first one you mentioned)
I have at the moment 6 small hens. 3 bantams and 3 cross breeds who are about half way between a bantam and a large breed.
We had a few more, mainly because we raised a clutch of eggs (long story) and some of them were males.

Once we reduced to just females and 6 they were happy, overcrowded before that.
But one was getting quite hen pecked. We can now let them out and I notice that she is no longer so pecked.
With 6 the run floor does get churned up, you won't have any grass after a few weeks.

I recommend that you either buy chicks who are guaranteed female or buy point of lay hens.
If you have time it is nice to buy a group of 4 week old chicks, just off heat, so that you can put them in your run without a heat lamp. Then handle them every day and they will become quite tame, which is lovely.

steppemum · 07/06/2023 14:28

with 1 square metere you could have 12 just in the frst run you mentioned without the extras you have added on.
But that is WAY too many.
Hens do much better with a bit of space.

Do look at breeds , bantams of all kinds can be great. Their eggs are a bit small. though.
We started with Light Sussex, because their chicks are colour = sex so you know they are female. They were 3 HUGE fat old ladies by the end but they were very tame and quite fun and laid huge eggs.
If you get them this size, 3-4 is plenty.

JulieHoney · 07/06/2023 14:29

I would say 4 would be ideal in that space, because you want them to have plenty of space to live comfortably if you can’t free range.

They really appreciate enrichment in their environment, so a place to dust bathe, shrubs for shade and interest, a small log pile or similar for hunting bugs… the more they’ve got to play with the happier they are.

Also, that’s plenty of eggs for a family, usually .

CMOTDibbler · 07/06/2023 14:30

I have the same run, with my coop being on the outside of it. My 4 girls are OK in it during bird flu lock down, but I really wouldn't want more in there as they like an area to dust bath, places to scratch around, grass and then their water/feeder. When free in the garden they are always on the move, so I like them to have a lot of space

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