Inquiring minds want to KNOW! How much space does a chicken take??
If you’re ready to start your first chicken family, you might be asking yourself a bunch of questions right about now. How big should you build the coop? How much feed should they eat? How does all of this translate into eggs laid? How much space does a chicken take, really? Here’s some rough guidelines to keep in mind as you build your coop and start your first flock:
BUT HOW BIG should you build your chicken coop?
Here’s a simple formula to keep in mind:
One chicken needs a minimum of 4 square feet of space in the hen-house. This means, if you plan on raising 5 chickens, your chicken coop should be 20 square feet or larger.
PLUS, your chickens need room outside for some fresh air and room to roam (safely). Each chicken needs at least 4 square feet of room in the chicken run (more is better). So, if you’re still planning on those 5 chickens, you will need an additional 20 square feet(or more) of fenced area for them to be in.
How much food should you feed your chickens?
A safe approximation is this: One chicken will need about 1/2 cup of food per day. They will also need 1.5-2.5 cups of water per day. For our 5 chicken example, this means 2.5-3 cups of food per day, and 10 cups of water.
But that’s not all. Your chickens will also need grit to help them digest their food. And calcium for their health and the health of the eggs they’re laying. And a treat or two (okay, they don’t really need treats, but they think they do!).
You can also feed your chickens organic table scraps–your fruit and vegetable peels and grains. Really, you can feed your chicken almost ANYTHING…but there are exceptions. There are some things your chickens SHOULD NOT eat.
How many eggs will your chickens lay?
That all depends…on the age of your chicken (they won’t lay eggs until they’re 5-6 months old and as they get older, their egg production slows down–the first two years of production are the best), the breed of your chicken (some breeds lay more than others), the health of your chicken (healthy, happy chickens do better), the time of year (a chicken needs 16 hours of daylight for egg laying), etc….
BUT, having said all of that, under good conditions, you can reasonably expect an active, healthy, not-too-old chicken to lay 3-7 eggs per week (I only have one chicken out of 8 that lays 6-7 days a week, the others lay less).
The super amazing mathematical formulation
( that is NOT pure science):
+ 4 square feet (or more) of coop space
+ 4 square feet (or more) of chicken run space
+ 1/2 cup food
+ 1/2 cup water
+ sunshine, happiness and health
+ free range bugs and weeds and grass
+ a tiny sprinkling of treats, calcium, grit and misc scraps
= 1 egg per day (or so)
+ 20 square feet (or more) of coop space
+20 square feet (or more) of chicken run space
+21 cups of food
+70 cups of water
+unlimited bugs, weeds, grass
+sunshine, happiness and health
+a tiny sprinkling of treats, calcium, grit and misc scraps
=2-3 dozen eggs per week