hi this is Hank will with a grit magazine we’re back again today to talk about raising happy healthy chickens with me is dr. McElroy Durr a nutritionist with Purina animal nutrition.

Many folks getting started with chickens have questions about how much space they’ll need for their flock.

Well mikkel that isn’t a loaded question but when it comes to coop and run sizing what parameters are paramount, there are so many ways to approach the coop space issue.

In general space requirements for the birds will vary depending on the size of the breed but for the best results and most flexibility moving forward you should provide at least four square feet of floor area per bird inside the coop

and 10 square feet of outdoor space per bird.

that’s a great four to ten rule mikkel and should help folks get started. I discovered that offering even more space either outdoors indoors or both significantly decreases problems with bullying, egg eating

and it appears to help keep my flock healthy but what about nest boxes for the laying flock.

One nest for every four to five hen should be plenty boxes shouldn’t be too roomy. A good size is right at 1 foot high by one foot wide and one foot deep.

Boxes can be made from wood metal or plastic just try not to mount them on a north-facing wall to help keep your hands warm in the winter, you might want to consider adding a landing board on the front of the box to help your hands get in and out of the box

and to keep the bedding in place, I’d also suggest that folks try to situate or construct nest boxes so that the eggs can be removed from outside the coop.

it’s much easier than crawling into the smaller setups I’ve seen and I notice a bunch of different kinds of roosts here what do you suggest folks use for these you can make a roost from two by fours sturdy branches

or other natural materials metal or plastic roots should be avoided as they might be too slippery in the winter and the metal can get cold causing frostbite.

Each bird should get about 9 inches of reef space and you should separate each roost by about a foot and if you use sod lumber for juice be sure to round the corners with a router or a plane.

it’ll be much easier on your bird’s feet and you’ll avoid health issues in the long term.

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