Join Backyard Poultry magazine in our video series, Chickens in a Minute, as we answer frequently asked questions about how to raise a healthy backyard chicken flock. This week’s video addresses a common question: How much room do chickens need?
When answering how much room do chickens need, it’s important to note that backyard chickens spend most of their active time outside of the chicken coop. Therefore, generally 2 to 3 square feet per chicken is sufficient space. Remember, you will need to provide at least 1 square foot for each bird to roost at night. (Here’s a good guide to roosting bars.) You will also need to provide your hens with nesting boxes. Most first-time chicken owners ask: How many hens per nest box is acceptable? The answer is 2-3 hens per nesting box is ideal. Each box should be at least 12″ and allow the bird room to turn around and stand fully upright
If keeping your flock cooped up full time, you’ll need to provide 8 – 10 square feet per bird. Your flock also needs an outside chicken run to allow them to exercise and gain access to sunlight and fresh air. In almost all cases, more space is better. The run should allow 3 to 6 square feet per bird. Here’s a great tutorial on how to start raising free-range chickens if you are ready to let your flock out of their run.
We love to hear from our fans. Now that you have the answer to how long do chickens live, what additional questions would you be interested seeing answered as a Chickens in a Minute video?
Originally published in 2015 and regularly vetted for accuracy.