Chickens! How Big a Coop?

anotheruser Forumite Posts: 3,485
Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
So I'm in a position to buy some chickens.

I've been looking at this coop:
They do a 4 nest version (£200) and a 6 nest version (£240).

I haven't got money to waste as I'm looking at spending a good bit of money on a shed, but I don't know what size I should go for. I'm thinking the 6, although we'd only start off with three chickens. I don't know if we'd ever have more but I don't want to get the 4 nest version, then decide in a few years time that I should have got the 6 nest one. Maybe we would only ever have four at one time.

So does anyone have any advice on which I should get?
I'm not asking for someone to predict the future, just any advice on what you have/had or mistakes you would have changed if you'd known.


  • Work out why you really want hens. Seems silly to think about but it's not. We started with four, four produced more eggs then we could ever eat, so started to give them away. Then realised hen keeping wasn't cheap so decided to sell the excess to help pay their way, so four wasn't enough, so got 6 more, hatched a few because we could, lost a few over the years, have eaten a few, bought more, and are now standing at 13, with three more coming

    Hens only lay regularly for the first two years , after that they slow right down. One of my old girls lays only twice a week now. I've four other seniors. I can't dispatch them so I have to home them, plus the new additions as they come along

    We now have a 8x6 shed, and about 30 metres of fenced of garden which is surrounded by trees and bushes that they can dust bath and dig around in. We also have grass areas we let them into on a rotational basis and they are let out into the garden most evenings to get the bugs

    Chickens can strip grass and flower beds very quickly :)

    We started off with a small bit of kit like that in the summer, realised it wasn't fit for the winter very quickly and as I say they now have a purpose built shed, insulated , with a power supply and internal water supply.

    We love our chickens, they are our pets first and foremost. Trouble is they are just so addictive you just can't stop at just 2 or 3. :)
  • Money_maker
    Money_maker Forumite Posts: 5,471
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    I wouldn't consider 1.4m run big enough for even one hen to run around in unless it were a bantam. It's ridiculous the amount of space they think a hen needs, not much more than a caged hen.

    You need to buy the biggest you can afford, ideally build your own as you could have a lovely walk in run and even section it off in the winter to rest the land. Use a playhouse or plastic keter to sleep in. You will soon see how tiny these house and run combos are once you see how hens love to run!
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  • Jojo_the_Tightfisted
    Jojo_the_Tightfisted Forumite Posts: 27,228
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Get yourself over to the Greenfingered board - there's a Megathread about keeping poultry and they'll be able to advise you. :D
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  • no1catman
    no1catman Forumite Posts: 2,972
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts I've been Money Tipped!
    Don't forget whatever you decide to make it secure. A neighbour - next semi detached block, who had ten - lst them all to a fox - not a pretty sight. Improved the defences, bought six more - they got killed, fox found away.
    They found the loophole, secured again added cctv, more chickens due shortly.
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