Poultry; How many square feet are recommended per hen for a chicken house? 15...

Asked June 26, 2015, 3:28 PM EDT

Poultry; How many square feet are recommended per hen for a chicken house? 15 hens need how much space and how many nest boxes?

Darke County Ohio

1 Response

A minimum of 1.5 square feet per hen is recommended, with 2 square feet per hen being the most commonly used space allowance. Larger allowances are required for some of the larger breeds. Nesting boxes should not be directly under the roosting area because chickens poop a lot at night. It is recommended to build the boxes 12” X 12” X 18” tall with a 6” tall front to hold straw.Plan on one box per four or five birds. Keep the boxes cleaned daily so your eggs will be clean.

To make use of the entire housing facility, you can incorporate perches. The hens will sleep on the perches at night, keeping them off the floor. The use of perches also helps concentrate much of the manure in a single location for easier cleaning of the poultry house. Moreover, chickens have a desire to perch, so providing for this behavior contributes to animal welfare. For more information, read the related article on perches.

If you provide outdoor space for your chickens, the amount of outdoor space needed depends on the quality of the space. If your goal is to maintain a pasture, you will require more area than you would need if simply providing outdoor access for a small backyard flock. An allowance of 2 square feet per hen typically is recommended for simple outdoor access. If you do provide your flock with outdoor access, be aware of predator possibilities from both the ground and the air, and provide the hens with the protection they require.

For more information: http://denver.colostate.edu/backyardchickens.html or http://www.extension.org/pages/71004/raising-chickens-for-egg-production#.VZFkoPlViko