Choosing The Right Chicken Coop For 10 Chickens
You’ve got 10 chickens, and you’re wondering how to find the ideal chicken coop to keep them in.
It’s a common question, and I know you have many concerns when looking for chicken coops for 10 chickens. I’d love to give you a concrete answer right away (it would save both you and us a lot of time!). Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy.
If you want chicken coops or chicken coop kits for 10 chickens, there are a few things to consider:
- How big are your chickens?
- How much space do your chickens need?
- Do you need a chicken run?
- What features does your chicken coop need?
As luck would have it, I’m going to discuss all of these points in this guide! By the time you’ve finished reading, you’ll know exactly how to choose the right chicken coop for 10 chickens of any size.
Determine the size of your chickens
A common mistake is looking at how much space your chickens need before doing anything else. In reality, the first step should be determining the size of your chickens.
Why? Because bigger chickens need more space than smaller ones. If you have 10 large chickens, the coop you require will differ from someone with 10 very small chickens.
Now… here’s where things get a tiny bit complicated.
Chickens don’t have a universal standard when it comes to classifying sizes. However, you can find some general guidelines to help you figure out if your chickens are small, medium, or big.
The American Poultry Association classifies chickens based on their weight:
- Small Chickens: anywhere between 1.5-3 lbs
- Medium Chickens: anywhere between 4-6 lbs
- Large Chickens: over 6 lbs
At the same time, other people classify chicken sizes based on their length measurements. According to Avian Fashions, you measure the length of a chicken by taking the measurement from the base of the neck to the base of the front of the tail. If you do this, the following classifications are given:
- Small: 4.5 to 6 inches
- Medium: 5.5 to 8.5 inches
- Large: 6.5 to 10 inches
If you click on the link provided above, it also takes you to a very neat table of chicken breeds, categorizing them by size. You can look at this, find your breed, and it should give you an idea of your chicken’s size.
Alternatively, weigh or measure your chickens to be extra sure.
After this, you will understand the size of your chickens, making it easier to figure out how much space is needed when picking a chicken coop for 10 chickens.
Determine the size of your chicken coop for 10 chickens
Let’s be honest, this is the main part of the article you’re looking for. I will explain how to figure out the right size of a chicken coop for 10 chickens of various classifications.
Before I do that, I need to briefly go over why size matters.
What happens when your chicken coop isn’t the right size? Your chicken coop can either be too big or too small. So what happens when either situation occurs?
Your chicken coop is too small: Most people will be aware of the dangers of a small chicken coop. Mainly, there’s not enough space for your chickens, so it becomes overcrowded and leads to big problems. Chickens can start pecking one another and fighting, which may lead to death. Grubbly Farms notes that overcrowding can sometimes lead to egg eating too. There’s also a much greater risk of disease when all your chickens are crammed close together.
Your chicken coop is too big: It’s not as big of a problem as a small coop, but excessively large ones will be too cold during the winter. The Happy Chicken Coop mentions that chickens can survive extremely cold temperatures, but that’s because they generate heat together. They huddle inside the coop and regulate the internal temperature. When the coop is too big, they’re unable to maintain a good temperature as there’s too much space. This could lead to some chickens dying of cold during the freezing winter months.
To summarize both points, the size of your chicken coop is critical for keeping your chickens safe and healthy!
What size chicken coop do I need for 10 chickens?
Figuring this out begins with determining the size needed for one chicken. Take the following points as general guidelines:
Large chickens need approximately 10 square feet per chicken.
Medium chickens need approximately 8 square feet per chicken.
Small chickens need approximately 4 square feet per chicken.
From here, it’s a case of doing some quick calculations. If you have 10 large chickens, your chicken coop should be around 100 square feet in total.
For 10 medium chickens, it’s around 80 square feet.
And 10 small chickens will only need 40 square feet of space.
If you’ve got extra-large chickens, 15 square feet is usually the maximum you’ll need. Keep in mind that the majority of chicken breeds do fall into the medium category. The average chicken coop is around 8 square feet per chicken.
What about a chicken run?
Do you need a chicken run for your chickens? The experts suggest that a chicken run lets your chickens get fresh air, vitamin D, and exercise. At the same time, they don’t have to worry about predators as the run is fenced off.
It’s a way of almost making your chickens free-range, only with some added security.
How should you approach the size of your chicken run for 10 chickens? In all honesty, there aren’t strict rules here. Chickens will often stay inside even if there is a run - particularly when the weather’s bad. You can’t have a run that’s “too big,” but you can have one that’s too small.
As a vague guideline, think about adding 4 square feet per chicken for a run. If you have 10 chickens, the run should start at 40 square feet - but you can make it as large as you want from here.
Essential features for your chicken coop
You’ve seen how big your 10-chicken coop is, but what should you put inside it?
Most chicken coops will need the following items:
Nesting Boxes: These boxes allow your hens to lay eggs in peace. It’s advised to have one nesting box for every 3-4 hens. In a 10-chicken coop, that means 2-3 nesting boxes are required. Inside these boxes should be nesting material to keep the hens comfy while protecting the eggs. We actually sell washable nesting pads that keep the nesting areas cleaner and make the whole coop more hygienic.
Roosting Bars: This is where your chickens will roost and sleep during the night. You can buy roosting bars online or make them yourself using pieces of wood. Aim to keep them up to 4 feet off the ground and with 8-12 inches of roosting space per chicken.
Flooring Materials: It’s a smart idea to cover the floor of your chicken coop with materials to insulate heat and make cleaning a bit easier. Hay and straw are the best options as you can lay them down, and then sweep them up and replace them once a week.
A Source Of Light: Michigan State University comments that a hen’s reproductive system is influenced by daylight. If they don’t get enough of it, they will lay fewer eggs. Try to incorporate windows in your chicken coop to allow daylight in. Alternatively, you can use lights to mimic daylight and put them on a timer to replicate the sunrise/sunset. This’ll help your chickens lay more eggs during the darker periods of the year.
Feeding Stations: Chickens need to eat and drink regularly, so you should install some feeding stations. At Roostys, we have a variety of feeding kits as part of our range. They either come pre-made or can be attached to boxes or containers, helping you dish out food/water to your chickens. It’s smart to have feeding stations inside your coop and outside in the run area.
Finding the right chicken coop for 10 chickens
Lastly, I’ll touch on how to find the right chicken coop for 10 chickens.
You’ve seen the general dimensions you need - but how do you get your hands on the ideal coop?
There are two choices:
- Buy chicken coop kits for 10 chickens.
- Build a chicken coop for 10 chickens from scratch.
Either option works well; it depends on your resources and time availability. If you’ve got lots of wood lying around or regularly build structures around your house, it makes sense to handle everything from scratch. The big benefit here is that you have more control over the size and can fully customize the coop.
On the other hand, there are plenty of cheap chicken coop kits for 10 chickens out there. They’re more convenient; just pay extra attention to the sizes before buying. If you have to choose between a coop that’s slightly too small or slightly too big, opt for the bigger one as overcrowding is the more serious issue.
And just like that, you know how to choose the right chicken coop for 10 chickens. The main point is to measure/weigh your chickens so you know what size category they fall into. Then, remember the following:
- Large chickens need approximately 10 square feet per chicken.
- Medium chickens need approximately 8 square feet per chicken.
- Small chickens need approximately 4 square feet per chicken.
Kit your coop out with the essentials and provide added space via a chicken run. Now, your chickens will have the perfect place to call home!