You’ve found your dream property in the country, and you are ready for your first chickens! Here are some frequently asked questions to get you started:
How much ranging space?
Chickens in a fenced yard need at least 10 square feet of space each. A 16′ x 16′ pen would support a maximum of 25 chickens. More space means happier chickens.
How much sleeping space?
Each chicken needs 2 to 3 square feet of coop space (if they have an outside yard during the day). A 4′ x 8′ coop would support 12 chickens comfortably.
How many nesting boxes?
Laying chickens share nesting boxes. A good rule of thumb is one nesting box for every 3 chickens.
Does the coop need insulation?
Except in extremely northern climates, chicken coops do not need insulation or external heat. They need to be draft free, but still ventilated. A completely weather sealed coop will be harmful to the chickens.
Do you need a rooster to get eggs?
You do not need a rooster to get eggs. Mature female chickens will lay eggs without a rooster. You need a rooster if you want fertilized eggs and baby chicks.
How many eggs do you get?
The number of eggs depends on the breed and age of the chicken. A general rule of thumb for young, healthy chickens is five eggs per week per chicken. Usually less in the winter.