So you’re thinking of starting a commercial farm operation, are you?
Well, one thing you have to get right is the infrastructure. After all, if you take care of your poultry they will take care of you.
The first step to the process is determining just how many chickens you can safely and comfortably fit on your available land.
To save you the hassle and uncertainty, we’ve broken down exactly how much space is needed per chicken and outlined just how much space you need for 50, 100, 500, 1000, and even 2500 chickens.
How Much Space Is Needed Per Chicken?
There are two types of chickens you can raise as commercial poultry or in a small backyard chicken farm operation.
That is, either broiler chickens for the farming of meat or raising hens for the farming of eggs.
Which type of chicken you are raising changes how much space you need per chicken, and what the overall conditions should be.
This is because laying hens grow into full adult chickens, and require enough space to free-range and comfortably lay. Broiler chickens on the other hand don’t grow old enough to lay eggs and are often processed between the ages of 5-9 weeks old.
So, you should allow 10 square feet of space per chicken if you are raising broiler chickens for the farming of meat.
But, you should allow at least 15 square feet of space per chicken if you are raising laying hens for the farming of eggs.
Although it doesn’t need to be on grass, raising chickens on grass has its benefits.
Remember, chickens can roam up to 100-200 yards, so put up chicken fencing if you’re on an open property to contain them.
How Much Space For 50 Chickens?
It seems that 50 chickens is about that perfect sweet spot for a backyard farm. Before things get too hectic.
Still, be sure you have enough space for your chickens to thrive:
- Broiler Chickens: Be sure to keep at least 500 square feet of land space for your 50 broiler chickens.
- Laying Hens: You’ll need to have at least 750 square feet of space for your 50 laying hens.
How Much Land Space Do I Need For 100 Chickens?
So, if you’re planning on turning your backyard into a small chicken farm operation and you’re aiming for about 100 chickens, you’ll need:
- Broiler Chickens: You’ll need 1000 square feet of space in total area for raising 100 broiler chickens
- Laying Hens: For long-term laying hens, you’ll want at least 1500 square feet of space in total for a flock of 100.
How Much Space Needed For 500 Chickens?
Alright, so now things are getting serious. From any amount of chickens above a few hundred is considered commercial, unless you just really love chickens!
But really, if you’re looking at housing 500 chickens you’ll need:
- Broiler Chickens: A total of 5000 square feet of space if you’re planning on farming 500 broiler chickens.
- Laying Hens: For 500 laying hens, you’ll want a minimum of 7500 square feet of total land space.
How Much Space Is Needed for 1000 Chickens?
Well, 1000 chickens is no small farming operation, so you need to be prepared with enough land space, equipment, and willpower!
Be sure you have:
- Broiler Chickens: At least 10000 square feet of available space is needed for 1000 broiler chickens.
- Laying Hens: A minimum of 15000 square feet of land space for 1000 laying hens.
How Much Land Space Do I Need for 2500 Chickens?
If you’re looking to farm up to 2000 chickens you’re going to need a fair amount of land to ensure every chicken is living comfortably.
- Broiler Chickens: At least 25000 square feet of available space is needed for 2000 broiler chickens.
- Laying Hens: A minimum of 37500 square feet of land space for 2000 laying hens.
It may sound like a lot, but larger commercial farms deal with much larger numbers of chickens, up to 50,000-250,000!
What Happens When There’s Not Enough Space For Chickens
The last thing you want while running the busy operations of a chicken farm is troubles in the coop or run.
If chickens don’t feel like they have enough space they can become aggressive, more easily get sick, and suffer from stress which impacts egg production, meat quality, and overall health.
It’s a common debate on just how much room chickens actually need. But, to be safe, always offer your chickens as much room as you have, and at least 10 square feet per chicken between the coop and run as a bare minimum.
Tips For Caring For A Large Flock
Caring for backyard chickens as pets differs highly from dealing with a full-blown commercial farm operation. Don’t go in blind. Be sure to do your due diligence and enquire through the normal processes to be sure you’ve got everything set up correctly.
Here are some extra tips to help care for a large flock of chickens:
- Transportation: When it comes to transporting chickens, things can quickly get out of hand. Be sure you give your chickens adequate space, food and water during the trip, and cover their transportation boxes for extra comfort.
- Nesting Boxes: If you’re looking at farming laying hens, be sure you have enough nesting boxes per chicken, or you’ve thought through the laying situation. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want about one nesting box per 5 chickens.
- Coop Size: Aside from the total land space, including free-ranging or enclosed pen space, you also want the coop to be comfortable for your chickens. For more information, check out the guide to a coop size for any sized flock.
- Feed: Feeding a large flock of chickens can become quite difficult. Be sure you’re using a properly formulated feed to be sure your chickens are getting adequate nutrition at all times.
- Allow Extra Space: If you have any extra space during the construction of your coop and run, be sure you give it to your chickens, they will thank you for it!
- Predator Proof: A predator attack can be a nightmare for a commercial chicken farm. Be sure your coop and pen are properly protected against any potential predators.
To Sum Up
Whether you’re starting a small backyard farm or contemplating a larger commercial operation, ensuring your chickens have adequate space is crucial for success.
Don’t be stingy with space!
If you’re raising broiler chickens you’ll need 10 square feet of space in total per chicken. For laying hens, because they grow bigger and have to live in the conditions for a much longer time, you’ll want to be sure you’ve got at least 15 square feet of space per laying hen.