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How Much Space Do Rhode Island Red Chickens Need?

two rhode island red hens in chicken coop

How Much Space Do Rhode Island Red Chickens Need?

Rhode Island Reds don’t require a lot of space. Most experts agree that most chickens need at least 4 square feet per bird inside the coop and 15 square feet per bird outdoors in a grassy run or pasture. They also need 8-10 linear inches of perch space to roost at night inside the coop. You can use dowel rods or even sticks from the yard in your coop for perches.

Not Always a Simple Equation

Accepted minimum space requirements do not always represent the ideal conditions for a happy, healthy flock. Most chicken parents do not want to offer their birds the bare minimum housing because chicken parents are animal lovers and kind people!

Commercial chicken operations or factory farms usually offer very little indoor space, and sadly, they offer little to no outdoor space at all. We can improve upon this system for our own birds!

Rhode Island Reds are considered to be a standard sized variety, but they tend to be large and meaty birds. They appreciate extra space to spread their wings and stretch their legs. They are also talkative and vigorous. If Rhode Island Reds feel crowded, they may fight, molt, or stop laying eggs. The fairly reasonable struggles for chicken pecking order may turn into aggressive attacks and injured birds if they feel crowded and stressed. Many experienced poultry farmers prefer 6-8 square feet per bird indoors and at least 20-30 square feet of outdoor space.

How Small Is Too Small?

The accepted minimum of 4 square feet indoors and 15 square feet outdoors is bordering on too small. If you experience any aggression or drop in egg production, look at providing more space. 

Rhode Island Reds need at least 4 square feet per bird inside the coop.

Can Rhode Island Red Chickens Have Too Much Space?

Surprisingly, yes! Rhode Island Red chickens do need plenty of space, more than your average backyard chicken, but don’t give them too much of a good thing!

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If chickens have very large pastures, they will get plenty of fresh air and sunshine, and they will forage for insects and greens. This improves their health and egg production.

Unfortunately, it may also expose them to additional risks, like wandering onto roadways or attack by predators.

Stray and domestic dogs, foxes, coyotes, raccoons, oppusums, skunks, snakes, and even some cats may attack your flock. Everyone loves to eat chicken, so your coop and run must be small enough and secure enough to protect them from harm.

Read More: Top 5 Hawk Deterrents For Chickens | How To Protect Your Flock!

What is An Ideal Amount of Space For Rhode Island Reds?

A good beginning point is at least 6 square feet of space indoors and 20 square feet outdoors. This is more realistic for Rhode Island Reds than the average listed for most chicken breeds. Never allow your flock to roam where you can’t protect them, even if this means restricting their outdoor run.

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