How much space to give your chickens is an important consideration. If chickens are too crowded, they’ll become more susceptible to disease, and they can quickly develop bad habits like pecking.
Many resources recommend that you give your chickens at least 2 square feet per bird. When the birds are young, that is adequate, but as they grow up they need more space. I prefer to give each bird at least 4 square feed if they’re going to be confined to a coop.
Our hoop coops are 10 feet wide by 20 feet long, or 200 square feet. In them, we start with 100 chicks at 8 weeks old. By the time the birds are 15 weeks old we are keeping only 50 chickens in a coop (4 square feet per bird). Given 4 square feet per bird, the chickens don’t look or act crowded.
We use a movable coop that gives our birds access to the grass and soil, so they they can scratch and forage, which is natural to them. We move the coops weekly so that the birds are always on fresh ground.