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Floors in Chicken Coops

 
James Robert Chambers
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Hi,

I want to build a new coop this year and will make it out of pallets with clay-straw infill. I've been thinking about the floor and wanted to use something natural. I'm open to any suggestions, I had thought about clay but am not sure about its durability and odors.

Thanks for any input.

Bob
 
John Polk
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I've been thinking about the floor and wanted to use something natural. I'm open to any suggestions...

Yeah. Dirt.

It is natural. It is cheap (you probably have enough on hand already).
Besides, chickens actually like the stuff.

 
Zach Muller
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I have been using a 1 foot thick layer of wood chips, really cuts down on the smell compared to plain old dirt. The chickens dig holes in it all day and when I look in the coop I hardly even see poop, it jus disappears in the chips. One potential downside is the lack of dust bathing areas, but that is remedied easily. Post pics once you make the coop, sounds interesting.
 
James Robert Chambers
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es dirt is an option, thanks. Would you hard pack this in like an earthen floor?

Wood chips, I saw a YouTube video of a girl from the States who used spruce bows and I tried that in my present coop to cut the smell and this worked great. Thanks for your input.
 
Paul Ewing
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If it is a permanent coop, I would go with a plain dirt floor of whatever is there currently. Then I would use wood chips, straw, peat moss, etc to create a deep litter system where it doesn't need to be cleaned out very often.
 
Peter Ellis
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When I built my coop, I was making something for just four hens and wanted a space I could lock up tight, plus I liked the idea of giving them some protected shaded space when they were out in their run. So I built an elevated box with a wood floor.

Were I building a larger henhouse on the ground, I don't think I would consider anything but a dirt floor. Put some straw or wood chips on it, sure, but just natural dirt as the "floor". Let liquids soak into the ground, let nature's clean up crew get access to the waste, not have to worry about it rotting out or otherwise being damaged, etc., etc.

Rake out the litter a couple of times a year, replace with fresh and the old goes onto the garden beds. And if somehow your floor level is dropping from you raking out too much dirt with the litter, throw a couple shovels of dirt back in there to fill it back to where you want it.
 
James Robert Chambers
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All good suggestions

Thanks, this will be an interesting project as we expand our coop to accommodate 30 new birds.

Bob

 
henry stevenson
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I've been wondering something similar. However my natural dirt is clay so no, it doesn't drain when we get a lot of rain (which we do regularly). My girls like to dig down through the woodchips I have down in the garden for them at the moment and then when it rains the clay and the chips mix and it turns into a nasty mess. I'm tempted to build my new coop with just a dirt floor, use wood chips, and just hope that a roof keeps enough rain out that it doesn't become an awful problem. Any suggestions?
 
Cj Sloane
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I went to the insane trouble and expense to put in a cement floor because I built a chicken fortress. Ironic because now my chickens free range all over the place and I've had few predator deaths. I do a deep litter with bark mulch and I will say that it's really easy to clean it out because of the cement.

The idea of pallets makes me wonder how difficult it might be to clean out. It'd be hard to rake or shovel without the pallets hindering it.
 
Zach Muller
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henry stevenson wrote:I've been wondering something similar. However my natural dirt is clay so no, it doesn't drain when we get a lot of rain (which we do regularly). My girls like to dig down through the woodchips I have down in the garden for them at the moment and then when it rains the clay and the chips mix and it turns into a nasty mess. I'm tempted to build my new coop with just a dirt floor, use wood chips, and just hope that a roof keeps enough rain out that it doesn't become an awful problem. Any suggestions?


Hey Henry a roof may help some, or you could try just making your wood chips deeper so the hens can't reach the ground as easily. I have a fairly high clay content as well and when I set up my chicken pen I laid down a 1foot thick layer and had a big 2 foot pile in the center and this has been enough to prevent mud from forming. After a big rain the chips have absorbed any water and the chickens take a renewed interest in digging through looking for bugs. If they do get going and scratch a hole down to the soil then they don't find mud since the chips soaked up the water. Works pretty well so far.
 
henry stevenson
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Location: Devon, UK
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Thanks Zach. I'll do that. Thank you for your help/input
 
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