Another coop flooring quandry...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Eggnonymous, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. Eggnonymous

    Eggnonymous Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 17, 2009
    Carroll County, GA
    Okay, not to beat a dead horse here, but I thought I knew what we would do about the floor of our coop then someone said "a wire floor - are you sure you want to do that?" so now, being the newbie that I am, should we reconsider and why?

    Here's the deal - we live in rural west GA, we seldom have super cold (nights in the teens) weather, plus, I had planned to use a truck bed liner over the floor for late Dec. thru Feb. We are planning to do a modified version of Jarhead's "Cluckingham Palace" which is on wheels and we will move it so our girls will have better access to grass & bugs. I like the idea of droppings going into our GA red clay (anything to help that!). Yes, we have predators and I am looking into options for deterrents.

    I had seen a type of heavy plastic small diameter grid that they used in the floor of a movable coop someone sells on the internet. Here it is (pic. #8):
    Has anyone seen this stuff for sale anywhere?

    As I've said before, we are trying to "eat problems for breakfast" on this though I know we'll still wish we'd done something different at some point - that's life! [​IMG]

    Thanks again you wonderful "chicken folk"!
  2. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    I would not use a wire floor, you never know when it might get real real cold, a LITTLE CLEANING WILL NOT BE ABIG DEAL.
  3. lighthawk

    lighthawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2009
    Gobles MI
    IMO. A wire floor though it may seem low maintenance is still going to catch and trap a good deal of chicken poop. It will be hard on their feet and may cause bumblefoot and they will be walking in poop residue. Re think this decision. Deep litter IMO would be a far better option. Others with experience will provide much better advice I'm sure.
  4. CheerfulHeart2

    CheerfulHeart2 Creative Problem Solver

    Apr 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    I like my wire floor. However, cold here is freezing temp. Didn't see any frost last year, saw it 2 -3 days this year. The poo catches on the floor, but I spray it out every week or so and get it all nice and clean. My chickens only have to jump up about 18-24 inches to their roost/nest boxes. Never had any bumblefoot. Happy in this climate for any and all air circulation. Mine is also on wheels. After spraying it out I sometimes move it to a new spot in the yard. The floor is made from hardware wire.
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    cheerfulheart and lighthawk have pretty much given the pros/cons. The weather wouldn't be much of an issue if you're using the bed liner during colder months. I wouldn't like wire floor because I think it would be hard on their feet, plus I like to have bedding on my coop floor for snuggling down in when taking a break in the coop...
  6. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    I have a wire floor and I love it. I have had it for about 3 months now and used deep litter for ~10 years. I much prefer the wire floor as it requires less maintenance and stays cleaner. Poop does not get stuck very often. About once a month I have to encourage a few poops to go through the 1" mesh. The girls do not have problems with their feet because they don't stand on the wire except to get to a roost or to the nesting box. Their coop opens to a secure run. If you lock the chickens in the coop so that they have to stand on the wire for any length of time (i.e. in mornings before you let them out), then I would reconsider the wire floor - maybe just put wire under the roosts and provide a solid surface with litter to stand on while waiting to get out, or deep litter for the whole shebang.

    Good luck!
  7. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Aside from the issues that the others have mentioned, here are a couple more reasons why I hate wire floors. Chooks don't like wire floors--so if you see any photos of coops with wire floors, they are always on the roost, or the one tiny portion that is wood, and pooping there, so you've basically cut down on their living quarters. The other reason is that they LIVE to SCRATCH! If you watch them for a while--it is what they do-left, right, right, left, then repeat, all day long. Even better is when they have loose material to scratch around in, or nice fresh lawn to scratch. So if you have a wire floor, you have basically deprived them of their "raison d'etre", which to me makes them more like battery hens.
  8. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    but wait, aren't we talking about the floor for just the coop (house) part, and they can go outisde to a run? that's what I thought. my hens live in luxury with their wire floor coop, nothing like a battery! they sleep on roosts, lay eggs in cozy fluffy boxes, and go outside in their sand covered run. no sore feet! to me keeping them on a wire floor for long periods is definitely not a nice thing to do to chickens but I don't see why that is necessary.

    Good luck!
  9. Neil Grassbaugh

    Neil Grassbaugh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2008
    Welded wire is not a favorite choice of the chickens as a flooring material. Especially if it is not PVC coated. PVC coated wire, wooden slats and plastic flooring are very widely used in the cage free commercial poultry industry. Most of the breeder birds and cage free table egg layers are on some sort of "partial void area" flooring. The speculation that birds get dirty from their own droppings on wire or plastic flooring is not borne out by the experience of the poultry industry.

    The black flooring refered to in the pictures linked above is-

    Another type with more void area and suitable for nothing smaller than full grown large chickens is-

    We have used the Red Rooster product sucessfully for years under: mature bantam ducks, mature bantam chickens, young turkeys, broiler chickens 3 wks+, market ducks out of the brooder until slaughter and all sizes of Labrador Retrievers.

    The DuraSlat product is good for big turkeys and big chickens and ducks.

    The Red Rooster product only comes in black and can get hot on the feet in sunlight. DuraSlat comes in both black and white.

    This is the only redily available pic I have of this flooring in use at our farm. It shows young Mandarin ducks growing in an elevated (3') pen.


    Something that has been over looked so far in this thread is that the open flooring allows great air circulation all around the bird and the structure. The OP mentioned using truck floor mats to cover the open floor in the cold times and cover it with litter. Good idea, we do it with rubber pig mats here in Ohio. But I have those avialable from work just like I have the plastic flooring. If I had to go out and buy something to close up the flooring in the winter I would probably get plywood.

    Here is a little onfo on PVC coated wire for floors-

    There are other types of plasic flooring, especially for pigs. These tend to have less void area, are much stronger and weigh and cost more. More variety in sizes too. Some of these would probably be better for smaller birds-
  10. CheerfulHeart2

    CheerfulHeart2 Creative Problem Solver

    Apr 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    Quote:That is how mine is. The coup is only for roosting and accessing the nest box. They don't hang out in there....ever. I do have a feeder in there, but that is the back up feeder. If they go in to get food, they eat a few bites and come right back out. The coup is very small, only for sleeping, not for hanging out. My mesh is smaller than 1 in, so the poops do get stuck. I might have to try 1 inch if I ever change it.

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