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Best Flooring for Chickens Do's and Don'ts/Whys?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Rasuka, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. Rasuka

    Rasuka Out Of The Brooder

    Hello BYC folks!

    I have a question regarding what's the best flooring for chicks in the brooders, and also the best/healthiest flooring in the chicken coop for grown up chickens.
    I have to start building a coop soon, so I was hoping for some input.
    Since this will be my first time raising chickens, I want to make sure they aren't suffering due to my "might be" bad judgments.
    Any advices given would be much appreciated!
    Thank you for reading this thread! (^,^)v
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Forest Grove, OR
    Well, I don't know what is "best", but I'll tell you what is working fine for me. When my hens were chicks, their brooder was a metal stock tank and I used pine shavings for the bedding.

    Their coop floor is just plain, unfinished plywood with a nice deep layer of shavings. I add DE to the shavings to dry things out and extra shavings as needed and turn them over frequently (it's a very small coop, so that's easy). I clean the coop completely 2X per year and the floor still looks great.
     
  3. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The brooder floor was bare plywood, covered by pine shavings. The floor in my coop is plywood covered by a rubberized roof coat product I got from Lowes. (Blackjack#57) It totally seals up the floor from everything and anything. It seals the gap where the walls meet the floor also. It's been in my coop for a couple of years now, and it looks as good as the day I put it in there.
    Jack
     
  4. coopqueen

    coopqueen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 29, 2012
    Underwood, WA
    My turkeys and chukkars have a covered outdoor area to keep rain out in winter. It still gets wet. We put pine needles, alfalfa for them to eat and now sawdust in there. We covered up the gravel with a tarp originally and then started adding bedding. Today I got a load of sawdust from a local family sawmill. We are also getting a load of shavings. I am hoping this will work well. I guess the sawdust and shavings soak up moisture. It sure smells good to have fir sawdust in there. At first the heritage turkeys were trying the sawdust. They are curious. They only did that a little. We will see how much moisture it soaks up after a rain. The temperature here fluctuates between 20 at night and 50 during the day. Today it was sunny, yeah!!!
     
  5. Rasuka

    Rasuka Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you all for you advices! I will take them into thought and see what I can do about it.
    I was also wondering about if I used gravel how would I clean it out? I heard someone said to get the chickens out and pour bleach on the gravel to clean it... But that sounds a bit scary to me!
     
  6. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Eastern Md.
    I would not use gravel inside a coop. For bedding, people use pine shavings or straw. Some people use sand. I would think gravel would end up being a hard to clean mess.
    Jack
     
  7. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,787
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    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I agree with Jack.

    Some folks use gravel in their run, however. My run is covered and dry. I put in leaves and they grind them into compost. I can't remember the last time I've cleaned the run. It just looks like dirt and there's no smell.

    I personally don't see the need to use bleach to clean a coop. I know some people are really keen on it, but I've never had that big of a mess.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  8. kappelmd

    kappelmd Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 4, 2012
    Burlington, KY
    My grandparents had chickens (50-100) their entire lifes. Both are deceased now. They had open air chicken coops for laying and protection against large predators at night. Snakes always found their way into the coop in the summertime, but were dispatched when found. They haad the run of the farm otherwise. Their coop was just a dirt floor that they cleaned out with a shovel once a year. The nest boxes had hay in them that was changed once a year too.

    Our coop has plastic wood flooring with pine shavings that we add to or change every 3-4 weeks. Chickens today are like children today; We spoil them because we can.
    We have been letting our chickens free range during the day, but we have lost two somehow over the past couple of months with no evidence of a "battle".
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Rasuka

    Rasuka Out Of The Brooder

    Thank for your responses!
    I wasn't really wanting to use gravel. But some people in my family was kinda pushing it.
    I thought I would see what other people thought of it anyway.
    I personally don't like the thought of bleach and chicken together. Even if I did make sure the bleach was gone by the time I got the chickens back inside the coop.

    I am leaning towards the side of pine shaving or sand~
     
  10. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I love the concrete floors in my coop and barn. I don't have to worry about predators digging in or living under. It's super easy to clean (I use pine shavings and skip out with a fine-tined pitchfork) and easy to disinfect if need be. It keeps pests to a minimum, too, as there are no damp cracks for them to live in. I live where temps go well below freezing, but have never had a problem with the coop being too cold for the hens. So, if you're going for a permanent structure, consider concrete. (You can see my coops on my live-streaming cams. www.HenCam.com. Also, you can see the roosts, etc if you're looking for ideas.)
     
    3 people like this.

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