Concrete coop floor questions


In the Brooder
11 Years
Feb 27, 2008
Fulton, KY
I am building a new 12'x15' coop under the lean-to of my barn. Due to the number of potential chicken predators locally and the moisture situation, I have decided to pour a concrete slab for the floor. I'm trying to decide two things about this floor:
1) Should I apply a glossy concrete sealer to the floor so that chicken produced moisture doesn't seep into the concrete and make a stink issue?
2) Should I also perhaps put a drain in the center with the floor gently sloped inward? Seems that it could make cleaning easier.

Do these seem to you experienced coop builders as good ideas or just more trouble than they're worth?


Big Charlie
i would not paint the concrete at all.the only thing id do is use shavings on the clean the henhouse every 2 or 3wks.youll have a nice compost pile going.
If you can get a positive slope for drainage (1/4" per foot will cut down on puddling/ice) then I would definitely skip the floor drain. The chipmunks and mice use our downspouts, foundation drains, and area drains for food storage and nesting. After a heavy rainfall, our yard looks like a couple of chipmunk rummage sales.
Don't put in a floor drain -- there's no good way to SECURELY cap it while still having the lip flush with the floor, and if the lip isn't flush then what's the point. It'll just clog up with shavings and poo, and/or become a rodent highway.

If for some reason you feel you *must* have a drain (personally I don't see the necessity of hosing out the inside unless sanitation has been way inadequate all along), consider the following, sometimes done as a clog-free drain in horse wash stalls:

Pour the slab so that it is very slightly graded towards the middle of one side. When you frame the walls, cut a gap maybe 6"-12" wide there in the sill (the 2x4 that lies on the ground forming the bottom edge of the walls). Essentially you are cutting out part of the sill. Frame an opening about 4" high there, making sure to use braces or etc to tie it all firmly enough together that the wall will not be weakened.

Leave this open as a rectangular, flush-with-the-floor hole when you put the siding on the walls. Make an accurately-cut 'plug' to fill it, and if necessary use flashing around the top and sides of it on the outside so that rain can't leak in around the plug. (In horse barns it's usually jsut covered by a flap, but drafts and rodents are more of an issue in a coop). When the urge to hose overwhelms you, remove the plug, and use a floor squeegee to herd the water out that hole. Ta da.

Its virtue in horse wash stalls is that it cannot clog (you haven't lived til you've lain in a flooded wash stall full of manure-filled water, your arm shoulder-deep in a floor drain, wondering whether that obstruction you're trying to remove is a ball of poo or a rag or a dead rat) and there is no grate to dislodge and admit a horse's leg for a series of expensive vet bills. But it should work well for a chicken coop too.

Personally I'd just skip the drain though.

I don't know enough about concrete work to know whether you;d need sealer -- our coop building ahs a concrete floor but we didn't build it, it was already there, so I have no idea whether they put anything on it. Seems like just plain concrete to me. (It does have floor drains, btw, rather severely clogged from back when it was a dog boarding kennel).

We put drains in ours, choose a type that has a top that can be removed (ours have waterproof screws), but which has slots too small for predators to invade- outdoor shower drains are good and cost about $8. We covered the concrete floor with used horse-stall planks and we'll use peat moss treated with DE and Stable Boy as bedding.
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Nevermind the whole concrete floor idea. I RADICALLY miscalculated the amount of concrete I would need, and I'm simply not going to spend over $500 in concrete for these birds to crap on. I'll save that $500 to pour a floor in the main area of the barn to make a workshop...

Big Charlie
I don't know if this will help in your case, as I live where the only burrowing critters are gophers and an occasional mouse. We are going to do a concrete foundation/footing for wall support, then dig out the floor to somewhere around 14" to 16". We will fill this with concrete rubble, rocks, and dirt, well packed down.

I was pretty astounded when I figured the cost of a slab that is 8' x 12' x 3", and decided I needed to go with something a little less, and it will provide something to do with an ugly pile of rubble.
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