Concrete floor, not sure if I should add bedding?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MountainPea, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. MountainPea

    MountainPea Chirping

    Once upon a time, our chicken coop was obviously a shed of some sort. It's a decent size and has a concrete floor (I'll try to upload pics). Until the other day, I had hay down on the floor. It worked fine, although I think that mice were getting in there; I found tiny little tunnels in some spots. I remove the poop from under the roost fairly often, which I actually find easier if I leave the concrete bare directly under the roost. It's pretty easy to just shovel it out into a bucket and then toss the manure into the compost bins.

    As yet, I haven't put any bedding down yet as I'm just unsure if I should bother. We have 6 chooks currently (looking to get a few more at some point), and they free range all day (we have 84 acres, they roam around on the few acres surrounding the house). We lock them in the chook shed at night. The only time they are confined to the chook shed is if we are going to be out all day and won't be returning until after dark. We have children so we are rarely out after dark, so they are only confined to the shed a couple of days a month. The shed is too far from a hose to be able to hose it out, so that is not an option. Should I put wood shavings down, or maybe some of the rice husks that we already have here (we use it for calf bedding for bottle fed calves)? Or should I put hay back in there? I made them a little dust bath in the corner for the days that they are confined in there, and they did seem to use it the other day when they were in there all day.

    Here are the photos:

    They roost up on these:


  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Concrete sure makes for easier clean up, eh? I keep straw down on my floor because when they jump down from the roost to my wooden coop floor they sound like professional wrestlers slamming each other to the mat. I always feel like they might sustain a cut from the hard landing which could lead to bumble I try to provide something for a softer landing.
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I add shavings and some hay or straw, four to six inches deep, on top of the concrete. I believe it's more comfortable, and gives them something to scratch around in. Mary
  4. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Songster

    Jul 19, 2016
    I have mine just concrete easy to clean.In the winter i add bedding to keep the chickens warm
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I keep 6" at least deep dried grass clippings and leaves on my concrete floor. I just rake it over once a day, under the roosts and thats it. I usually change the whole bedding every 6 months or so, but add grass clippings when the lawn has been cut. No smell, almost no cleaning to do.
  6. MountainPea

    MountainPea Chirping

    I have decided to go with this idea. I was way overdue to mow the lawn around the house, so I started yesterday and have tipped the clippings in the coop already. Still have more to do today but it won't be a problem filling the coop floor as there's a lot more lawn left to mow.

    One question though, do you only rake under the roost each day? Or do you rake all over?

    Thanks for the advice from everyone :)
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  8. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I stated that i use dried grass clippings (and leaves). To be honest though, I'm not sure it would make much difference in terms of crop impaction in my situation as my flock ranges the garden from sun up to sun down and hence only use the coop for roosting (and laying, of course). Others, naturally, may have different experiences.
  9. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I rake under the roost every day. The entrance to the coop (which is actually a shed) I leave bare concrete as when i began using clippings as a bedding, some of my flock preferred laying in the bedding. I now put the bedding in an area where their nest formally were and put the nest boxes on a shelf - some prefer to lay in the bedding - others in the nest boxes.

    Dried grass clippings would probably be better as they will absorb more moisture (and, i would think, be less likely to develop mold - not sure). I would imagine that providing your coop is very well ventilated, the grass clippings will likely dry quickly. Maybe turning it over as frequently as you can will help the drying process.
  10. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

    Nov 30, 2014
    Middle Tennessee

    As CTKen pointed out, I wouldn't use fresh clippings in the coop due to molding issues... which could lead to Aspergillosis among other respiratory issues...

    You mentioned rice husks... well dried rice husks are an excellent bedding source for a coop, it's used by ozexpat in the Philippines and he is very satisfied with the results... says it's much more absorbent than shavings or hay and little to no odor as well...

    I wouldn't leave bare concrete either, it could lead to bumblefoot issues, dry foot pads, cracking of the skin, or scrapes...

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