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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by riley, Dec 31, 2008.
i have a large shed with a dirt floor should i put a floor in it or would they be fine on dirt
A lot depends upon whether predators can dig under the floor and up into the chickens.
When it rains or snows will the water run down under this area and get the dirt floor wet? It will be hard to dry out.
I like my wooden floor in the coop; it's easy to clean and I don't worry about anything getting in. However, I have a run into which I throw leaves/grass clippings and all sorts of other decompostable stuff. The hens enjoy scratching in it, looking for tidbits and bugs.
My coop floor is linoleum but it's also raised off the ground. I agree with being careful about digging predators though. Either lay wire mesh on the ground all outside of the coop and secure it down, or maybe dig up the coop floor a bit and place the wire mesh underneath.
Dirt floors work fine, if you dont have trouble with predators digging in, and you keep the water from running thru your coop. You can lay 2 or 3 feet of wire down on the outside of you coop on the ground and that will help keep predators from digging in as easy.
We built our coops with 1/2 inch wire floors due to a rat problem. We added several inches of dirt on top of that. It worked great until I had to clean it! No way to sterilize, standing water with chicken poop, yuck. So we added 16 inch square stepping stones (used red ones for country look) from wall to wall, that way there are spaces in between for drainage when cleaning. I later discovered that throwing cheap hay all over the floor makes cleaning even easier. Bottom line is, with wire and concrete the rats have not gotten in. But it's not just the floor you have to worry about, rats can get in thru the roof as well, so we even have wire under the roof. I can't figure out how to add a photo to this post so if you wish to see one just drop a note.
An added suggestion is to order the TomCat Rat Bait Station as featured in the Verminators t.v. show. My husband ordered it online, don't know the site but you can do a search. It is a large black box with rat tunnel inside, poison cannot be reached by chickens or other pets. We put two of them inside the goat pen where the coops are, and we weighted them down with logs. We went from about 30 rats to 1-2 and holding.
I think I figured out the photo thing! We have since added more sections but in here you can see the floors and wire.
Well, I lived near you (out near Saranac Lake) before moving to Maine and I know how cold it gets there. I would keep a very deep litter on the coop floor to act as insulation between the chickens feet and the frozen ground.
And, as was said, make sure predators can't burrow into the coop.
(Missing the Adirondacks)
I lived in Saranac Lake for a year... It was REAL cold. I worked at the Lake Placid Lodge... What a nice joint.