Coop over concrete?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Idranoel, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. Idranoel

    Idranoel Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 5, 2009
    Columbia, SC
    I live in the city and the only place I can put a coop is on concrete. I have heard of the deep litter method and I'm fine with that for the coop but what about the run? If I put any kind of shavings down, they'll get complete soaked the first time it rains. Should I raise the run so that the poop drops to the concrete to dry and be collected easily? Any suggestions would be appreciated and, as you might imagine, please keep in mind that I'll need to keep the smell to an absolute minimum.

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I'm going to be putting some breeding pens on concrete. I'm hoping it works... of course, I sweep and mop my coop every week... and I would do the same with my breeding pens, but I imagine I'd use a hose to clean the ones over the cement.
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    If I had to put a run over concrete, I'd put something down. Concrete is hard on the feet and joints, besides being a very barren environment for them to live on all the time.

    I'd put an edge around the bottom for containment and use either sand or one of the bark mulches. For mulch, I'd go with something easier to walk on than the big chunks, like one of the "foot friendly" types.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Concrete is ok if you're stuck with it, as you are, and on the bright side it is good for predatorproofing, especially vs rats [​IMG]

    What you want is to put some sort of footing into the run that will allow the chickens to scratch around (which is such an essential part of chicken fun!) without floating away at the first sign of rain or turning into a damp stenchy mass.

    The ideal footing would be something mineral, like sand or gravel or a mix thereof. I'd go with at least 4-5" of it. It will stay put, it will not degrade very fast at all, it will discourage odor and flies. Or you could use something organic, like coarse bark chips or BIG wood nuggets, but they are going to be more of a risk factor for flies and odor, and will break down in time and have to be replaced. OTOH if you garden or have friends who do, thoroughly pooed-on organic material is good for the compost pile and for improving soil structure [​IMG]

    Whichever you use, you will need boards (etc) around the base of the run fence so the material does not just wash right out. It is very important that there be small spaces between/below the boards to allow water out, so you are not inadvertantly creating a temporary pond. You may have to fiddle with it a little to get it just right but it's not difficult. If you find that footing material is washing out between/under your boards, you can shove in some folded/crumpled windowscreen scraps (where the chickens can't get to them) and that will help keep the footing in while still letting water out.

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    I agree that you not find very many fans of concrete on this forum at all, I have put it in on all of my chicken areas. I did it mainly for cleaning ease because of our terrible god forsaken weather here. I have taken the steps to make sure it is good for the birds, like many of the things you mentioned. I lay down alot of seedy wheat straw hay for scratching, protection from the wind and rain. I have inspected the feet and legs of the chickens and have found no ill effects from it, plus with it being easier to clean it seems much healthier for them, given our weather conditions. After i shovel out the areas I then hose it all down and re-spread hay. for me it sure beats the runs being a mucky mushy mess for the 2 months of spring, and in the summer when it is very hot and dusty the ground soil is like concrete anyway. If I did not have to have it I probably would not, BTS it is a healthier option for my ladies.

  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    You could plank the inside of the coop. Not only will this prevent condensation but it lessens the need for bedding. I use planks over concrete. Concrete is such a blessing because you don't have to worry about rodents burrowing under your birds. You can use Stable Boy powder to keep the ammonia to a bare minimum without deep bedding, and if you want to use food-grade diatomaceous earth along with it you can enhance pest control. I find that having the coop over concrete means my birds are bone-dry in there, year round.

    As for the run, you may want to use some topping to protect the hen's feet especially in very hot or cold weather. Any number of things will work- shavings, pine needles, peat moss. You could even have a platform out there, which they love better than anything to sun and groom...should work out very nicely for you and be pristine! Also, if you roof your run (recommended) you already have a stable base on which to build... [​IMG]
  7. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    you can put some de in the run and a platform like was mentioned and shelter part of it so it stays dryer. I have concrete floor in my garage coop and cleaned out the whole thing yesterday because I could smell amonia. I do that every 3 months or so and replace with clean bedding. Very easy to deal with. For my outdoor coops that wont have cement I am going to put down linolium.

    I am a city chicken raiser as well Some adjustments have to be made but overall I am very pleased with all the options out there.

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