Deep litter coop floor - linoleum or wood?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gtaus, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

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    I am in my last days of coop build and will have to finally decide on a coop floor for my deep litter method chicken coop. The current floor is 3/4" OSB. I am trying to decide if I should cover the floor with some cheap linoleum, or some sacrificial 7/16" OSB wood floor. If anyone has some opinions based on their experience, I would like to hear from you. If it makes any difference, I live in northern Minnesota, and can expect the chickens to be basically living in the coop for at least 4 months of the year.

    Initially I was thinking of going with linoleum, but the more I have read about the deep litter method, the more I am learning that the litter should be dry, not wet, so I am second guessing my need for a waterproof/resistant linoleum. If fact, I now wonder if a sacrificial sheet of OSB would be better because it would actually soak up any moisture if anything went down far enough in the deep litter bedding.

    I also was thinking that linoleum would be easier to clean out than a wood floor, but the more I read here on BYC posts, the more I learn some people go years without changing their deep litter. I am currently planning on cleaning out the coop once in the spring (after a long winter), and once in the fall before the snow falls.

    The difference in cost, for me, is not really a factor as a 6X12 sheet of inexpensive linoleum is about $50, and the OSB sheets would be about $25. So for $25 difference, I would rather go with which ever flooring is better.

    Currently I am using wood chips and pine shavings in the chick brooder. Their litter is about 4 inches deep and it stays really dry. I fluff it up about once a week and do not notice any wet spots. Also, there is almost no ammonia smell but if I start to detect any, I just throw in additional wood chips or pine shavings. Granted, these are still 6 week old chicks and not full grown chickens, so the smell issue may be an issue later. If the wood chips don't kill the smell, I am planning on adding some PDZ which has been recommended by others here on BYC forum.

    I have no experience in deep litter coop floor coverings, so I have no strong feelings. Any comments most welcomed. Thank you.
     
    Merci BeauCoop likes this.
  2. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

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    I would use the linoleum. I wouldn't specifically put OSB in there to soak up moisture, as when it does that, it's probably going to rot. Maybe mold. Be a good home for bugs. Etc
     
    gtaus likes this.
  3. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

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    Thanks, had not considered bugs.
     
    Mosey2003 likes this.
  4. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    I did linoleum too.

    My arrangement is a coop over part of the run so I just unload the bedding into the run through the pop door every 6 months or so. It's well on it's way to breaking down by then and the linoleum is a smooth surface that easily releases the bedding and enhances my clean-up.
     
  5. JackE

    JackE Crowing

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    With a wood floor, you will not have a true deep litter setup. Even if you let it get two feet deep. A true deep litter setup has a dirt floor. There are a bunch of posts on this forum about them. One thing though, OSB is not the best choice for a coop's floor. That stuff absorbs moisture. And the floor will be exposed to moisture. One day you probably step right through it.

    Much better to have exterior grade plywood, covered with a thick coat of Blackjack 57. Linoleum may delay the rot for a while. But linoleum and vinyl don't usually last a long time in a chicken coop environment either. Usually get rips, or tears in it. Then the moisture gets under it, and never really drys, and does damage. Also, linoleum and vinyl can get slick when wet, leading to unexpected slips and falls. That can take the fun out of an afternoon.
     
  6. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

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    Thanks for the response.

    Well, my coop is built on the frame of an old boat trailer. Dirt floor was out of the question.

    The guy at the lumber store told me that the tongue in groove 3/4" OSB floor board was better than the exterior grade plywood, so I ended up getting the OSB floor board. I have read a number of threads and reviews about Blackjack 57. Some people love it, others don't. The main complaint I read about it is that the rubber coating cracks. My main concern is our winter temps last year got down to -45F. Will the Blackjack coating hold up without drying out and cracking?

    Would you think Blackjack 57 or linoleum would last longer? I assume both would have to be repaired/replaced at some point.
     
  7. gtaus

    gtaus Songster

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    Thanks. How long have you used the linoleum and has it started to rip or crack?
     
  8. IamRainey

    IamRainey Songster

    I've had it for 3 years with no indication of deterioration. It wraps up the walls of the coop and I've had to tack parts up again, but that's all the maintenance it's required.

    It may be that going 12" up the walls has prevented the kind of wear someone else warned against. I dunno. I just know I'm happy with the way it performs in my coop.
     
    gtaus likes this.
  9. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Crowing

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    If you don't plan to already, I'd at least paint the OSB. Probably two or three coats, that should help it resist moisture a bit.

    I've had the same piece of linoleum in my coop for.......how long have I had chickens? 3 or 4 years? No slices or rips in mine at all, I use a flat blade shovel to clean it.
     
    gtaus likes this.
  10. Cryss

    Cryss Free Ranging

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    I'm planning to use Blackjack 57. My coop walls are mostly made from connecting pallets together. I won't be plywooding the inside, only the outside. I realized that I could never fit vinyl flooring around all the slats and braces in the pallets. Blackjack will be painted into those areas and the whole floor and up the walls about a foot. First I need to paint the inside of the walls. Then I need to wait for along stretch of dry weather. Not this week for sure! Does anyone know how long it takes for blackjack to dry?
     
    trumpeting_angel likes this.

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