Dirt floor coop


In the Brooder
10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
Renton, WA
When I bought my house my coop was already made. That being said the floor of the coop is well... dirt! The chickens love to scratch in it which I wouldn't mind if it didn't cause large holes in the coop floor. And the dirt gets mixed up with the straw so when I clean the coop I suddenly have less floor.
Now small holes are starting to pop up under the walls that rats and mice could go through (not that they couldn't just go through the front wall anyways...).
So I think I have a few options...
1. Cover the floor in plywood. This unfortunently would be insanly expensive I believe to get plywood that wouldn't rot away quickly. My coop is 5'x25' with a 3'x3' area that I wouldnt need to cover, so thats around 120 sq feet to cover. Not to mention that would be a lot of work.
2. Fill the floor in with something like gravel. I was thinking this may work, and the gravel wouldnt be as easily kicked up as the dirt and it would seperate easier from the straw.
3. Fill the floor with more dirt each time I clean the coop. However this is unreasonably expensive for me, and I was recently noticing the size of my compost pile from my horses. Would it be OK to use well composted horse poop (mixed with bits of gravel and whatnot). This would help control my compost pile a bit and it would of course be free. This is my prefered option but I'm not sure if it would work/be healthy and safe for the chickens. I see them scratching around in the compost pile alot (worm heaven) so I was thinking they may even like this? Of course the compost would be well dried before adding to the coop then packed down when added and covered in straw as bedding.
Which do you think would be best considering cost, health benifits, and cleaning.
Last edited:


10 Years
Mar 10, 2009
Cartersville, Ga.
I have heard of people using horse manure in the bottoms of their pins and coops. I've never tried it but they say that its good for the reasons you stated.


Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
Southeast Louisiana
Composted material would be OK from a health viewpoint as long as you can keep it dry and it is well-composted. You don't want the floor of your coop muddy in any circumstance anyway.

Some people use sand as a floor covering. I don't but it is supposed to be easy to clean and it drains well.

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