dirt floor coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mommabear24, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. mommabear24

    mommabear24 Hatching

    Jan 29, 2015
    I'm in the process of converting my old 20'x16' 3 sided horse shelter into my first coop. I live in northern WI where winters get to -20*+ before windchill. The shelter currently has a dirt floor. Should I leave it and just add some bedding on top? or put some pallets down and lay some linoleum on top? I would imagine the pallet idea would rot and cause a mice problem. Any suggestions?
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Free Ranging

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    I agree with you that pallets would rot and attract mice . All that would provide is a maze for mice. Use straw or hay on the floor. The chickens will be on roosts anyway. Linoleum is appropriate in coops where people build new and want perfect clean floors. You are converting what you already have. Need to close up the forth wall opening. Make it such as to provide plenty of ventilation for summer. lots of ether windows or openings to also provide natural light. Install proper protective screens. For winter. You will need modified ventilation. Very important. That is where windows are good. Can be opened in summer, and provide light in winter when closed. Read up about ventilation on this site, as well as read some of the threads. You will find much information. Visit the LEARNING CENTER as well as COOPS for many good ideas. WISHING YOU BEST
    2 people like this.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    As long as the shelter drains well and doesn't collect water during rain/snowmelt events, it should be fine with a good layer of straw over the dirt.

    You'll need to close it in with a 4th wall, with windows for light and ventilation, covering all openings with well attached 1/2 hardware cloth for predator protection and all doors with raccoon proof latches.

    There's a great article in my signature below about ventilation, I suggest you read it.
    You'll need to lots of ventilation summer and winter, but in winter you'll need to make sure there are no strong drafts blowing on the roost area...so you may want to shut down some of the ventilation then.
  4. lovemy6hens

    lovemy6hens Songster

    Nov 4, 2013
    Central Texas
    2x to aart's post above.

    We have a coop with a dirt floor, but it didn't completely dry out after rain flooded the coop & run with 1" of water over Thanksgiving. We put the girls into our 16x24 concrete floor workshop and we just finished their new coop which is an 8x14 section of the shop.

    Your 20x16 structure can become a great coop! Pouring that much concrete might be unrealistic, but maybe pouring concrete in a section of it would work. That also may create more of a moisture problem, but someone here will certainly know. I don't know. I'm just happy our girls now have concrete.
  5. Primo

    Primo Songster

    May 1, 2013
    Nothing wrong with a dirt floor. Go for it.you can always change later if you don't like it. Lots of inexpensive options to help keep predators from digging in. An apron of some type of sturdy fencing laid on the ground extending about 2 foot out will work (I use cut down chain like as hardware cloth is too expensive) running a hot wire or two a few inches off the ground will work well also
  6. ApiaryandAviary

    ApiaryandAviary Songster

    Jul 10, 2014
    There are advantages to a dirt floor and just about anything is worth a try.
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    What a great size for a coop!

    I've always had dirt floor coops, and strongly prefer them. As stated above, as long as it's basically dry, you're good to go. Look into the deep liter method and use straw or shavings, whatever is cheaper in your area. Grass clippings in the summer, leaves in the fall--it becomes one wonderful compost pile. Clean it out once a year or so--if you don't have many chickens in that nice large space, it could easily go longer---and your garden will thank you.

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