Floor material


In the Brooder
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
Modifying a corner of an old horse barn for what is now in the incubator. This area of the building is now dirt. I want to put down a wood floor and wondering what material to use. -- Question: Is it OK to use pressure treated plywood. It is more money, however I am wondering if it is worth the cost for longer life with-out rotting. Anybody have ideas on how long non-treated material will last? Do you use some other material for the floor that will last, and is better/cheaper than PT plywood? Big "Q" is if there are any detrimental health hazards to the chicks due to the chemicals used in pressure treating. What works for you and what are some suggestions? TNX


Renaissance man
6 Years
Feb 18, 2013
Music City, USA
Why not just put down wood shavings right over the dirt and call that a floor? You should still be able to "muck it out" as was done when horses lived there. As long as it isn't wet/muddy the chickens probably wouldn't even mind just a straight dirt floor (although it might be a littler harder to clean out). My girls love to roll around in the dirt (dust bathing) in the run area of the coop they live in.

Modern pressure treated wood (at least in the USA) no longer contains arsenic which was the primary concern with old CCA wood used up into the 90's. Some people feel that the copper in modern treated lumber is still dangerous and will not use it in their coops but there is no real body of evidence supporting that this is an actual health risk to the animals. If you don't want to use the (very expensive) treated plywood you could use treated boards to elevate a floor made of common plywood or even OSB and use that as an elevated floor. Just be sure there is plenty of ventilation underneath to avoid moisture buildup from causing mold growth or damaging the wood.


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
If it for chickens, most people prefer the dirt floor for the deep litter method, which is the easiest method of housing chickens. The dirt helps the chicken manure break down in pine shavings or whatever you use as bedding. There is a huge thread on the deep litter method. If you have a wood floor that is not covered in vinyl flooring, it will rot.

4 the Birds

9 Years
Oct 15, 2010
Westfield, Indiana
+1 with the above posts.

Not sure how large of an area you want as a floor space, what you want to spend, how much work you want to do, or how much if any ran water gets in your barn. I would leave it dirt and add plenty of pine chips. The birds will scratch down to the dirt in places to dirt bathe. You could cover some wood pallets with plywood to have raised areas. The coop floor should be high and dry. PT wood is useful in places that see moisture. You could even puts sheets of PT 3/8" plywood down and cover with plenty of pine chips. They say that burning PT wood can cause smoke/fumes that should not be inhaled. Scap PT wood is best not burned and tossed in a dumpster to landfill. Hope this helps!

Covered pallet in section of the run
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