Flooring on a new Chicken Coop... Is chicken wire OK

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by amcgovn, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. amcgovn

    amcgovn Hatching

    Mar 13, 2012
    I am building a coop and I am considering laying 1/2 chicken wire across the floor instead of plywood. This would allow all of the crap to fall through.

    Will this affect the chickens walking on the floor? Will this considered too drafty in the winter? I live in New England..

    Thanks for your help

  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I wouldn't do that and I'll explain why. Chicken wire is great for keeping chickens in, but it doesn't keep predators out. Raccoons can reach up in that wire, and grab a leg, and they will literally rip your bird apart to get it out, and have their easy meal.

    Not to mention mice, rats, snakes and things of that nature. A dog or fox could rip through that chicken wire.... And maybe a younger bird could get a foot through there.......So many things to think about.

    This is just my humble opinion. I might be a bit of a worry wart. Both of my coops can be locked up at night so that nothing can get in there.
  3. Beaner

    Beaner In the Brooder

    I've read that using chicken wire for the bottom of the enclosure can possibly be bad for the birds' feet or that it isn't sturdy enough to hold their weight, but I've seen plenty of coops with wire bottoms that don't seem to affect the chickens - especially if they aren't spending 24/7 in the coop and have access to a run or to free-range on the ground for periods of time. I'm a chicken newb, though, so others may weigh in who have a lot more experience in this.

    Personally, I chose to use hardware cloth as the bottom and venting for the coop I have, for the same reason: I needed the droppings to fall through the wire as much as possible. The deep litter method just isn't really an option for my setup. I'll still have to go in there with a hose and clean the wire off occasionally, of course. But the other reason I went with a wire bottom was for extra air flow - since I wanted to make the exterior walls fairly sturdy, this meant I needed to have ventilation elsewhere because it gets very hot here in Florida. The doors to the coop will have large cut-out sections that will be chicken wire. The coop is attached to a run, which will be enclosed in chicken wire (when the darn thing is ever finished!).

  4. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    I started with 1/2" hardware cloth for the floor. I thought the poop would fall through. I thought it would help with ventilation. Well, it helps with the ventilation. It is a headache to deal with all the poop under the roost. I put large box under the roost, and used deep litter. Much easier to add pine shavings to the box and shovel it out periodically. Cleaning the hardware cloth is a headache. Other than the obvious benefit of good ventilation so valuable here in the South, the hardware cloth floor was a bust.

    The chickens don't seem to care about the hardware cloth floor. I recommend the solid floor and deep litter, after trying the hardware cloth.

    Hope this helps.

  5. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Songster

    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    I have a hard time imagining that much, if any, of the poop will actually fall through the wire.
  6. jerryb

    jerryb Chirping

    Oct 7, 2011
    Southern Michigan
    I recently attended a talk by a retired AG agent who was assigned to the area around Grand Rapids, Michigan which contains the majority of Michigan's large poultry operations. He recommended that small flock poultry operations should use a 1x1 elevated wire floor over concrete. this way the poop drops to the floor where you can hose it out or shovel it away easily. He was referring to housing small laying flocks, or building grow out pens for small batches of meat birds.

    I am going to follow his thoughts and make a small grow out pen with an elevated wire floor, but I will place it over the compost bin. I plan to grow out about 12-15 meat birds at a time in it.

  7. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Songster

    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    I'm assuming that the 1" hardware cloth versus the 1/2" makes a big difference in the poop falling through? Did he happen to say?

  8. The Old Whittler

    The Old Whittler Chirping

    Oct 31, 2011
    Central Kentucky
    A couple of weeks ago I was looking for coop plans and I found a link to the University of Tennessee. They have three different sets of plans that showed using either 1x1 or 1x2 welded wire just under the roost with a clean out door that opened from the outside of the coop for cleaning. I like the concept as far as cleaning is concerned but I'm not real crazy about putting my birds on wire but they would only be on it when they were getting on and off the roost. I may try it when I build my new permanent coop and see how well it works. If it doesn't work well I can always take it out.

    Below are links to the three sets of plans from UT:



  9. Hamstery

    Hamstery Songster

    Feb 7, 2012
    New England
    I would think it would be much too drafty for a NE winter. just my opinion...I'm no expert, but I also live in NE.

    But MUCH more importantly.....we lost our four hens to a weasel 2 weeks ago. We only had chicken wire covering the venting at the top of the coop and he easily squeezed through the wire.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  10. SillyChicken

    SillyChicken Crowing

    Jan 12, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012

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