How do those with dirt floors make it work without a mess???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BeccaOH, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. BeccaOH

    BeccaOH Morning Gem Farm

    Oct 3, 2008
    east central Ohio
    I have 3 coops with wood floors on which I use the deep litter method. Works great for me. I clean out twice a year and the smell is manageable.

    This fall I set up my large hoop house as additional winter housing. I set it on the slope of a hill. Within a week the chickens had all the grass gone. I gave them straw up on a wood pallet under the roosting area, but left the rest of the floor bare ground. The house is covered by two tarps but the east side (down slope) is open. The chickens weathered just fine in there even the few times it was below 0. But the ground has continually gotten gross with build of poo and straw. The straw soaks up the water from the ground. We are having a lot of spring rain and it seems to run down hill and down the outer walls and right in under the coop base.

    I've never had the hoop house get this bad. Last winter it housed turkey and stayed quite dry inside. In the summer when growing out poultry, I do move it often to give them access to grass, but even when I used it a couple months for ducks only a corner of the house got mucky.

    This experience just has assured me that I don't want to try a dirt floor in a permanent coop here in Ohio. I can't see any place on my property that I could keep it dry inside. [​IMG]
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    It's important not to put a coop or run in a low area or one where water is draining through the area.

    Sometimes, you just have to do some regrading on a difficult property. I've had to do that in a couple of areas. I also dug a drainage channel to divert draining water around an area. I live on the side of a hill. We get a lot of rain here and also a large amount of snow melt in the spring.

    I've never used litter in a portable structure, I've always moved it daily. For one you plan to park for the winter, I would regrade an area big enough to park it on, if it was me.
  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I also prefer my dirt floor coop, built it that way by choice. This land is a bit low in spots so we also regraded first, adding about a foot before building. It's 2 or 3 years old and works out well.

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