How good is a dirt floor for coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dadsarmy, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. Dadsarmy

    Dadsarmy New Egg

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    Jun 16, 2013
    I inherited a chicken coop when we moved into our place. It's made of metal sheeting and wooden beams. The floor is dirt, not hard but soft, and I've been using a combination of wood shavings and straw as bedding. Problem is that around the edges of the coop it's damp and the wood is starting to rot. I put down some wooden planks but they're only absorbing the moisture. Ive taken up the planks and returned to the dirt floor. I'll have replace the coop eventually but in the meantime do I stick with the dirt floor, wood shavings and straw? Anything I can do to reduce the dampness in the corner and along the sides? I'd be most grateful for any advice.
     
  2. chynasparks

    chynasparks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2013
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    Sand is good. I use a layer of sand on a concrete floor. The sand gets wet but drains quickly. My peeps aren't walking in muddy dirt. We bought the wood, treated wood so it's all new. But I love just having to scoop like a cat litter box. Perhaps if your dealing with wet muddy dirt you could try sand. I hope your wood isn't too bad.
     
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    You don't state the size of your coop, so this may be a stupid idea, but I would make a foundation of concrete blocks. Set or lever the coop onto the concrete blocks so the wood is not touching the soil.

    Use shavings as usual on the dirt floor. The coop will be a bit taler, just about the height of a concrete block. ;)

    Heck, even a "foundation" of pavers would suffice, which wouldn't raise it all that much.

    My coop is a 17 foot by 22 foot dilapidated old 3-sided "garage" with a dirt floor. It has a concrete foundation supportingthe walls. I had it transmorgrified into a coop with a fourth wall, plus a people and a chicken door. The wall I had built is supported on railroad ties. I use the deep litter method over the dirt floor.
     
  4. Dadsarmy

    Dadsarmy New Egg

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    Jun 16, 2013
    Thanks so much for that. I think I'll put in a concrete floor. It's just a small coop and the dirt does not become muddy, just wet at the edges and in the corners. So I think concrete is the way to go. Easier to clean too. Just one question though, doesn't a concrete floor - even with sand or wood shavings - get a bit cold underneath in winter? Or do the wood shavings etc insulate it pretty well? I I have at least one chicken that likes to sleep on the floor.
     
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Four to six inches of shavings will insulate it quite nicely.
     
  6. romualdas

    romualdas Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2013
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    Deep liter system is like mulch pile , witch creates it's own heat hens love it in winter, and love to scratch for the worms and bugs that lives there. Concrete absorbs urine smells witch is detrimental to your hens .
     
  7. chickengirl1234

    chickengirl1234 New Egg

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    Aug 23, 2013
    In my experience using sand has worked quite effectively and when I had dirt and it rained it smelled bad but now with the sand it smells cleaner and plus the chickens love taking a bath in sand especially on those hot days ! I usually changed the sand every 3-4 months or whenever it looked like it had to be. And sometimes I put in hay or shavings for something to let them play with. Hope this helps!
     
  8. Dadsarmy

    Dadsarmy New Egg

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    Jun 16, 2013
    Thanks so much! It's been great advice.
     

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