renovating coop with dirt floor

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Beaver_Chickens, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. Beaver_Chickens

    Beaver_Chickens Hatching

    Feb 27, 2008
    Beaver, Utah
    Any suggestions on what type of litter to use on a dirt floor, or how to keep it realitivly clean? I plan to convert an old horse shed into my new chicken coop. I am new to raising chickens and any suggestions on what to do with the floor would be greatly appreaciated, [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
  2. brooster

    brooster Songster

    Jun 14, 2007
    northwest Ohio
    Well, make sure it is predator proof. either burry some wire arround it, build a floor, or fix some wire on the dirt. also it must stay dry. If soo, i would use straw, or shavings. strw seems better on dirt tho.
  3. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    We use hay because our coop is like 30 x 50 and it's more cost effective to use hay that's already here and available. BUT, it gets so compacted down, and hard to turn and keep clean. We have a BUNCH of chickens on ours though. I'm sure on a smaller scale it wouldn't be too bad. I was thinking of buying a truck load of wood chips and trying that though.
  4. MBLayfield

    MBLayfield Songster

    Oct 22, 2007
    Wellsville, UT
    My coop is a converted pig shed that has a dirt floor. 20x30 In the spring its not the greatest because it does stay damp and muddy. I layer over the dirt some dry stall (granules for horse stalls), shavings and straw. Sunday I put down two bales of barley straw, two bags of shavings and a bag of drystall and its already smelling like ammonia in there and some of it looks damp. Any other time of the year, I like the dirt floor and its easy for me to keep clean, but then again I've never had the luxury of having anything but dirt. If I had a choice I think i'd stay with dirt just for the simplicity of it.

    I do have individual pens built inside and they stay dry, its just the ones that are allowed outside that mucks it up for everyone else [​IMG]
  5. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    How about adding some sand to stray of hay?
  6. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    We've got a friend down the road, whom we feed for sometimes and he has sand in his coops. I am always amazed at how clean the coops are with the sand and he NEVER even goes down to the chicken yard. I mean there is no cleaning of any of his coops and they look good.
  7. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    Seems to me the dirt floor would be fine....
  8. Charlie Chicken

    Charlie Chicken Songster

    Dec 24, 2007
    Phippsburg, ME
    I have two coops that are converted dirt floor horse stalls and they work great. I just throw in a couple bales of shavings to start them off. A dirt floor coop with plenty of ventilation and daily treats thrown in every day so the hens will keep everything stirred up and dry can't be beat.

  9. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Songster

    Feb 3, 2008
    Raymond, Mississippi
    Hay can harbor a fungus that causes respiratory illness in chickens. Straw is a much better choice especially for damp conditions. Food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) available at custom millings online comes in 50lb. bags. It is an excellent drying agent. I suggest reading the deep litter method in the FAQs section on this site, but you would then use large flake pine shavings instead of straw plus the food grade DE. I suppose you could always add a layer of straw on top. Many folks on this site do that especially if the area is prone to becoming muddy underneath because shavings just sort of get sucked up into the mud. Any chance you could build a floor or even just install a wire floor a few inches above ground? Best wishes whatever you decide. You are on the right track doing a bit of research!
  10. Beaver_Chickens

    Beaver_Chickens Hatching

    Feb 27, 2008
    Beaver, Utah
    Thanks to everyone for the quick response. Sand and a bag of drystall are really good ideas. I have access to lots of free sand so I am definatly going to try it. Thanks charlie chicken for the great looking picture![​IMG]

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