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Rubber Floor? IMPORTANT...

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

  1. zumzumfoxy

    zumzumfoxy Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    Hey all!

    Will making the bottom of a chicken coop with a sheet of rubber or linoleum be alright for the chickens?

    We've got a straight wood floor and we're planning on destroying the ammonia smell there (despite decent humidity control and about to buy Sweet PDZ or Stall Dry depending on what is in stock at the tractor supply in the morning). The wood floor needs to either get ammonia-smell-free-perpetually or find a substitute that will work. Since we live in a good-sized apartment (but an apartment nonetheless) we need to stay on top of this both for our respiratory health and the chickens'. This has never happened before. We're just concerned about the smell and it's aggravating my fiance's respiratory system. The wood is getting messed up with the ammonia and so we need a barrier between the wood flooring and the shavings/turd. We've already been cleaning the coop daily to every other day.

    We're pretty sure rubber will work- my only concern is if they could get hurt if it's too slick/causes skidding. But some rubber sheets so it should be a big help. Has anyone tried this, will it work, should I stick to just PDZ or Stall Dry? Will it dry out the wood and keep it dry and stink-free? We're very concerned about this and action needs to happen immediately. We're thinking that if we dry the wood and replace the floor with rubber or linoleum sheeting it should work out better (not sure how well cleanup would go, if the wood shavings on top would cling or be difficult to get up, or if linoleum would be easier...)

    Thank you!
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011

  2. zumzumfoxy

    zumzumfoxy Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    Does anyone have any advice on this issue? I need to take action today on it. Thank you!
  3. MetalSmitten

    MetalSmitten Songster

    Apr 11, 2010
    bloomington, indiana
    do you keep chickens inside an apartment?

    honestly, i personally would not use rubber. i'd think that it's too easy to damage, from claws or being pecked at, and that any little holes or scratches would hold bacteria. here's a wiki about ammonia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonia which mentions liquid ammonia can damage rubber; now i'm pretty sure your chicken poo isn't ammonia-y enough to cause an immediate reaction but i would think that over a long time, the continuous exposure to low amounts of ammonia might eventually damage the rubber. it just seems like more effort than it's worth, in my opinion. but i'm not a chemist. this is just how i feel.

    i personally would either replace their floor, since it's already absorbed some ammonia, or at the very least i would scrub it and paint it with exterior grade glossy paint to keep it from absorbing any more ammonia. just covering it up with a sheet of rubber won't eliminate the problem at this point. once it's replaced, i'd either be satisfied with a thick paint coat, or i'd line it with vinyl flooring on top of the paint.
  4. Omah09

    Omah09 In the Brooder

    Yes, put linoleum or vinyl flooring down over the wood, after you clean the wood. Add some DE (food grade diatemaceous earth) and pine chips over that. If you can handle a lot of pine chips in your apartment, you should consider using the deep litter method.

    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  5. zumzumfoxy

    zumzumfoxy Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    @MetalSmitten: Yeah, we do. I was wondering if a rubber mat would get damaged too much. It does seem like I'd have to replace it every now and then. I'd been reading up and some people here use horse stall mats. I don't think there's a way to replace the coop floor so I'd have to place another wood panel over it.

    Would the vinyl flooring work?? I was also thinking of adding horse PDZ to the current floor to dry it out before putting the flooring on top and was worried about the chickens' skidding around.

    @Omah: I have tried the deep litter method but the girls just poop it into oblivion by day 3, so I've been replacing the litter every day/every other day now that they're bigger. (When they were younger it was about a week in duration.)
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  6. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Songster

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    linoleum or vinyl flooring down over the wood, after you clean the wood. Easy Care
  7. fiddleman

    fiddleman In the Brooder

    Sep 11, 2011
    If it were me, I would either remove the old floor or brush on a couple of coats of fast drying shellac which is an alcohol-based resin product and comes in either a clear or pigmented version. It can be brushed on or applied with a roller and, through the small particle size of the grains within the liquid, gives good coverage that effectively seals the odors. Next, I would use a piece of something hard and impervious to moisture... either laminate flooring, or my preference is shower stall board...DPI Flat White Wall Panel - White Melamine...at Menards running under $12 for a 4'x8' sheet it is completely plastic and you can clean it to your hearts content. Doesn't absorb odors and virtually indestructible.


  8. mamabigbird

    mamabigbird Songster

    Feb 11, 2010
    Vancouver Island, B.C.,
    If you are planning to paint with outdoor oil paints or Varathane, there is a need to ventilate the space well and to have the birds far away from the fumes until all the toxic fumes are gone.
    Birds are very sensitive to toxins. Even new vinyl flooring gasses off for quite a while. You don't want to kill them with toxic fumes.
    P.S. How many chickens are you keeping in your apartment and how are you venting their air? Even the cleanest chicken house will stink you out if there isn't proper venting.
  9. zumzumfoxy

    zumzumfoxy Songster

    Jun 29, 2011

    Thank you for the advice! We've got 6 chickens in a 72-sq ft coop and the apartment usually has either the windows open and/or the AC on. There's usually plenty of breezes coming through and this is the first time we've had an issue. I've just returned from buying PDZ and fresh bedding and I'm thinking I'll take your advice and replace the coop floor as well anyways with that white melamine stuff.
  10. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Songster

    I painted my wood floor with a Porch Paint that I got at Walmart. I am planning on laying vinyl over the top of that. But I just wanted to protect the wood and be sure nothing happened to it. If you painted it before you lay down your covering, it would really help with the smell and make your floor last longer. I think you'll really love having a vinyl floor on top- easy to clean. Use pine shavings or sand on top of that.

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