What to do with this nasty floor?!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MESOFRUFFEH, Sep 28, 2015.


    MESOFRUFFEH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2015
    East Texas
    First of all... I really envy all of you with super cute coops. Mine was made from 99% free materials and literally cost me next to nothing and kinda thrown together over a weekend. When we built this, I had never even seen a coop as fancy as some of the ones yall have. We have always more or less had chicken coops made of tin with a door and dirt floor and they have always served their purpose just fine.

    This coop had been vacant for years and critters had burrowed under the floor and it was really uneven and had a lot of holes in it. When we got the new chicks moved in, i spread out a bale of hay over the floor, then covered it in large pine shavings as it was very wet & rainy outside and the water was flowing under the walls and soaking the floor. The straw and shavings successfully formed a barrier between my chicks and the water, but now i just have a big gross dusty mess.

    I have a bunch of pallets leftover from when I bought sod for my yard (they kinda suck, not quality pallets like I usually see), and I thought about recycling them in some way to use as a floor in the coop, but not sure what exactly to do in there. Not really sure that I can afford to spend a lot of money on it right now, but I would like to spruce the coop up some and make it look nicer. I am concerned about snakes as we live very close to a creek, so I'm also having to consider that in my planning. Earlier this year I and my son literally walked 6 inches from where a water moccasin was sitting right outside the gate to the yard, I do not want to invite them into the coop with cozy hiding places! Does anyone have any ideas??
    Here is the best pic I currently have of the floor, I can take better ones later if need be. As you can see, its just kinda gross, a big dusty, dirty mess. I know chickens dont care but seriously.... being on this forum is gonna get me in so much trouble lol, I'm always seeing things I really want to do with the coop to make it look cuter! I also am aware that all that crud can hold onto all sorts of unsavory little bugs and critters and germs, so something that would be easier to clean would be awesome. Should i just scrape out the junk that is in there now? I don't even know where to begin!!
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Peeps are a-peeping Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Some options based on your budget, concrete, I like, best for keeping clean, but can be expensive, gravel can make a nice packed floor which you can put other bedding on and will remain mostly intact, sand, easy to clean, but can get wet if you have water getting into the coop, you clean it like a big cat litter box.

    I have seen people lay down pallets as floors, you could do deep litter and just keep piling bedding and green material on top.

    Don't worry about your coop not being cute, it's best if it's functional, mine aren't pretty either, but they give my birds all they need.
    2 people like this.
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Concrete is a good option - very easy to clean and no bedding needed, but as stated above, it all depends on the budget. I use my shed as a coop, so fortunately it had concrete paving slabs already in place.
    1 person likes this.
  4. henless

    henless Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would take out the old floor and go with dirt. Then, I would use either sand or deep litter inside the coop.

    Sand is kind of expensive, and takes daily cleaning. Think kitty litter box. Also, some people have to replace it after a couple years, so you would have to haul away the old sand and replace with new. Some people use it and really love it. I've never used sand, so I can't advise you on how well it does.

    I use deep litter over a dirt floor. Love it! I clean my coop once a year. It never really stinks. I may smell a fresh poo, but you will smell that no matter what you use. When I smell a more chicken smell, I just add more litter. For litter, I use shavings, leaves, pine straw, grass, garden leftovers, pine cones, small sticks and anything else I can get my hands on. Everything is free, except for the shavings. You just have to rake up the free stuff and put in your coop. In the fall, I rake up dry leaves into trash bags and store for future use.

    Here are some threads on deep litter:

    Deep litter method

    Results from First Year with Deep Litter method

    Some threads on sand:

    Got sand? You should!

    Pros and Cons for using sand

    I don't have a cutesy coop either, but I like my set up. It's works really well for my part of the world and it's safe from predators. It really doesn't matter what you put on the floor, it's going to be covered in chicken poo anyway, so do what you can afford and what you feel comfortable doing. Chickens are not clean critters.

    If you want to change the look of your coop, you can try painting the tin, adding trim around the windows/doors. If you do go with a dirt floor, be sure and put a wire apron around the parameter of your coop to keep out predators.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    First, fix the flooding problem.
    If the land is low you may need to dig some trenches or swales around to divert water away from the coop.
    Just one suggestion, depends on the surrounding site what will work.
    1 person likes this.
  6. sophiaw00

    sophiaw00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2015
    I agree completely with what @henless said regarding the bedding. I use the deep litter method (or I'm trying to) and it works great so far. I use mostly organic materials - grass clippings, leaves, sticks, pine straw, hay, feathers, etc. Basically the purpose of the deep litter is for it to compost everything for you. When the chicken poop mixes with the organic materials, it starts to compost. It does need to be slightly moist on the bottom layer, which will be perfect for you with that floor. You want to flip at least the area under the roost like a pancake every couple days so that the feces get mixed in with the litter. I've heard of people not ever having to clean their coop for three to five years and when they did, the material was perfect compost that they used in their gardens. If you try this, throw some scratch onto the litter in the coop every once and awhile and the birds will scratch it and turn it for you.

    My coop isn't very pretty either. My dad helped me build it out of plywood, 2 by 4s, and pallets. It's completely ventillated (open on all 4 sides) because of the pallets. In the winter, I have pieces of plywood with foam insulation that fits perfectly into the frames that were put on the pallets when it was built. Here is the first photo of the coop, but we have made adjustments since then such as cutting plywood to size to cover the door and make it more secure.
    As you can see, it's not too pretty. I have since made some adjustments to make it more appealing to the eye. On the door, I have a hung a decoration that is made out of wood on the door. It was painted red and has a silhouette of a hen on it. There is also a hook on it because it's original purpose was a coat rack. I bought that for 5 bucks from Gordmans. Inside is a wooden photo with a picture of a rooster and an egg that says, "The rooster crows but the hen delivers"; $4 from Gordman's. I also have another decoration that still needs to be hung. It is a red wooden silhouette of a rooster with words such as "Welcome", "Laugh Often", "Sit Long", "Talk Much", etc. I'm planning to put this inside the coop, directly above the pop door so it's the first thing you see upon entering the coop; $5 at Gordman's. You can find hen/rooster/egg themed things at any decoration at department store because it has become a common theme for kitchens recently. I also have a container inside the coop filled with grit. It's blue and is also hen themed. It's original purpose was to be a cookie jar. I also got that at Gordman's for a whopping $3. If you have a Gordman's near you, I strongly suggest going there for coop decor. It's super cheap and they have so many cute decorations, they even have signs that say "Welcome to the Coop" or "Fresh Eggs Daily" but they happened to be too big to fit on the door of my coop so I passed on those.
  7. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    I use deep litter method. I never completely clean out the litter. I take out what ever compost in need for the job at hand. And just keep adding anything organic that is free.
  8. spoikey

    spoikey Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 31, 2012
    I'm on my second coop. Learned from the first flash build. First one had a chip board floor. big mistake. It will fall apart very quickly. Second coop has a plywood floor painted with waterproof paint. After the first couple of weeks of raising 100 meat chickens in the coop the stench was really bad. The first clean out we had to work hard to clean all the crud off the floor but the stench remained. The remedy I used was vinegar in a spray bottle wit a 1/4 cup of Dawn dish soap added. The stench was completely gone and the next clean out was a breeze. From now on I will use the vinegar/dish soap solution after every clean out.

    MESOFRUFFEH Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2015
    East Texas
    Deep litter is starting to sound like the way to go for me!!

    Yes that is definitely out of my budget at the moment, I mean I'm sure I could make it work, but I just don't know!! Concrete is so expensive!

    Ok you have convinced me with the deep litter..... I am all about free!! Or at least as inexpensive as possible. What about their poop? I saw something about boards to collect it (We could definitely use it in our garden in the spring) but with the way my perches are right now, that isn't very feasible. If you let their poo collect in the litter does it really cause ammonia build up that bad? How do you handle your poo? Does diatomaceous earth really work well for bugs and do you add any to your floor?

    I am afraid there is really not much of a fix for that other than letting the floor build back up again. It used to not flood inside the coop very badly, just a little moisture when it rained a lot. Now it is more of a trickle because we were in that area that got absolutely hammered earlier this year and it washed out a LOT of dirt. It literally rained for months non stop. My yard is at an angle and I even have railroad tie retaining walls and it still manages to flood a little. I will see what I can do to get the water a little more under control (it has to rain again tho so I can see where my leaks are lol)
  10. NatureChica

    NatureChica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Linoleum over the wood helps keep things from absorbing into the wood. Much easier clean out.

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