What's the best flooring in a coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by PoppiesChicks, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. PoppiesChicks

    PoppiesChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    I have been reading about the different flooring. Sand, dirt, wood chips, deep litter method or just cleaning it everyday. I am getting ready to put in a flooring and need help deciding what to use. I would like something that doesn't smell, stays somewhat clean, and doesn't attract flies or mice. I don't mind cleaning it everyday. Help!
     
  2. aftonator

    aftonator New Egg

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    I have the same question! My neighborhood has serious rat problems. I'm having an all-in-one coop built with the run under the housing and continuing out to one side. The guy who's building my coop told me to lay cement pavers from home depot to make a base, site the coop and run structure on it, then use wood shavings on the pavers. (The girls will have a separate larger run adjacent to the all-in-one structure.) He told me this would prevent rats from tunnelling into the coop and the runs would be easy to clean. He said this is a good alternative to running hardware cloth vertically in an underground barrier around the coop. Thoughts?
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    It's not quite as complicated as you may be thinking [​IMG]

    First question (which may be a non-question if your coop is already built) is: raised wooden floor, or on the ground (dirt or slab). If there is ANY tendency for the site to flood WHATSOEVER at any time, raised wooden floor is the way to go. Otherwise, your choice, they each have their pros and cons.

    Second question is what material to use as bedding. If you have a raised wooden floor it is generally best to stick with drier materials/methods -- you CAN have damp stuff on a raised wooden floor but it won't last so well. Shavings are really easy to clean, but some people prefer other materials (especially if they are available free to you). EXPERIMENT, try different things, see what you end up liking, use that [​IMG]

    Third question is how to manage it -- deep or shallow litter, clean frequently or infrequently or almost-never-except-spot-cleaning. Again, I would suggest you EXPERIMENT, try different ways, see what works for you, then do more of it [​IMG]

    Note that there is no "the" deep litter method, there are a whole buncha different ways of managing deep litter, some BUT BY NO MEANS ALL of which involve damp composting in the coop, and those damp-composting-in-the-coop methods do not work NEARLY as universally or straightforwardly as a lot of happy webpages etc would have you believe. THey are appropriate for some situations but not appropriate for others. Don't have preconceptions -- just mess around and see what ends up working best for you.

    serious rat problems. <snip> lay cement pavers from home depot to make a base, site the coop and run structure on it, then use wood shavings on the pavers. (The girls will have a separate larger run adjacent to the all-in-one structure.) He told me this would prevent rats from tunnelling into the coop and the runs would be easy to clean. He said this is a good alternative to running hardware cloth vertically in an underground barrier around the coop. Thoughts?

    Yes. Good plan. That is the best you're going to get, short of a solid slab. You need to set those pavers very, very correctly/flat/tight, but yes, it will work reasonably well (i.e. you should still keep an eye out, as they can chew thru wood or actually lift pavers). It will actually work far far BETTER THAN burying hardwarecloth vertically, which rats will just cheerfully tunnel under. Make sure you do a superb job laying the pavers. Use the largest pavers you can get -- 18x24" is good, tho a nuisance to carry -- as they are more ratproof (they can't tip 'em up as well)

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat​
     
  4. Barrdwing

    Barrdwing Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yup, we laid the toppers for cinder-block walls down as a floor in our nursery, and dang if the rats didn't tunnel underneath them, undermine the things, and pop right up through the joins! I flipped out and stapled half-inch hardware cloth to the frame, laying it on the dirt floor, then laid the toppers over that. Stopped the rats from coming up through the floor or grabbing the chicks through the wire. Now the little sods come in through the roof instead. [​IMG] But they're a lot less bold about it, and I am hoping that this year we don't lose any chicks to them.

    When I build a new coop, it is going to have a raised wood floor, I think. While I like the dirt floor because of the marvellous compost that forms under the litter, the rat thing is intolerable. You would not believe how many chicks and young birds we lost to them two summers ago! [​IMG]
     
  5. LilyD

    LilyD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did pressure treated plywood and I am adding a rubber horse stall matt to the top of that so it will not rot the floor.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Can I just comment that this typically works the OPPOSITE of what you're expecting. Laying stall mats on a wooden floor ACCELERATES the rotting of the floor. Reason being, unless you are a very unusual person with a very unusual coop, some dampness WILL work its way down under the mats, and then it just stays there and festers.

    Your best protection against rot is honestly just a good prime-and-paint job and then good bedding management.

    (P.s. you can send me the horse mats, I could really use them for my horses or sheep! LOL)

    Pat
     

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