Who has a dirt floor in their coops?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by havi, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. havi

    havi [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Si

    Mar 23, 2008
    Waco, Texas
    DH keeps telling me I should just have a dirt floor in our chicken coop that is 'in the works'. [​IMG] Its going to be 8x8. The less money we spend the happier DH is. I have a few questions though..

    Do you think its a good idea?
    What are the pros and cons?
    If you could do it over again, would you?




    Also IF we do have a dirt floor I know to have extra protection all around it. So nothing can dig under and get to my girls!
     
  2. CountryMom

    CountryMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    985
    5
    141
    Jun 21, 2008
    South Texas
    I have a dirt floor coop. I plan to finish more sections to it in the future and haven't burried anything below the edges - yet. When I finish the feed room and the two extra out sections I will burry wire a few inches down and turned away from the coop.

    I like it being dirt as I rake it out and replace the bedding like I do a horse stall. It works very well and the chickens love to dig in the dirt inside the coop. My coop is an old lean to next to our tool shop, so it has a metal roof, one metal wall that is the shop, and three sides that are half wall plywood with wire on top. The only critter other than the chickens that has gotten in was a rat snake at dusk before we locked the door. I got rid of it quick.
     
  3. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    35,112
    121
    458
    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    sometimes i wish i had went with a dirt floor...i think it would be much easier to keep clean(i have vinyl)...just use pine shavings over the floor..and when it needs to be cleaned...you can just rake or scoop out the mess..and add more clean sand or dirt on top of the older dirt...then add the shavings on top of that again....[​IMG]..i would maybe try it...if worse comes to worse..you could add a floor after..maybe?...the only thing i wonder about is..if you should ever(god forbid..[​IMG]..)..get a mite/lice infestation...how can you get rid of them in the dirt?...maybe someone here will know?.....good luck..Wendy
     
  4. CountryMom

    CountryMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    985
    5
    141
    Jun 21, 2008
    South Texas
    redhen I originally put down a lot of seven dust before the chicks were ever put in the coop. Then I added a few bags of equine pine pellet bedding. I sprinkled that with some water to expand the pellets so they wouldn't eat them if they got down that low. I mainly did that to add more dirt in the coop as it turns to saw dust without getting loads of sand from the pasture to shovel in with the tractor. Plus, it has kept the place smelling very good now for months. I topped all that off with shavings and have changed them out about every two weeks now for the past few months. So far I haven't see lice/mite problems. I do fight fire ants though. UGH they are horrible in this dry weather we are having.
     
  5. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    23,384
    34
    351
    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    This link has info on the deep litter method, which has many good ideas on how to prevent lice/mites. just a whole bunch of info...You should check it out! I also have a dirt floor, it is very easy to rake the poo off of it.
     
  6. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    35,112
    121
    458
    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    thanks guys..i'll check out the site also..[​IMG],..Wendy
     
  7. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,042
    62
    221
    Jul 30, 2008
    Missouri
    I have had several coops in the past with dirt floors.

    Issues:

    1. Need to insure that predators cannot dig under and get in the coop, so you need to either bury mess wire around the coop or (this is what I did) pour concrete around the outside of the coop. I simply used quickcrete and laid it about two inches thick and about 6 inches wide. Never had a predator dig in.

    2. Not very rodent proof. With the method I used above I did have norway rats dig in.

    3. During heavy rains one of my coops use to get muddy inside even with several inches of pine shavings on top. Therefore, make sure that the coop does not sit in a low area of the yard and has proper sloping around it.

    4. Could have problems with disease. If you should happen to have a disease introduced to the flock cleaning and disinfecting the coop can be an issue with a dirt floor.

    5. The chickens will scratch it up and around and dust bath in it, so you will have holes in the coop so becareful when walking around in the coop. They will make a hole to dust bath in and then the next hen will cover it up while scratching in the bedding and you don't know it is there. These can be real ankle twisters.

    The above being said, I was able to manage the above issues with a little planning and work and the coops with dirt floors worked quite will for many years.

    Scooter
     
  8. havi

    havi [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Si

    Mar 23, 2008
    Waco, Texas
    Thanks everyone! Right off the top of my head, I dont remember the place being in a low area, but DH says about 50 ft beside the coop(just to one side) does really bad. I think hes blowing smoke out his.....! [​IMG] We've lived here almost two years now and Ive never seen anything in our yard get flooded like he said.


    Although I do have another concern..Ive already started buying the plywood for the sides. How would I work it out now that I might not have a plywood floor? And how could I make it to where if I did go through with the dirt floor and found out later it didnt work, I could install a wood floor without having to tear up the whole coop. Like just be able to add the floor down and nail?
     
  9. we built our coop out of 4x8 particleboard and covered it with tin. we painted the outside white to match the house and have a dirt floor, I use about half bale hay in the nests and floor with a good dusting of DE. would not change anything as the hay is easy to rake out and goes on the garden. [​IMG] marrie
     
  10. jonbanks

    jonbanks Chillin' With My Peeps

    225
    0
    119
    Aug 12, 2008
    i have a dirt floor in my coop sometimes i lay pine straw in it but it seems the chickens like the dirt floor as long as i rake it out daily i think its cool
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by