Wire on the Bottom of the Coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MyGardenHelper, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. MyGardenHelper

    MyGardenHelper Out Of The Brooder

    35
    2
    24
    Jun 17, 2008
    Northern CA
    I just bought my first 2 chicks (Ameraucanas). I had a coop delivered last Sunday that I bought off Craigs List. It has a wire floor. Should I add a solid bottom to it? It doesn't seem correct that they won't have something solid to run around on (except for the nesting boxes). It also has roosting boards. The girls (Marylyn...she's blond and Audrey...brown) are in another cage with a heat lamp. Could really use your input. The previous owner of this coop had 6 chickens.
    Thanks!
     
  2. jab91864

    jab91864 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    A lot of folks have off the ground runs or coops with wired bottoms with no harm to the poultry. It is also much easier to clean I would imagine....

    Personally it would irritate me and I would put something solid down on atleast part of it. But that is just my personal opinion. I fret too much....

    Julie [​IMG]
     
  3. MyGardenHelper

    MyGardenHelper Out Of The Brooder

    35
    2
    24
    Jun 17, 2008
    Northern CA
    Good Idea. Thanks!
    Maybe put a couple of strips of tiled plywood so that I can take out and pressure wash and leave about a 1/3rd of the bottom wire so that I can sweep the chips and poop out easily. Although, with all of the scratching, they'll probably do most of that for me. [​IMG]
     
  4. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
    21
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    You might try removing the bottom altogether, like many chicken "arks" are built. That way they can scratch freely and you can move the coop around to new spots with grass.

    You didn't say how close together the wire is, but I would trust your instinct that it might be difficult and/or painful to the chickens to walk on it, if it looks that way.

    If you want to keep a bottom on your coop, may I suggest "rough" linoleum with bedding on top, as it seems easier to wash off than boards, and "rough" so they don't slip. You can also just put old hay or straw on top of the wire for bedding, then just put the soiled bedding on your compost pile when you clean it out.

    Personally I think the bottomless, moveable coop is much easier to deal with than the bedding/cleaning out above.
     
  5. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    Id put a piece of ply wood down on part of it. That gives them a place to go to get off the wire if they want, plus it keeps cold air from coming thru the wire and making them cold. [​IMG]
     
  6. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

    3,195
    79
    254
    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    Wire is difficult for the chicks to run around on and also the poop is hard to clean off, it sticks in between and you really have to scrub to get it loose. A solid floor is much better. Use plywood and cover it with old linoleum. On top of that put some soft wood shavings. The chicks like to scratch in it. On cold days a little scratch mix put in there can keep their little minds busy for hours. If you make it removable that would be great to clean. Jean
     
  7. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    Quote:This is exactly what we have, linoleum etc, and it works GREAT. Also it is possible for chickens to get bumblefoot (or something like that...) from being on wire. I would advise against it.
     
  8. MyGardenHelper

    MyGardenHelper Out Of The Brooder

    35
    2
    24
    Jun 17, 2008
    Northern CA
    It's off the ground. It's about 3 1/2 x 4 ft sitting on a frame. Our winters are fairly mild. The wire looks sturdy...I just wouldn't want to stand on wire and it seems that most of the designs I've looked at had a floor. I like the idea of adding a couple of strips of plywood. We're adding a covered run today and then we'll build a fence for free-range in the near future. I like the idea of having both in case we have problems with preditors. We have fox, cyottee, raccoon, owl, hawks, etc. We're on 5 acres and also plan on getting goats and llamas later in the summer. We want to get the hang of having chickens first and then expand slowly into a hobby farm. We're also adding another organic garden this spring. We currently have a small fenced one. Hopefully on our way to getting out of the corporate world. Dreaming...maybe not;)
     
  9. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,156
    21
    231
    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Sounds like a great plan! And chickens are a great way to start.

    Happy days leaving the corporate world behind... you won't regret it. [​IMG]
     
  10. G Wiz Ranch

    G Wiz Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    350
    5
    131
    Jan 20, 2009
    Lompoc, CA
    I am in CA too. My coop is all wire floor, I have 32 hens/1 Roo. They are only in the coop to drink, eat, roost and nest. The rest of the time they are in the run. I disagree when someone said that it is hard to clean. I almost never have to clean the wire floor, only in the popular corner bellow the roost, and it takes me less than 1 min to knock it off with a rake. Other wise I presure was the coop on occasion when needed, 3-4 months.

    I dont think it effects chicks at all, most commercial brooders and even the farm stores have wire floors. I would rather the poo go through the floor than sit on a peice of wood and fester.

    The only reason for a solid floor (IMHO) is for warmth. If you have non existent winters like I do, keep the wire. Look at how huge their feet are, the 1/2" grid that I used gives them pleanty of contact. Also beter ventilation.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by