Would there be any cons to having a wooden floor in the entire run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by elisaliv, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. elisaliv

    elisaliv Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm researching and making plans for our future coop we will be making. I planned on using 1/2" hardware cloth for the entire run including the floor (with course sand on top). But got to thinking, what if I just put decking wood on the bottom of the frame instead? This would make the run a lot more secure to predators. Then I could add the sand on top of the wood floor. But would there be any cons to this?

    Thanks!
    Elisa
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, many cons... But, that said, many people manage with such floors.

    If it's treated wood, you have the concerns of the toxic glues leaching into any damp areas, and the much nastier fungi and bacteria required to survive such treated wood taking up residence; also as the wood inevitably degrades over time, some chooks will eat bits of it, another concern.

    Poorer drainage is another concern, leading to stagnant, anaerobic liquids facilitating harmful bacteria growth.

    The wood can also become a reservoir of disease that you can't easily treat without ripping it all up and burning it, should you come across some of the worst diseases, specifically those with long survival times in environments containing absorbent materials.

    All these things are cons most people with wooden flooring manage, it's not impossible. I prefer the deep litter composting method myself.

    Best wishes.
     
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  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    What's your purpose in covering the entire floor of the run? For predator control, the perimeter is usually good, burrowers are going to give up. I'd feel sorry for the birds not having access to actual ground for scratching and finding bugs, etc.
     
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  4. ridemcowgirl

    ridemcowgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    It is doable. First you have to make sure you use heat treated wood not chemical treated. Next you need to make sure you have proper drainage. You could use wooden boards and make sure they are spaced far enough apart to allow water to drain but close enough together that your bedding won't fall through. 1/16 of an inch would probably be enough. Now you would want to seal your wooden floor to protect from fungus and mold but remember all birds are sensitive to chemicals. I would use linseed oil. That's what farmers used to protect wood on barns before chemical sealers were made available. Then I would use the deep litter method and just give them a sandbox to take dust baths. now here are the questions you need to ask, do you really want to spend all that time and money on a floor that will protect your flock just as well as a strong wire mesh? Plus will they like the floor or will they prefer to have actual ground to scratch? Also do you really want to be disinfecting a wooden floor every time you clean the run out? if it's done right it can work well and look nicer but if you're not worried about having a coop that's worthy of the cover of better homes and gardens, than I would just use the hardware cloth and save your sanity lol. Best of luck and make sure to post pics so we can all see what you came up with
     
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  5. ridemcowgirl

    ridemcowgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh another thing, if you do a wooden floor it will need to be raised off the ground a few inches, otherwise your wooden floor will rot from the moisture in the ground and youll have to spend the money to replace it every few years
     
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  6. elisaliv

    elisaliv Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the input everyone! It was just a thought. Just trying to think of good ways to make the run predator proof. But if 1/2 inch hardware cloth will work better, I'll just stick to that plan. I think I will put down the hardware cloth and attach it to the bottom of the frame and have it extend out to make an apron. Then fill with pea gravel to help with drainage and then coarse sand on top. Does that sound good?
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
  7. ridemcowgirl

    ridemcowgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    That would be a good idea. That hardware cloth is tough stuff. And the pea gravel is great for drainage. We use it in the horse stalls under the bedding and the stalls always stay nice and dry
     
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  8. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Much better design than wood in my opinion.

    This is pretty much how I have mine, except the sand. I use mulch.
     
  9. elisaliv

    elisaliv Out Of The Brooder

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    Awesome, thanks!
     
  10. sound4him

    sound4him New Egg

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    I am in the process also of building a run. I was planning on putting 1/4" chicken cloth on the bottom of my run. What the danger if any to the chickens.
     

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