Chicken coop question : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Has anyone built a coop that had a dirt floor only? I can see how having a solid floor would help critter proof the thing, but was just curious as I have to build a coop, and was hoping to save a few bucks. Guineas are free ranging, and the peafowl have a "house" in their pen so to speak. And I had 3 Sebright Bantams (beautiful tiny birds they are). Then the wife went and bought me some Rhode Island Reds and Domikers (what a wife!). Not too worried about foxes and coons as the big dog is on guard and he's VERY territorial. Plus I was thinking I could get some welded wire fencing and come out about 2 or 3 feet with it to discourage digging. And if push came to shove I could string some electric fencing around the entire coop and pen area.

-- Eric in TN (, November 09, 2000


Our big chicken coop has a dirt floor, the block side walls/footer goes down below the dirt level to keep out digging varmits though. We use pine shavings on the floor to keep it dry, and less smelly. Plus the chickens like to scratch in them, dust bathe, etc. Annie in SE OH.

-- Annie Miller (, November 09, 2000.

Eric, I live in the sunbelt. My chooks free range during the day and tuck themselves into the pens at dusk to roost. I use chain link dog kennels for the pens. The sides are covered with 1/2 inch hardware cloth. I use the 4 foot wide, that's high enough. The predators can't climb it. They also can't stick a paw in and grab a chook. I also laid the hardware cloth on the ground before putting the pens up. I attached each strip with J clips and the cloth extends 2 feet past the pens on all sides. Nothing has dug under and got in. There a couple of small mounds where gophers have made the attempt!

-- ~Rogo (, November 10, 2000.

If you are sure that the location you have wouldn't get all mucky in wet weather, I think a dirt floor would be just the thing. i have very clay soil and a slight declination so I went with a half dirt half ready mix floor. It makes the floor slightly porous yet it won't get all muddy and I can give it super cleaning when I need to.

-- Doreen (, November 10, 2000.

Our coop has a dirt floor. The first year we put two bales of straw in the coop the chickies loved spreading them around and pecking through them. Every May and October I shovel out the coop and add it to the garden -Oct, the future potato garden, May-around the tomatoes. We throw in another bale or two of straw. Works well for us in Indiana.

We also learned that if we don't lock the chicken house up, just the pen, so the cats can go in and out, the weasles aren't a problem. Now if I could get rid of the moles...

-- Cindy (, November 10, 2000.

Disease problems over time.Build something you can sanitize as needed.

How about raised up on blocks enough that you can clean out underneith it ,with a hardwear cloth floor,for the poop to fall thru.I saw this at a menonite farm and thought it is what I will do when I get that far.Of course leave chickens out during the day to forage,but you prob know that already.

-- sharon wt (, November 10, 2000.

I actually removed my stationary coop from the property---it was raised up and I didn't have varmint trouble, but I didn't like what happened to the runs over time.

Now I have only a moveable coop on wheels. Uses less wood to make, since it doesn't have to be big enough for me to stand in. I can clean it out in 20 minutes, which I do every 5 weeks or so. Egg boxes at my height with access from outside the pen. Works great and they get fresh grass everyday.

Plus I can wheel it into hiding whenever I want it out of the way.

-- Anne (, November 10, 2000.

A coop that has the floor raised needs to have enough space underneath for cats to get under there, otherwise you've got a lovely home for rodents. We are going to just use chicken tractors -- my husband finally finished the first one -- and hoop houses for the winter, rather than a permanent house. Another benefit to temporary portable shelters is that you won't get taxed on them.

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, November 10, 2000.

Thanks for all of your input!

-- Eric in TN (, November 10, 2000.

Here's the chicken tractor Joel built....I hope this works!

-- Becky (, November 11, 2000.

Nice picture!

OK, the local saw mill has culled 1" x 6" x 8'+ for $0.95 a plank, so I'm gonna splurge and build a floor. I may even end up using it for the siding at that price.

But I do have 1 more question for you folks - how do you handle ventalation? Windows? Vents? I was thinking about using some translucent white corrugated roofing, and forgoing the windows. But I do have two small sliding storm windows I scrounged up that I can use.

This is going to be a small coop too - I only have 9 chickens and 5 of 'em are small Bantams. Eventually I'd like to have about a dozen of the Sebrights, and 2 or 4 more of the Rhode Island Reds. But I plan to split the birds up before that happens and have a seperate coop and pen for the Bantams.

-- Eric in TN (, November 11, 2000.

To give creditt where credit is do, the above picture is Countrysides design. we only built it. becky

-- becky (, November 11, 2000.

Special thanks to Doreen for the picture. not seen in the picture Joel left a space at the top and stufed it with chicken wire. we never had a problem with heat. this house holds 5 laying hens but could hold more.

-- becky (, November 11, 2000.

We are going to build a chicken coop next year also. We will have a solid floor from wood we are recycling from a building we tore down. Maybe someone around you has a building they would like removed (a small one will do) and you could get the wood from that??

Every fall we rake all our leaves when it is dry and very carefully bag them up and store them in the barn. Then every 7-10 days all winter we just add a bag of leaves to the chicken room. In the spring my husband shovels out beautiful shreded leaves mixed with chicken poop and NO SMELL! The chickens look forward to leave day because they get all kinds of new things to eat(bugs, seeds). We look for about 35 bags of leaves each fall. If the goat barn gets smelly we just add a bag of leaves and it really helps keep that smell down.


-- Mary R. (, November 16, 2000.

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