Chickens on a wood floor : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I would like to convert a shed that has a wood floor into a chicken coop. If I put a couple of inches of dirt on the floor and replace it a couple times a year, would this prevent the floor from rotting? How about pine needles or newspaper? I do not want to use plastic or anything like that since I want to scoop the poop for the garden.

-- Someone Else (, June 30, 2001


ANYTHING that holds moisture will promote rot and decay. Why put any dirt in the coop? The chickens will have it full of dirt in no time. How about using some sort of steel that could be tacked down in the corners and covers the whole floor? Sometimes newspaper companies sell aluminum plates very cheaply. Tack it down well, it will be easy to clean, and will be recylcable when you are finished.

-- someone (, June 30, 2001.

Why put metal down over a wooden floor? That'll hold moisture and rust the metal AND rot the floor as well. If you want to be able to keep the floor "clean" go to deep litter method of bedding. Put down about 6" of straw or coarse sawdust and clean the whole thing out into your compost heap once or twice a year. If its getting wet its either overdue for a cleanout, you didn't make the litter deep enough, or there are too many chickens in there for the space you have.

To "sterilize" interior wood surfaces paint them with plain whitewash. That's just lime mixed with water, no other additives. I'd whitewash the entire interior, put down the bedding, and repeat the treatment next time you clean it out.

-- Sojourner (notime4@summer.spam), June 30, 2001.


I converted an old smokehouse on my property into a nice little chicken coop. It had wood plank floors and was set above the ground about a foot above the ground with a few big rocks.

Instead of covering over the floor with anything, which will hold the moisture against the floor instead of keeping it away, I just painted the entire floor with two coats of high gloss porch enamel. This not only kept the moisture out of the wood, but when I went in to shovel out, the shiny surface kept everything from sticking to the floor. I put a fresh coat of paint on every two years.

I used deep bedding similar to what Sojourner described above, cleaning it out three or four times a year. Except for in the spring when it gets wet and rainy, it was usually so dry that I'd usually hose it down a little before I'd clean to keep the dust down.

-- Lee (, June 30, 2001.

We built a coop about 18" off the ground. The wooden floor was coated several times with Thompson sealer and allowed to dry.

We keep between 6-8" of wood shavings, straw, and shreaded paper on the floor. The litter pulls the moisture out of the manure, and is changed several times per year. The floor still looks as good as new after 15 years.

-- Homesteader (, June 30, 2001.

i purchased a brooder house from a near by farm a few years ago, thats maybe 30 plus years old, with a wooden floor. we moved the 14 by 16 structure to my place and have raised at least 500 chickens to date. water and feed wear kept inside and out in the run, in nebraska winter and summer with no moister damage to the wood floor. the chicken provide thier own floor covering along with the dirt they track in. my gardens love it all along with plenty of meat in the freezer. i just finished building my second wood floor chicken coop, not worried. just raise structure off ground, where the real rot danger lies. but this is my own thougts on the matter. securing a raised structure is also a good idea. happy chickens!!!

-- mj rohde (, July 01, 2001.

My coop has a 1/2" plywood floor on 16" centers, and it still looks like new. I keep 6 to 8 inches of hay on it, and the girls keep it turned up fairly well and it stays dry in there. And that's with food and water in the coop as well.

-- Eric in TN (, July 02, 2001.

I work on a farm that used to raise chickens. The old poultry barns are now used for storage. They all have wood floors. The only ones that have a problem were the 2 barns that were not raised off the ground far enough. They rotted from the ground up. They are only rotted where the ground actually touched the barns after several years of settling. My henhouse has wooden floors, and I've worked at other farms that have chicken coops with wooden floors. One winter one of the barns had a problem due to rats chewing through the floor into the barn, but a little Just One Bite under the barn solved that problem.

-- Sheryl in Me (, July 06, 2001.

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