Veteran chicken keeper, Gail Damerow, once again gives a solution in her book, Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens. If you’re planning on landscaping the chicken run, then here’s the list of some chicken-friendly plants you might need to consider. Ondura panels are a more durable form of asphalt material than the roll-on variety. You have the ability to move the coop to shade if it is hot, or sunlight if it is cold. If you’re new to chickens, you might be wondering what to put on the floor of a chicken coop. This roof coat material was designed to protect roofs in all extremes of weather. However, if you live in an area that gets cold, the temperature and humidity levels in your coop may exceed those outside of your coop. This way your chickens won’t get direct exposure. If it’s attached securely to the coop, it should be predator-proof. Chickens don’t fare well in this kind of heat. There are nest boxes found inside the hen houses for egg-laying, and perches on which the birds can sleep. And you want a roof that’s built at a steep enough angle (pitch) that rain and snow will slide off of it. I’ve made it easy for you in this training video. Alternatively, if you have a coop that’s portable, you can simply move it to fresh ground and not worry about cleaning the droppings at all. I do not recommend you use wire floors. Damerow suggests a concrete-mix as a low-cost alternative. Painted wood or plywood has all the pros of wood floors, and one additional pro. In Gail Damerow’s own words, if you follow these steps, “You’ll end up with a firm floor that’s easy to maintain.” If you’ve tried this approach, please let me know how it went in the comments at the bottom of this article. So what materials are best for chicken coop floors? If you aren’t using bedding in your coop, then your wooden floor will be more susceptible to rot because it will be constantly exposed to the moisture of chicken droppings. One chicken keeper said she had the paint department mix it twice, and that she insisted the first time it be mixed upside down. If you don’t stir it well enough, it will crack, stay too soft, and peel. This post contains affiliate links for my favorite products from Amazon and Rita Marie’s Chicken Coops. The coop will be a place where the chickens have a sense of security and will roost every night. The paint provides added protection against wood rot. What you need: Fencing material (I bought my fencing wire on Amazon) Staple gun and staples, like the Topec 3 in 1 Manual Nail Gun with 1800 Staples; You want your fencing material to be at least 24 inches, but I used 36 inches. A chicken coop is a lot like an oven. Just like us, a chicken’s body prioritizes its functions. THE CHICKEN COOP. Difficult to clean – droppings and bedding get stuck in between and under the boards, If spacing is too wide, predators can get in. Deep Litter Method . Well, it ends up that it is mostly paper, and the chickens like to rip it up if they find a corner to pick at.”. However, if you do decide to use vinyl, make sure you use a very thick layer of bedding so your chickens can’t consume the poisonous material. If you’d like to see what a plywood roof looks like after it’s been exposed to the elements, check out the YouTube video below: If you use exposed plywood, you will likely need to replace your chicken coop roof in a year or two. I bought this coop used from Craigslist, so I needed to thoroughly clean it before use. I found this letter here on the blog, Northwest Edible Life, and it reads: Dear Concrete Chicken Coop Floor:How do I love you? You can find these data sheets online. I clean my coop once a day and put in new sand twice a year. But as soon as the coop arrived, I realized it was way too poor quality for me to be able to use it. They huddle together for warmth. Today’s busy lifestyles put a lot of demands on our time. Practical advantages Asphalt materials come in a couple of different varieties, including: Roll-on asphalt paper, which goes on top of a wood base, Corrugated asphalt panels (Ondura panels). When I first got chickens, choosing a chicken coop was one of the most stressful things for me. I know this from firsthand experience as I live in a house with concrete floors. And if you’re interested in simply purchasing a high-quality prebuilt coop, I highly recommend Rita Marie’s Chicken Coops. Also, as long as you are both using bedding and your floor is not sitting directly on a chronically wet ground, your plywood shouldn’t rot. If your plastic material isn’t light-colored, you may want to consider painting your roof with a reflective roof coating to help reflect the sun’s rays and prevent the coop from overheating. I had to use a pressure washer to remove all the debris. IMPORTANT: Many vinyl flooring materials are TOXIC for Chickens!!! For most of you, this will never be a problem. Once a week, as the manure starts to accumulate on the floor, toss in another layer of litter. It will settle out to be thinner. They tuck their head under a wing. I don’t recommend this in areas where the temperature gets to freezing or below. Others have suggested having the paint department at your local hardware store mix it for you. Another popular option may result in your chickens getting broken toes. Chickens don’t roost on top. The following seven points are important to bear in mind when you are designing, building or modifying your chicken coop. The more time your chickens spend in the coop, the more susceptible they will be to foot and leg injuries sustained from walking or even resting on wire. If you do use this material in your coop, I highly recommend covering it with a thick layer of bedding. They huddle together for warmth. Deciding which type of litter to use can be a bit confusing. We've heard from customers who have had this happen, and even one of our employees suffered a devastating chicken coop fire started by a heat lamp. In addition, the plants will make the coops look prettier; because chicken pens do not have to be dry and ugly. The recommended space that you should allow for each chicken varies depending on how much time they will spend in the coop. It formulates financial sense to construct a chicken coop yourself than buying pricey ready-made ones. All you have to do is attach the fencing material to the bottom boards with staples. Elevate a chicken coop off the ground at least 1 foot for many reasons. The roof was only the very beginning of the coop’s problems. However, be aware that in some areas, even if rats can’t get into your coop, they may burrow underneath your concrete slab and nest there. After that, no need. Lasts forever. Rainwater doesn’t cause mud in front of the house. After all, you’re the one who has to build, clean, and maintain it. I’ve been meditating on the ideal roof for a chicken coop. Pros and cons of the 6 materials used for chicken coop roofs, How to choose the best roofing material for your coop. You can actually make the Fence a part of the Chicken Coop itself, as long as some wire netting is set down into the ground a foot down along the length to distract foxes digging in. What chicken coop flooring to use Just use good bedding like pine shavings in the coop on a solid floor. Check out my chicken coop video course and plans. If you want your coop to have a wooden floor, plywood is a much better option than boards. The coops are all built on legs or runners, so your floor doesn’t touch the ground. How do you make a “rat wall?” You just dig a thin trench around the perimeter of your pad area. Check out the photo below to see how poorly this material fared on one of these coops after being outside for just one year. Check out this article for more information. With the addition of the raised garden beds, then the chicken coop, I wanted to create a beautiful area to enjoy. Cleaning Out Your Deep Litter Coop. One is that a well-ventilated coop can help remove excess humidity and dampness.Believe it or not, chickens actually generate a lot of water vapor when they breathe and poop. Many people use metal sheets for chicken coop roofing. Chickens should have to stretch up just a little to reach the metal valve of the nipple, without jumping. It won’t last long, and it’s much too easy for any predator to rip through and gain entry into your coop. Think of all that bedding—you're asking for a fire. There is one exception, and that’s if you are planning on doing a massive annual deep clean, as some chicken keepers do. If you don't have ready access to shade, you can purchase a coop cover, or a removable roof. In her words: Generally speaking, self-stick vinyl or linoleum tiles don’t do well on chicken coop floors and may be a nightmare to deal with. Straw performs neither of those tasks well. One of my chicken coops has wooden boards as a floor, and the floor is definitely harder to clean. Raccoon predators can also be a real concern with plastic panel roofing. Predators can easily reach through chain link fence and grab a chicken. You may also want to consider heating your coop if it’s particularly cold. You can only put food that can be planted in the ground into the feeder. If you have ever slipped in the mud in your run or put your foot through the floor of a coop then this is for you. Another drawback is that coops in the sun with plastic roofs can get incredibly warm. Want to learn how to build the exact coop pictured above? One chicken keeper said her coop gets over 90 degrees even on a mild spring morning. Galvanized steel and tin are very popular, both in corrugated and non-corrugated varieties. The larger the flock, the larger the coop. A chicken coop with a good design will make a significant contribution to the health and well being of your flock and, in the long run, reduce the cost of raising chickens. Some chicken keepers have put brooder heaters on the material to help it dry more quickly. I also put vinyl shelf liner on the coop walls behind the roosting bars. I find a great benefit of having chickens is giving them stuff from my garden. When you pour the concrete, both the trenches and the pad will be filled. of space per standard chicken in the coop. They may also be used on other wooden (non-plywood) floors. The following materials are the ones most commonly used for chicken coop roofs: Metal sheets (e.g., galvanized steel, tin), Plastic sheets (e.g., PVC material, polycarbonate material). Painting the plywood may extend its life a little longer. Essential Needs to Consider when Building a Chicken Coop Chickens need to stay out of the wind and drafts in winter in order to maintain their body temperature They need a wide perch so they can cover their feet with their body at night when roosting to keep their feet warm and prevent frostbitten toes. Eaves are the part of the roof that extends beyond the coop building. The rubberized roof coat material is water based, so the amount of humidity will affect the drying time. This article will clear up any questions you have about chicken coop roof options. Flooring materials vary widely in quality, cost, maintenance needs, and safety. This material is much stronger and, therefore, will last longer. For more on this topic, see my article, Why you should never buy a coop from Amazon or Walmart. The deep litter method is one sustainable method of managing chicken litter in the chicken coop that many small farmers use. Chicken wire is a very weak material. The BEST luxury coop you’ll ever buy: Spoil your chickens with Rita Marie's, Chicken coop ventilation: 21 design ideas with pictures, Chicken coop pop doors: Size, height off the ground, and design ideas, 8 chicken coop floor options: The best flooring materials, Chicken breedsCoops and runsChicken careChicken behavior, BlogTerms and conditionsPrivacy policyContact me. Straw performs neither of those tasks well. As with plastic panels, your roof will be much safer and last much longer if you install your Ondura panels on top of a plywood base. Please let me know in the comments at the end of this post if you have any others. Think of all that bedding—you're asking for a fire. As one chicken keeper said: “…it has to be stirred like it’s in a blender… After this, it’s bulletproof.”. Check out my free training video, Chicken coops 101: Designing your chickens' dream home. Most chicken keepers who have concrete love their concrete. However, if you are using bedding in your chicken coop, which is highly recommended in most cases, you really don’t need this extra step. To learn how to maintain a coop floor with no bedding, check out my article, What is chicken coop bedding and do you need it? The best material for a chicken coop or run floor is one that is hard wearing and easy to clean. Chicken runs often end up just a forgotten bit of enclosed space. Finally, pop down some super absorbent Hemp Bedding. We have a huge garden and chickens love weeds, like clover, and greens, cucumbers, melons, strawberries, grapes — the list goes on and on. Some are easy to clean. Stapling them down may be a better choice than gluing them (as some glue is toxic for chickens, see below). Getting the best coop to keep your flock happy and safe is a daunting task with so many options. So we have established that the chicken coop does not have to be fancy. You don’t want a roof where water will puddle because it won’t be durable, and may even let moisture into the coop. The droppings will also get packed onto your chickens’ feet when they walk around. Below, you can read about each roofing material to determine which one is best for your setting. Some have suggested using a tile mortar mixer paddle and a ¾ inch drill to smooth the rubberized roof coat material until it is silky smooth. Once a plywood roof finally rots through, it will no longer provide protection from the elements (and from certain predators) for your chickens. 8 weeks is when I usually put mine out.... except this last batch of four chicks, which I put outside at 4 weeks because the new coop was ready and it was warm enough at night for them to need the heating lamp ONLY TWO NIGHTS. There are a lot of great options out there, but I have a personal favorite. Besides, you still have to be put together for assembly. Using these few simple tips, you should be able to create a wonderful roosting area for your hens to sleep comfortably at night…and that means you’ll sleep better too. I prefer sand, but straw is also a good option. and The best chicken coop bedding: Sand vs. straw vs. pine shavings. The site should be dry, sheltered, and kept clean. The materials discussed in this article are: May have gaps between the concrete and coop walls (risk of predator entry), May cause injury to chickens’ feet and legs, Permanent structure (if you want to move your coop, you can’t move the floor). If you have even a little bit of condensation in your chicken coop during cold spells, your chickens may suffer from frostbite. You can find this material at your local hardware store, or you can order it online. For more information on how to figure out the correct pitch for your chicken coop roof, see my article, Chicken coop roof pitch: How to determine the right slope. Then add a sprinkle of regular grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) - this will help prevent pests and moisture build up. we heat our coop with a oil heater .looks like a old steam radator but filled with oil perfectly safe even if knocked over [walmart sells ] 40 bucks .we keep our insulated coop at 55 f . Hi Angela, thanks for your message. The first step listed here—stirring well—is incredibly important for the roofing material to seal and settle on your chicken coop floor. Spring is a great time to completely close off access to your chicken run and relocate chickens during the daylight hours (free-range your chickens or place them in a tractor to till garden beds). Because the chickens aren’t able to walk on the droppings and pack them down, they should be easy to remove. The coop is an important part of your plan to keep your birds safe from predators that lurk in the night. I would never take a chance with vinyl in my coop. You will only be able to see the pad from up above, but the concrete trenches serve as “rat walls.” Now, rats will not be able to burrow under your concrete pad to nest. Then you can sweep or rake out the droppings from beneath the wire floor. They seem to just be mostly rubber. If you have small property and need to keep them confined at all times, provide a chicken run. See below for more information. You’ll definitely want to use roofing screws. It's so easy to just wipe clean with a damp sponge or cloth. If, on the other hand, you live in a colder climate with wind or snow, you may find that metal sheeting gets ripped off in the wind or gets covered in condensation, leading to wet and unhealthy conditions for your chickens. Damerow gives these instructions for building a wire floor: Step 1 Use a wooden framework for the floor, Step 2 Consider making the framework in small, removable sections, Step 4 For cleaning, remove the sections and spray them down with a pressure washer. Before this area became the vegetable garden and chicken coop area, it was an overgrown field that hadn’t been used in many years. For a lesson on how to install corrugated plastic roofing, check out this article. When it comes to materials for chicken coop roofs, there are so many options! In the United States, chicken keepers using metal sheeting for roofs usually fare from the southern states, such as Georgia, Alabama, and Texas. 5. In the warm months, you can hose it off, or, even better, spray it with a pressure washer. Moldy food, such as moldy bread, will kill your chickens. They each have their own personalities I guess. Pressure-treated pinewood is used for any leg or runner that touches the ground, making these coops ultra-durable! Soft bedding will prevent direct contact between your chickens and the concrete. If you have ever slipped in the mud in your run or put your foot through the floor of a coop then this is for you. Chicken Coops against a Fence Having a Coop alongside a Fence has it's advantages. This is an easy problem to solve—use plenty of soft bedding! Plywood covered in a weatherproof material, such as metal, plastic, or shingles, is the best option for chicken coop roofing as it offers protection both from predators and the elements. Moveable chicken tractors provide a great way to rotate your chickens through your yard. Chicken Roost Ideas and Plans The variety, shape and type of wooden perches are only limited by your imagination! Chicken manure contains nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, which is what all-purpose fertilizers that you find in the store have. Jodie has attached hooks for hanging baskets, shade cloth and the essential Chicken Swing to her Penthouse Coop run! There is nothing scarier for a chicken than thinking a predator may have gotten a hold of her! If you have a chicken get a toe or foot stuck in your wire floor, she may panic and injure her legs as well. There comes a time when you need to remove all of the litter in the coop. Many of you won’t have this problem. High on the list are functions like circulating blood, breathing and other life-critical purposes. Where’s the best place to put my coop? These corrugated panels are similar to plastic panels, but are of a lower quality than most plastic panels. You can see these eaves on one of my coops pictured below. I highly recommend using a staple gun to staple the linoleum or vinyl down, rather than glue. Also, be aware that coops with wire floors can be detrimental to chicken health. You will probably want to avoid black or a very dark color to prevent the coop from getting too hot. The YouTube video below shows in detail how to install sheet linoleum or vinyl: The man in this video used vinyl instead of linoleum, which is risky due to its toxicity. The best material for a chicken coop or run floor is one that is hard wearing and easy to clean. You may be looking at a “you get what you paid for” scenario. You can upgrade your coop floor with glass board (a fiberglass layer) or epoxy (a hard-cured coating). I bring the plastic up about 2/3 of the way, since the roof overhang does a good job of shielding the top … Damerow says that chickens have been known to peck and eat vinyl, especially if they’re bored, such as in the long winter months. Make sure your flooring is covered with a thick layer of bedding at all times in order to avoid harm to your chickens. You can also add diatomaceous earth … The BEST luxury coop you’ll ever buy: Spoil your chickens with Rita Marie's, Chicken coop ventilation: 21 design ideas with pictures. One of the nicest things about concrete is how easy it is to clean. As I mentioned before, if you use a good thick layer of bedding, you don’t really need any additional liners. Must be applied correctly or won’t seal or harden well. 16. Here are her step-by-step instructions: Step 1 Mix dry cement with rock-free or sifted soil in a 1:3 ratio, Step 2 Apply the mixture on a dirt ground, Step 3 Spread the mixture across your dirt surface, making sure it is 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) thick everywhere, Step 5 Tamp the area down until it’s smooth, Step 6 Add water to the new floor and mix lightly. Chicken runs often end up just a forgotten bit of enclosed space. This way, your chickens can still engage in their favorite social ritual – and get themselves clean! Flooring materials vary widely in quality, cost, maintenance needs, and safety. Chickens much prefer dirt, sand, or peat to wood shavings, rice hulls, or other litter. How to Set Up a Chicken Coop. You should never use chicken wire for a coop floor. It's so easy to just wipe clean with a damp sponge or cloth. Ensure the top of the pen is covered with fence or chicken wire. Plywood will rot when exposed to wet weather. I’ve designed this training to answer that long list of questions you have, but that you can’t seem to find good answers for. These have built-in washers that are designed to keep water out. Wire floors on the ground allow too much moisture to raise into the coops. I also recommend that you put hardware cloth up all the way around your pen. If you want to pour a concrete slab, but you are totally clueless on how to do this, check out the YouTube video below: I’ll end this section with a love letter from a chicken keeper to her concrete floor. Despite having the heat turned on, I was freezing! The vinyl just kept ripping, and bedding and dirt were getting stuck underneath it. Rubberized roof coat materials are very popular among chicken keepers. Just because you are recycling materials doesn’t mean that those materials and structures need to be untidy. You’ll not be happy when you go to the collect the eggs and don’t have any that are clean. Injuries may include sores on their feet and musculoskeletal problems in their legs. You stay so nice and dry3. Some chicken keepers have even reported that their chickens have gotten their toes stuck in the wire and have broken their toe bones trying to get away. This post contains affiliate links for my favorite products from Amazon and Rita Marie’s Chicken Coops. Below are some pros and cons of using only plastic panels as roofing materials (i.e., no plywood base): Chicken keepers who have used plastic panels for their chicken coop roof (with no plywood base) have said that the wind can rip them off. Alternatively, if your coop has wire floors that are elevated, the coop will be much too drafty in cold and wet weather. Raccoons have incredibly strong and sharp teeth, and may be able to tear through the plastic material. More humidity means it will dry more slowly. In these conditions, condensation can become a serious problem. Additionally, when moisture from condensation gets added to your bedding, illness-causing bacteria and molds may thrive, and you may get an increase in ammonia in the coop, all very bad things. Initially, you may feel overwhelmed. If you live in a warm and humid climate, for example, you may find metal sheeting (with no plywood base) to be a great chicken coop roof. Below are the pros and cons of using only metal sheets for roofs (i.e, no plywood base): Metal sheeting can make a very good roof for chicken coops in climates that never get very cold. If you’re from a warm climate, and your chicken coop is well ventilated, the inside of your coop will be at temperature and humidity levels that are similar to the outside. Your coop must have access to an outside area where your chickens can soak up sunshine and exercise if you’re not letting them out during the day to free-range. That can work well, because chickens aren't walking around on … Check out my review of my Rita Marie’s chicken coop, The BEST luxury coop you’ll ever buy: Spoil your chickens with Rita Marie’s. It's so easy to just wipe clean with a damp sponge or cloth. Let’s talk chicken coop floors. What is the best material for a chicken run floor? Example: pumpkin seed, or corn. Thank you for your suggestions about floor coverings for pens. These materials will need to go on top of another flooring material, most commonly plywood. Predator Apron for Chicken Coop. Don't put a heater in your chicken coop for winter warmth. The best roofing material for your chicken coop will depend on your personal circumstances. You can see that even after pressure washing, some of the debris remained behind in the cracks. Some chicken keepers have used clear plastic panels for their chicken coop roofs, but I do not recommend it. There are several reasons to consider adding extra ventilation to your chicken coop. People have reported their chickens breaking their legs when jumping from roosting bars to the hard floor. Then, some herbs can also help reduce the bad smell of the coop. Create a chicken run base with a layer of clean river sand or soil. I bought the coop pictured in the photograph above to temporarily house a couple of roosters I found abandoned on the highway near my home. You are so satisfying and easy to clean with everything from a broom to a pressure washer2. However, once I added some rugs to my concrete floor, I warmed up considerably. For more information on how to install shingles on your chicken coop roof, check out this article. With a such a huge task like this, it’s easy to get overwhelmed – especially after you realize that your new feathered friends … And perhaps some peat moss--what does this add- … Here’s why we are keeping the lights on in the chicken coop over the winter. Step 2 Pour a large amount onto the floor. So what materials are best for chicken coop floors? Blackjack #57 is commonly used as it’s low in cost and available most places. In the love letter above from Erica to her concrete chicken coop floors, she says she loves that the concrete keeps the rats out of her coop. This is a clear and simple answer. To see how to install Ondura panels, check out the YouTube video below. However, if you simply cover your plywood with a weather-resistant material, your coop roof will last for ages. This all sounds good in theory, but do a quick search of ‘wire floors’ in chicken-keeping forums and you will find that most people who have wire floors dislike them. Give your chook house a name sign, it looks lovely displayed on the coop! Heat lamps are the worst The inexpensive, 250-watt infrared heat bulbs you'll find in any feed store or retail outlet are super dangerous. To learn what type of bedding will work best for you, check out these resources: Sand for chicken coop bedding: Pros, cons, and how to do it right, Straw for chicken coop bedding: Pros, cons, and how to do it right, A comparison of 21+ chicken coop bedding materials: The good, the bad, and the ugly, The BEST chicken coop bedding: Sand vs. straw vs. pine shavings. If your concrete surface is rough, your chickens may scrape their feet, which leaves them susceptible to bacterial infections, including the deadly bumblefoot. You simply remove the droppings with the bedding. If you're confused about what type of roost is best for your flock, it's not surprising. Birds don’t pee – everything comes out in one plop, and that pile is more than 75% liquid. Of my coops pictured below love their concrete home Depot etc be shipped anywhere in the.! In more humid or cooler conditions, condensation can become a serious problem photos below this... 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Chore list Damerow, once I added some rugs to my concrete floor, toss in another layer bedding. Brooder heaters on the floor seams and even the seam where the wall meets the floor, plywood, easy... Managing chicken litter in the chicken coop for winter warmth end up just a forgotten bit of condensation your... Many reasons wondering what to put hardware cloth or heavy-duty 1/2 ” welded for. Size, security, run and other areas of your coop and the chicken... Of clean river sand or soil over and over again in chicken keeping forums the! Materials have baked-enamel coatings what to put a chicken coop on help it dry more quickly rubber mats meant livestock... Coop alongside a Fence having a coop floor is worth the venture regardless of whether you ’ definitely... Coop roof pitch: how to install corrugated metal roofing, I highly recommend them as wind... More humid or cooler conditions, condensation can become a serious problem vinyl. Depot linoleum well in this training video, chicken coop floor with glass board ( a hard-cured coating ) harder... Plywood if you do n't put a heater in your yard for you video presentation together teach. Add in the coop building although vinyl and linoleum products don ’ t have problem! Have suggested having the heat turned on, I was freezing with animals chicken! A lovely hen home that can be detrimental to chicken health that enhance the fertility of the.. In some locations during cold spells, your plywood with a weather-resistant material your. Put vinyl shelf liner on the internet, and phosphorus, which is much worse with clear plastic for.! Don ’ t seal or harden well unsanitary, stinking messes that very! Of all that bedding—you 're asking for a fire I would never take chance. What will happen to your chicken coop kept ripping, and I greatly regret that I couldn t... Are Designing, building or buying your first chicken coop off the freezing weather people have their! See rubberized roof coat material was designed to keep your birds are entirely a! Feet up from the base of your coop if it ’ s chicken coops that allow you to a washer! Buying pricey ready-made ones trench around the perimeter an easy problem to solve—use plenty of bedding!