10 Chicken Coop Flooring Ideas
What chicken coop flooring to use is a MAJOR DECISION for a chicken keeper. The one you choose can either make life easier for you or put your chickens in danger.
This guide will help you weigh your options and help you pick the best flooring for your hen house.
1. Strong As Concrete
If you’re thinking of a permanent DIY chicken coop, then also consider concrete flooring.
- Deters burrowing
- Anti-feather parasites
- Easy cleaning
- Big cashout
- You can’t move it
- Hard to build
Concrete is one of the most popular chicken floor materials. Why? Simple, it is a heavy-duty, low-maintenance flooring option – it will most likely outlast your chicken coop!
Chicken coop on concrete also prevents burrowing predators like rats and raccoons from entering inside the coop. You don’t have to worry about pests too! Concrete chicken coop flooring is smooth and solid that lice, mites, and ticks don’t have a hiding place.
Since it’s a solid structure, it’s easy to sweep or wash out the concrete slab. It also means that it’s weather-proof.
However, prepare to spend upfront for this ground-level flooring. It may be expensive, but it’s worth the benefits of raising chickens on a safe, sturdy structure.
Another thing about concrete is once it’s there, it’ll stay there. If you’re unsure about the location or permanence of the coop, try a different flooring.
This is not your average hammer and nail project. You may need professional help..
2. Au Naturale Dirt
Still looking for chicken coop flooring ideas? There are times that going “au naturale” or chicken coop dirt floor is the best route.
- It’s everywhere
- Easy on the feet
- A digging problem
Dirt is everywhere. Just pick an even plot that drains well and isn’t flood-prone.
You can leave it as is or add some cedar shavings.
It is a chicken’s natural terrain, so you won’t need to worry about sore feet with this flooring option.
One of the biggest downsides of using dirt is contamination. Dirt floor can harbor different kinds of parasites. Intestinal worm eggs thrive in the ground, mostly moist soil (1).
Wet areas encourage worm growth, so have good drainage on the range area to limit water from pooling and puddling.
Deworm and check on your chicken’s feathers regularly if you choose dirt flooring.
Chickens like to dig to have dust baths, which is excellent for keeping them cool.
Unfortunately, this also makes it easy for digging predators to get in. You can predator-proof your chicken coop or convert dirt flooring to a chicken coop wire mesh floor by adding mesh screen between the dirt and coop.
The plot holes also make their coop a maze to walk in. Stone walkways work well to avoid getting your foot stuck in a rut.
3. Paint The Floor
This option is more of a liner than actual flooring material. Painting your floor is not only for style purposes and does have its downside.
- Prevents wood rot
- Deters parasites
- Easy cleaning
- Some paint is toxic
Painting wood prevents moisture from getting inside the wood pores. It makes the wood last longer.
As we said, parasites don’t like smooth surfaces. You don’t need to worry about lice, mites, and termites living on your painted floors.
If you choose glossy paint, it makes the surface smoother. When you clean your coop, all the poop and dirt just wash away easily.
Depending on the paint you choose and how you applied it, it can chip off over time. It’s not healthy for your chickens to peck at the chipping paint.
Pro tip: Before you paint, make sure you sand the surface so that the paint sticks.
Even when it’s dried, some pain can release poisonous gases. Be sure to choose a brand that is poultry safe.
4. Readily Available Plastic
We use plastic in pretty much everything. You can use those plastic kennel crates as chicken coop flooring.
- Easy to clean
- Easy to find
- Space limited
- Weather sensitive
Hard plastic makes durable flooring while being easy on the feet.
Since the plastic crates have holes, the poop just falls to the ground. It’s also easy enough to scrub down for deep cleaning.
This flooring option is easy to find. You can get this cheap at animal husbandries or even pet stores.
These don’t usually come in big sizes, so it’s only ideal for small coops.
The thing about plastic is it becomes brittle with changing temperature. It can be dangerous to use for raised coops. You don’t want chickens suddenly falling because the floor cracked open.
5. Don’t Get Tired Of Rubber Mats
Rubber mats aren’t a primary flooring option but rather a liner. Kind of like when you line your cabinets before putting stuff inside.
- Easy to clean
- Provides insulation
- Easy to customize
- A bit expensive
Rubber matting is easy to take out, wash, dry, and put back. No more crawling into tight spaces to clean nooks and crannies.
It is a good lining for coops during the winter. It also prevents moisture from seeping into the floor, especially if it’s wood.
Just be sure to add comfy bedding like hay or pine shavings for your hens.
Rubber is tactile and sticks to the floor on its own. It’s a padding that’s easy on chicken feet, also avoiding slips and walking noise.
You can also get mats in any size. You can also easily cut them to fit the right size of your nesting box and coop interior.
Chicken keepers aren’t the only ones who use rubber mats. Stable owners often use it for their horse stalls.
The only downside of using rubber mats as coop flooring is that it can cost you quite a bit if you’re getting big sizes. But it will last very long.
Consider it an investment that will save you time and effort.
6. Rubberized Roofing For Flooring
Liquid rubber is another lining option for your main chicken coop floor. If rubber mats are too expensive for you, an alternative is to buy rubberized roof coating.
The idea is, like the painted floor option mentioned earlier, more effective.
- Easy to clean
- Doesn’t peel easily
- Some are toxic
The smooth texture makes cleaning a breeze. Apply several coats, so you don’t have to worry about moisture build-up.
Unlike paint, the rubberized coating doesn’t peel easily. I mean, we use it for roofs; it’s heavy-duty!
You don’t have to keep checking if the chickens are pecking it off. Just be sure you put some bedding over the rubberized coating. It will make your chickens feel more at home.
Choose a non-toxic, nature-friendly coating so that your chooks and you don’t get sick.
7. Everywhere Gray Sand
Sand will work similarly to kitty litter. One thing to note is to use construction sand with pea gravel. Don’t use play sand or beach sand.
- Absorbs Moisture and smell
- Good for digestion
- Easy to clean
- Hard to contain
Sand drains well, absorbing wetness and controlling odors.
It’s okay for some chickens to eat small pea gravel from the sand. This way, you don’t need to spend on grit.
Just like kitty litter, you just have to scoop out the dried poop and change the sand every few months (2).
It [sand] helps your chickens preen and stay clean, and it helps them keep their feet in good condition.
Sand is readily available. Go to your local construction supply store and get a few sacks.
Since sand drains wetness well, it dries up quickly. If it’s too dry, then it starts to act list dust in the air. Make sure you wet it once in a while so that your chickens don’t develop respiratory ailments.
Sand is heavy. Consider this if you’re using it as bedding in raised chicken coops.
While it’s heavy in large quantity, sand is also light and can get blown away. Build a perimeter around your coop where you want the sand to stay.
8. Practical Vinyl/Linoleum
Vinyl and linoleum are popular flooring materials in houses for many reasons. So why not use them in chicken coops? I mean, they are houses too.
The difference, you may ask, is vinyl is synthetic (made of PVC chips). Linoleum is natural (made of wood chips and plant resins).
- Lightweight and durable
- Easy to clean
- Expensive quality
Both of these materials are light. But they can also withstand the usual wear and tear.
These compacted materials have many layers. They don’t warp or crack with changing temperatures.
They have smooth surfaces which makes for easy breezy cleaning.
Here’s how you can install vinyl for your chicken coop’s flooring:
Good quality vinyl and linoleum will cost you but also last you.
These materials can cause chickens to slip and injure themselves.
Since vinyl flooring is synthetic, it is harmful even to humans (3). Even the glue for installation is toxic. Chicken keepers opt to staple the sheets or panels to the main floor.
9. Handy Dandy Wire
Wire and batten is a common flooring solution in raised chicken coops. But, it isn’t suitable for your chooks and chicks.
- Easy on the wallet
- Easy to make
- No insulation
- Bad for the feet
- Hard to clean
- Not predator-proof
The wooden battens and wire are inexpensive and easy to source.
Wooden frames are sturdy for chickens and even people to walk on.
All you need to do is hammer a few planks together to create a frame for the coop. Then, roll chicken wire to create a screen floor.
However, this type of flooring is usually just made of wood and wire. It doesn’t keep chickens warm during the cold months or dry during rainy days.
Also, walking BAREFOOT on wire sounds painful, right? Well, imagine chickens having to walk on it all day, every day. Ouch!
The design makes droppings fall straight down. But the layering makes this hard to achieve. The wire needs stripping to clean the wood.
Chicken wire is not durable. A bear can rip through it with one swipe of a paw. Bye-bye chickens. Hardware cloth is tougher.
10. Wooden It Be Nice
Wood is the most common material for chicken coop flooring. But the most important thing to do is treat your wood.
Treated wood prevents rotting from moisture and termites.
If you’ve done this, you’re golden.
- Easy on the wallet
- Easy to build
- Cleaning the cracks
- Wood rot
A wood floor can be cheap or even free.
It keeps chickens cool in the summer and warm in the winter. You can add a layer of straw or wood shavings for extra comfort.
You can build a wood floor by using several planks of wood and tools like a hammer and nails.
Note that if you use planks, droppings can build up on the gaps. Maybe consider layering with plywood.
Also note that rats can chew through the wood and breach the coop. Snakes can also get squeeze through plank gaps. (again, plywood layer)
Well, I’ve mentioned this several times, but here it is again. WOOD NEEDS TREATING (4).
No, chicken coops do not necessarily need a floor. (You know, aside from the ground, which is also a floor. Hmm.)
There are three main reasons to add coop flooring: raise the coop, protect against predators, or provide insulation.
– Raise the coop: Elevating a coop saves space, with the bottom area made into a run. Think of this as having a loft apartment. You have the sleeping area upstairs and the living room downstairs.
– Protect against predators: Adding a floor also deters predators, usually diggers. The flooring blocks their way, and your chickens stay safe.
– Provide insulation: Chicken coop flooring keeps your birds warm during the cold months.
There is no “best” material for chicken coop flooring. The best flooring for chicken coop is a combination of materials.
It should have the following:
1. A dirt floor run: So chickens can have their dust bath, and they can also forage.
2. Hardware cloth skirt: This is a smart way to keep predators out while retaining the natural dirt. I’d use the hardware cloth for fencing too.
3. An elevated coop with treated plywood floor: Again, a raised coop saves space. The plywood floor is cheap and easy to clean. What about rats? Well, the hardware cloth skirt solves that.
You can put wood shavings, wood pellets, straw, shredded newspaper, and even sand on the floor of a chicken coop. Whatever chicken bedding your choose, remember that it’s vital for comfort, added insulation, and odor control. Regular maintenance and cleaning is also necessary and unavailable.
- Worm Parasites in Poultry. Retrieved from: https://www.business.qld.gov.au/industries/farms-fishing-forestry/agriculture/livestock/animal-welfare/pests-diseases-disorders/worm-parasites
- Choosing the Right Flooring for your Chicken Run. Retrieved from: hallstonedirect.co.uk/blog/april-17/choosing-the-right-flooring-for-your-chicken-run
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Retrieved from: https://www.greenspec.co.uk/building-design/polyvinyl-chloride-pvc-environment-health/
- Atlantic’s Top 10 Reasons To Use Treated Timber. Retrieved from: https://www.atlanticcladding.co.uk/atlantics-top-10-reasons-use-treated-timber/
Tana grew up around island farms and pine forests. Her love for nature lead to her degree in Biology and mission to lessen her environmental impact. Now she grows food in her backyard and shares what she learns from Eco Peanut with others.