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Chickens are fascinating creatures, which is why many homeowners enjoy raising them. If you’re looking for the best floor options for chicken coops, keep reading.
It’s relatively simple to breed and raise chickens – all they require is a safe, cozy place to lay fresh eggs and have access to food and water. While most people ponder over the best food and coops for their feathered pets, only a few pay attention to the flooring.
There are dozens of chicken coop floor options on the market. Some are easy to clean, while others are easier to build. Moreover, some floors are excellent barriers that keep predators away.
In this guide, we will tell you about the various floor options for chicken coops. Surely, you want to ensure that they are happy, healthy, and safe, right? Well, getting them the right coop floor can be one of the most vital aspects of their safety and happiness.
So, without further ado, let’s explore the various options.
The flooring option you choose can adversely affect your pet chickens’ mood, health, and happiness. Typically, one notices that chickens from various regions of the country prefer different kinds of flooring for their coops.
However, certain flooring options are better suited than others. So, you need to consider the weather, climate, and temperature of your region when opting for the most suitable chicken coop flooring.
Moreover, if the area is prone to attacks from predators, you need to consider a flooring option that will be a natural barrier for them. It is also important to consider whether your chicken coop is above ground level or on the ground.
Now, let us tell you about the different options of chicken coop flooring you can consider.
Chicken Coop Flooring Options
We begin our list with one of the most common chicken coop flooring materials – wood. There are various reasons for it being so popular, including how readily available it is. Moreover, wooden chicken coop floors are relatively easy to build and maintain.
Below, we will mention the main advantages and disadvantages of using plywood and non-plywood floors for chicken coops.
Plywood Chicken Coop Floors
Plywood floors are one of the most durable and sustainable options for chicken coops. Moreover, they are easy to clean, as long as you remember to use bedding. If not, you may find it slightly challenging to remove chicken droppings, which often get embedded between the cracks of the flooring.
Furthermore, wooden flooring is easier to clean and maintain if you lay a barrier over it. This can be in the form of a rubber mat, a flex seal spray, linoleum, or vinyl.
Another essential point to remember is to install plywood flooring in coops that are not ground level. This is because the plywood may be exposed to moisture and, over time, will begin to damage and rot. As such, plywood flooring is recommended only for chicken coops that are installed above ground level.
Easy to clean (if bedding is used)
It keeps rodents and predators out
Easy to build
It may be tricky to clean if you don’t use bedding
May rot if exposed to moisture
Non-Plywood Chicken Coop Floor
You can always opt for non-plywood chicken coop flooring, as it is low in cost and readily available. However, bear in mind that it is also more challenging to clean.
If laid well, non-plywood wooden flooring can be an effective barrier against rodents and most predators. They find it incredibly challenging to gnaw or burrow their way through the hard wooden surface, which keeps your chickens safe.
Furthermore, these floors are relatively easy to acquire and build. Most buildings already come with small, wooden storehouses that are typically converted into chicken coops.
All said and done, wooden floors are prone to damage and rot, even if they have been protected. Using a seal will enhance the lifespan of wooden chicken coop floors and enable easier cleaning and maintenance. However, they need to be replaced sooner or later.
Easy to build
Keeps chickens safe from predators and rodents
Will eventually rot
Difficult to clean
Concrete Chicken Coop Floor
Moving on to the second flooring option, we have concrete chicken coop floors. Concrete is one of the best flooring options you can install for several reasons. However, concrete floors are best installed in places with ground-level coops and a stable, even surface. These floors are easy to clean and sanitize.
However, a significant reason to opt for concrete floors is that it is instrumental in keeping rodents and predators out of the coop. No predator will be able to burrow or gnaw their way through concrete floors, keeping your chickens safe and out of danger.
Keep in mind that this flooring option is permanent – once you lay the concrete flooring, you can only build upwards from there. However, this also gives the floor enhanced stability and durability, making it an excellent, long-lasting option for most.
While you can opt for DIY concrete flooring, it is best to get professional help with this one. Laying the concrete down can be slightly challenging, especially because you have to ensure that it is evenly set. Moreover, it requires some tools and manpower. This can be slightly expensive, but it is a more permanent and stable option for chicken coop floors.
Easy to clean and low-maintenance
Extremely durable and long-lasting
It keeps rodents and predators out
Suitable for those looking for a permanent flooring option
Convenient to disinfect
It stays cool during warm temperatures
May cause injury to the chickens’ legs
Permanent and non-portable
Dirt Chicken Coop Floor
Using dirt as chicken coop flooring can be an obvious option for many. To begin with, there is an abundance of it, so it will be an extremely affordable option (it could even be free if you are resourceful enough). Moreover, chickens might find dirt floors to be a rather natural and safe option.
However, dirt flooring comes with its own set of restrictions and issues. Firstly, you need to ensure that the dirt is safe and hygienic. Since the chickens will be living in, sleeping in, and laying fresh eggs here, acquiring dirt that isn’t infested with worms, rodents or diseases is imperative.
Secondly, maintenance and cleaning can be a huge issue. Most people may find themselves overwhelmed with this type of flooring as cleaning it using a vacuum cleaner, broom, or cleaning products is out of the question.
Furthermore, you might need to replace the old dirt with some new ones regularly. Once you lay the dirt flooring, you will also need to level and smoothen it. However, bear in mind that this pristine look will not last for long – the second your chickens enter the coop, they will spread the dirt all over the place. All in all, there will be complete chaos.
Lastly, rodents and predators might find it a comfortable and viable hiding spot. Although most chickens are omnivores and might end up eating the rodents, the diseases they carry may be a cause for concern.
An inexpensive or affordable option
Abundant and plentiful
Easy to lay
Can place a covering or mat over it
It may be home to diseases and germs
Will not deter rodents and predators
Tricky to clean and maintain
Wire & Batten Chicken Coop Floor
Using wire and batten flooring in chicken coops is an easy option; however, your chickens might not be very fond of them. Moreover, rodents and predators will find getting through this barrier effortless.
Batten flooring refers to evenly spaced planks of wood laid across a chicken coop. Livestock wire or any other kind of soft wire is laid over this surface. This allows waste products and other residues to fall through the wiring and down, under the batten flooring.
Although most people might opt for chicken wire, it is relatively weak and not something we would recommend. Instead, you can opt for welded wire or hardware cloth. These materials are far more durable and sturdy. Moreover, they are easier to clean and will also keep away predators and rodents.
Overall, however, wire flooring may be detrimental to the chickens’ health. They are prone to getting their feet or claws stuck in the wires, causing significant injury over time. Moreover, all droppings or dirt may not fall through the wires easily. You will need to clean this flooring periodically, raising each section of wire, cleaning it, and allowing it to dry.
Over time, this may cause the wood below to rot and damage. Eventually, you will have to replace the entire flooring – which is not as expensive as it is cumbersome.
Waste and dirt may fall through easily
Inexpensive and easy to install
No bedding may be required
Adds ventilation in the case of raised coop floors
It could be a sanitary option for chickens (as the droppings fall below the wire)
Can injure the chickens’ feet and legs
Rodents may be able to pass through
Not very easy to clean and maintain
Requires periodic replacing
The coop might become too cold or drafty during certain conditions
Plastic Chicken Coop Floor
Plastic floors are relatively common for chicken coops. However, they may not be the most sustainable option, especially for larger areas. Plastic floors are best suited for smaller coops that have raised floors.
There are several ways to customize plastic chicken coop floors. You may opt for slotted nesting floors that give your chickens a safe, cozy place to lay their eggs. That being said, there is no guarantee on how they will react to this type of flooring, and if they will use the slotted nests or not.
Furthermore, you can also opt for flat plastic lining or slide-out trays. These may be easier to clean and maintain but are not sustainable over time. Moreover, it may not allow proper ventilation. While it can keep predators and rodents away in theory, most of them may be able to burrow their way through the plastic and reach the chickens.
Long story short – plastic floors are surprisingly durable and easy to clean and disinfect. However, they are not very sustainable in the long run. You can always add a soft bedding material over the plastic floor to make it more comfortable and cozy for your chickens.
Durable and sturdy
Easy to clean and disinfect
May keep away rodents and predators
It can be used with bedding
Not a sustainable or eco-friendly option
Not suitable for large coops
Rubber Mat Chicken Coop Floors
To be fair, rubber mats are not a flooring option. Nonetheless, they can be used as excellent cover material for all other kinds of flooring. The most common surface floor that people use under rubber mats is wooden or concrete ones.
This material is such a popular choice because of how convenient they are to clean and maintain. Moreover, they are an extremely accessible and affordable option for most.
Furthermore, rubber mats are easy to cut and fit to size. As such, you can purchase a large rubber mat and cut it to fit any shape and size flooring for your chicken coop. You can also find larger and thicker variants of rubber mats, which may be suitable for large coops with larger flocks.
We recommend using some kind of bedding material with rubber mats. This will protect the surface of the mat and create a more cozy and comfortable living space for the chickens.
An accessible and affordable option
It can be cut easily to fit different size chicken coops
It sticks to the floor naturally without any glue, tape, or adhesives
It is easy to clean and replace
Very durable and long-lasting material
You can use it as a cover for various coop floors
Not slippery and adds an extra layer of protection to the floor
The initial cost might be slightly pricey
Rodents may be able to gnaw their way through the mats
Linoleum & Vinyl Chicken Coop Floors
Although most people tend to confuse the two, linoleum and vinyl are different materials. Linoleum is typically made of solidified linseed oil (linoxyn), wood flour, ground cork dust, pine rosin, and mineral fillers (like calcium carbonate).
On the other hand, Vinyl is made of PVC chips that are compiled into thick, dense sheets of varying thickness using heat and pressure. However, it is essential to note that most materials used in vinyl are toxic to chickens. We highly recommend opting for other flooring options, as vinyl can adversely harm your chickens’ health.
Tip – Use bedding material with linoleum or vinyl floors. These floors can be too slippery and can cause your chickens’ to injure themselves. Using good bedding material can prevent this. Furthermore, it is better to use staples to fix the material rather than glue (as glue may be toxic).
Easy to build
Low in cost
Convenient to clean, disinfect and maintain
May prevent wood rot
High-quality materials may be expensive
Vinyl is toxic for chickens
It may be slippery and can cause injury
Chicken Coop Flooring Covering Material
Now that you know about the various flooring material you can choose from, certain factors will determine your choice. You need to consider factors like the climate, your flock’s size, whether it is an above-ground or ground-level coop and your budget.
However, installing the right flooring material is not enough. The next step to ensure that your chickens are happy, safe, and comfortable is to opt for the most suitable floor covering material. Fortunately, there are several to choose from.
Allow us to discuss the floor covering material choices you have and how you can pick the right one for your chicken coop.
If you have gone through the section on wooden floors and their advantages, painted plywood has the same advantages. However, one added advantage causes many to opt for paint as a floor covering material – it protects the wooden surface against wood rot.
That being said, if you plan on using bedding material over a wooden chicken coop floor, you may as well skip using paint. There are a couple of cases where we recommend using paint as an additional cover, even if you use bedding material.
Those planning on doing an annual deep cleaning of their chicken coops may use paint as additional protection. This is primarily because you are likely to use a fair amount of water and other chemicals while deep cleaning.
The layer of paint will provide an added protection that will enhance the lifespan of the coop floor and prevent rot and damage. Moreover, those who do not use bedding may find the wooden flooring prone to damage and rot due to persistent exposure to moisture and droppings.
Tip – Always keep a close eye to check whether the layer of paint is peeling off or not. If you notice any paint chipping or peeling, it is best to replace it with new paint or add a seal. Your chickens are very likely to devour the peeling paint, which can be toxic for them.
Easy to apply
Adds an extra layer of protection to wooden floors
It is easy to clean and disinfect
The chickens may pick on or eat the peeling paint
If you talk to other chicken owners, you will come across two distinct views about using sand as a covering material. Some people love it, while others hate it. There is no in-between. However, in your case, you can choose to experiment with this material and check how you and your chickens react to it.
If you opt for sand as a bedding material, make sure you use construction sand. Moreover, you will need to level it before allowing your chickens to enter the coop with their new floor covering material.
Typically, sand provides an eco-friendly and affordable option for most people. Since it doesn’t retain much moisture, it provides a dry, comfortable resting and living space for your chickens. Moreover, it allows better draining of their droppings and waste. However, there are several reasons for not using sand as well.
Firstly, it can get extremely cold in winter and prove an uncomfortable resting surface for your chickens. Inversely, it can get too hot during the summer months, burning or injuring their feet. Finally, sand is an excellent breeding ground for bacteria, worms, and other pests that can harm them.
Provides better drainage and does not retain too much moisture
It dries out bird droppings, causing lesser growth of bacteria and contaminants
It is an eco-friendly and sustainable solution
It is affordable and easy to find
The surface can get too hot during the summer or too cold during the winter
It is a breeding ground for bacteria and germs
It does not provide adequate insulation
Straw Or Hay
If you live in dry or non-humid climates, you may find straw and hay to be one of your best options. This material is often used as a floor cover because of how easily accessible, affordable, and abundantly it is found.
Moreover, it gives the chickens a relatively natural ecosystem to thrive in. Most chickens seem to love straw and hay beddings. They are also very likely to comfortably lay eggs in this bedding material because of how soft, warm, and natural it feels.
That being said, hay and straw are not suitable for climates with high humidity or are wet. This is primarily because the material tends to absorb and retain moisture, emanating a wet and musty smell over time. This is not only an uncomfortable living space for your chickens, but it can be harder to clean for you.
Feels natural and safe for chickens
Easily found and very cheap
It can be replaced conveniently
Provides warmth, insulation, and comfort
It can get wet and musty in places with high humidity
Many people often mix pine shavings with hay or straw as it provides a natural and warm bedding material for chickens. However, it is most commonly used because of how easily and abundantly it can be procured. You can purchase bags of pine shavings at any feed store for a reasonable price.
Another excellent and compelling reason to use pine shavings as a floor covering material is how easy it is to clean. You can use any tool, such as a fine-tined pitchfork to remove droppings and dirt from the chicken coop. Moreover, replacing the shavings is extremely easy and convenient.
However, before laying the shavings in your chicken coop, ensure that there are no bits of fine metal pieces in them. This happens all too often, and chickens are prone to devouring anything shiny that catches their eye.
You also need to ensure that the shavings are of an appropriate size for the chickens. Too large, and they will not be absorbent enough. However, if they are too little, they can be easily consumed by the chickens and even cause respiratory issues.
Beware – not all types of wood are suitable for chickens. Black walnut, oak, and cedar can be very dangerous for them, so ensure that you use only the right kind of pine shavings.
While you can choose to purchase bags of shredded paper, most people end up making their own. Any paper that you shred in your home or office can be used as an excellent bedding material for chicken coop floors.
There are several advantages to using shredded paper. Firstly, it provides excellent insulation, warmth, and comfort to the chickens. Moreover, it is a highly absorbent material. That being said, it is necessary to clear the old, soiled material and replace it with new ones periodically.
Failing to do this will cause the chicken coop to become dirty, very fast. Moreover, the soiled shredded paper will be wet, causing wood rot and damage. It is extremely dangerous for the chickens as well, as they are likely to trample on their droppings and even lay eggs in the dirty, soiled material.
Provides excellent warmth, insulation, and comfort
It can be made at home or purchased at a very reasonable price
It is easy to clean and replace
It is absorbent
It gets dirty quickly and needs regular cleaning and replacing
Any kind of rounded gravel similar to pea gravel can be used on the floor of chicken coops. While most chickens enjoy this material as they can scratch and kick it around, it can get a little tricky to clean. However, you can choose to pick the droppings or dirt from the material, but this can be a time-consuming and laborious affair.
Moreover, using water to wash the material can cause the droppings to get stuck underneath the material. Over time, it will decompose and start to smell – which is uncomfortable for you as well as your chickens.
Easy to lay
Relatively easy cleaning
Chickens enjoy scratching the material
Needs periodic replacing
It is not a sustainable option
For most people, choosing the right flooring and covering material is a matter of trial and error. You also need to observe and gauge the reaction of your chickens. Moreover, some materials are easier to clean and maintain than others.
If you are still confused about which material to choose, don’t worry. We have curated a guide to help you find the right flooring material for your chicken coop that will keep you and your chickens happy.
How To Choose The Best Floor For A Chicken Coop
The Size Of Your Flock
One of the first and most essential considerations to make is the size of your chicken flock. Typically, each chicken should comfortably have about two to four square feet of area in a coop. Keeping this in mind, you also need to select a flooring material that allows them to thrive comfortably.
Those with smaller flocks can opt for material like sand, wire, and linoleum for their chicken coop floors. Because of the flock’s smaller size, you may find it much easier to clean and maintain these flooring materials.
However, those owning larger chicken flocks may need to opt for a more durable and sustainable flooring option. Concrete and plywood are good options. However, you must use the right bedding material to ensure that the chickens are comfortable. In the case of larger flocks, you also need to opt for a material that does not require frequent replacing – like sand.
Permanent VS Temporary
If you don’t plan on moving anytime soon, opting for a long-lasting and durable chicken coop floor option might be best. In that case, wood, linoleum, and concrete might be ideal options. Although the initial installation may be time-consuming and slightly expensive, it works out for the best in the long-run.
Moreover, these materials are more durable compared to wire, rubber mats, and sand. In the case of concrete and wood, you can add additional layers of protection that will keep the flooring material safe and provide your chickens with a more comfortable living space.
On the other hand, if you plan to move, it might be best to opt for inexpensive flooring material. Installing wood and concrete may turn out to be a wasteful expenditure, as you will need to go through the entire installation process again for the next chicken coop.
It is essential to consider your budget when installing any addition. It is best if you work out a budget beforehand, so you don’t end up exceeding it by a significant amount.
That being said, you should research beforehand to find out the most reasonable prices of flooring material. You will also need to work out the amount of material required for the chicken coop you own.
Keep in mind that some materials may have a higher initial cost, but they are also easier to clean and maintain. Rubber mats, linoleum, vinyl, and wood are some options that might be slightly expensive initially but are an excellent long term investment.
Where You Stay
The place you stay – its weather, climatic conditions, humidity, etc. all play a significant role in deciding the best flooring material. For example, if you live in an area that experiences harsh summers or winters, sand and wires may not be the best choice.
However, plywood, concrete, and rubber mats may be the ideal option for these regions. Rodents and predators lurking around the chicken coop also need to be factored in.
In case you notice a large amount of rodents and predators, opting for a more substantial, durable, and impenetrable material like concrete, plywood, and linoleum may be best. However, if there are not too many predators and rodents to be wary of, you can opt for wire, sand, and other such materials.
Cleaning And Maintenance
Depending on how much time and effort you are willing to put into regular cleaning and maintenance, your options of flooring materials will vary. While sand and wire floors are easy to find, abundant, convenient to install, and even replace, they can be challenging to clean and maintain.
Of course, if you are willing to do it yourself or hire help, you may be able to opt for cost-effective flooring material.
If cleaning and regular maintenance become tricky for you to manage, it might be best to opt for other flooring material. Concrete, plywood, and linoleum floors are relatively easy to clean, maintain, and disinfect. However, the initial cost of these materials may run slightly high.
Durability & Sustainability
As we have discussed earlier, certain flooring materials are more durable than others. As such, concrete, plywood, linoleum, and rubber mats are the most durable and sustainable flooring materials you can opt for.
Sand, wire, and wood, on the other hand, are not as durable. They need to be replaced frequently, and cleaning between the cracks of wooden planks can be extremely challenging. Plastic is another option you can consider, as it is reasonably easy to clean and maintain.
This is another factor that you may need to consider. Some flooring materials are easy to install, which automatically makes them a popular choice amongst chicken owners. Materials like wood, rubber mats, wire, linoleum, vinyl, and plastic are relatively easy to install compared to concrete.
That being said, concrete will also last much longer than any of the materials mentioned above.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use vinyl flooring material for your chicken coops?
We highly recommend avoiding vinyl as a flooring option for your chicken coop. The primary reason is that this material contains lead and other toxic ingredients that are hazardous to chickens. If consumed, it causes massive gastrointestinal and even neurological issues in them.
Moreover, if the chickens or eggs are consumed by you and your family (or anyone else), the issues can easily be passed on. It is best to avoid vinyl; however, if you must use it, ensure that you use proper bedding material to cover it.
How often should you change the bedding for chicken coops?
Well, this depends on the kind of bedding material you choose and the size of your flock. Other factors like the weather and climate and the amount of waste and droppings can also cause the frequency of changing bedding material to vary.
It is best to keep a keen eye on the bedding material regularly. As soon as you notice droppings, dirt, or foul odors, it is best to clean or change the material. This will also make your chickens more comfortable and prevent contamination and the spreading of germs and diseases.
What is the best chicken coop floor liner?
One of the most popular options for chicken coop floor liners is Rubberized Roof Coat Material. You may notice most people recommending this material as an ideal lining or cover for chicken coop floors.
Since it is incredibly affordable and easy to find in most stores, it is a popular choice amongst many. Moreover, this material is designed to protect surfaces like roofs and floors against extreme weather conditions.
It contains a coating of rubber that provides a tight seal of the chicken coop floor. The best part about it is that it becomes adhesive very quickly and does not tear, chip off, or crack.
How do you apply rubberized roof coat material on chicken coop floors?
You will find tins of rubberized roof coat material easily in most stores. To begin with, you need to stir the concoction thoroughly. Apply a generous amount of the material on the floors and spread it using a paint roller. Ensure that you apply a thick coat, as it will eventually spread and thin out.
What is the best flooring material to keep away predators and rodents?
The best flooring material that will deter rodents and predators is concrete. However, wooden floors may also be a good option as long as the spaces or gaps between the wooden planks are not too large. You can also use rubber mats or paint to seal the floors, adding another layer of protection.
How do you fill the gaps between wooden or concrete floors?
You may use rubberized roof coating material to fill the gaps between wood and concrete floors effectively. However, you can also choose to apply bedding materials. Alternatively, you can cut and fit rubber mats to act as a protective barrier over the flooring surface.
As you may have noticed, there are many options for flooring and bedding materials for chicken coops. The choice you make will finally depend on various factors like where you live and your flock’s size, amongst others.
Those looking for a stable, durable, and long term solution may find concrete and plywood to be their best options. As such, wire and sand may be the least ideal options as they can injure your chickens and be extremely uncomfortable and unsustainable in the long run.
You can opt for straw, hay, or pine shavings as the most suitable options for bedding materials.
Well, we hope you enjoyed going through our comprehensive guide. In case you have any more questions, please feel free to reach out to us in the comments section below. Also, let us know which flooring material you chose for your chicken coops and why.