If you’re planning on building a new home for your chickens, understanding the best floor types for your chicken coop is essential! The best floor types help keep your hens happy, healthy, and comfortable.
Choosing the best flooring for a chicken coop will also make your chicken house hygienic and easy to clean, reducing the risk of problematic pests such as rodents, mites, and lice.
We have tons of experience with various chicken coop floor materials, and we want to share which ones we prefer.
Then let’s begin!
11 Best Floor Materials for a Chicken Coop
Here are our top 11 suggestions for the best types of flooring for a chicken coop. (From extravagant and fancy to thrifty!)
1. Concrete as Chicken Coop Floor
Concrete flooring is an excellent option if you’re building a chicken coop that will permanently reside in one location.
The joy of a concrete floor in a chicken coop is that it ticks all the boxes – it is easy to clean, rodent-proof, and will not harbor mites and lice. It is also predator-proof, as foxes will not be able to dig their way into your coop.
You can use poured concrete or lay concrete slabs when making concrete flooring. You will need a level surface to start with, preferably in an area that does not tend to get waterlogged in wet weather.
Although concrete flooring isn’t the cheapest option, it is a worthwhile investment as it will last many years. You may be lucky enough to have an area of concrete already on your homestead. In this case, you can build your coop directly on top of it!
2. Wooden Floor
Wood is a more affordable chicken coop flooring option for many people. Waste wood can get upcycled to create a chicken coop floor. It will not be as long-lasting as concrete, but you should get several years out of a solid wooden coop floor. The cleaner and drier you keep the floor, the longer it will last.
One issue to be aware of with wooden floors is that rodents may chew through any weak or rotten areas, and problematic pests such as lice and mites may lurk in the gaps. However, many chicken coops have had wooden flooring for years without any problems – as long as they exercise proper hygiene measures.
3. Rubber Mats
Rubber mats are a good investment for a chicken coop that moves from place to place. It can be laid directly onto a level piece of ground, providing an easy-to-clean surface in your chicken coop.
One clever way to use rubber mats is to design your coop so the entire mat will slide out from underneath. You can then clean it without needing to go inside the chicken house. I’ve seen a fantastic design where the whole floor of the chicken coop glides out on runners – something we’ll be copying when we expand our chicken housing!
Combine your rubber mats with these rubber nesting pads for super easy cleaning!
4. Dirt Floor
You may not have considered this idea, but do you need a floor in your chicken coop at all? As long as the location of your chicken coop is dry and not prone to flooding and rainwater runoff, a compacted dirt floor can be the perfect solution.
The great thing about this option is that it is free and takes very little work, but there are some downsides to consider.
Pesky parasites such as worm eggs can become integrated into the dirt, leading to infestations in your flock. Laying bedding such as wood shavings (like pine shavings) underneath the perches makes it easier to keep the coop clean and hygienic.
When we moved into our house, we needed a complete renovation. The rotting floorboards had linoleum covering, which was the perfect floor for our chicken coop! We used wooden pallets on a dirt floor with a sheet of linoleum stapled over the top. The result was surprisingly easy to clean and raises the floor enough to keep it dry in wet weather.
If you’re considering linoleum for your chicken coop floor, make sure it is not vinyl. Vinyl can be toxic to chickens if they peck at it.
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6. Plastic Flooring
Prefabricated chicken coops often come with solid plastic floors, which can be an impeccable option for smaller chicken coops. Hardened plastic is hygienic and easy to clean. It’s also lightweight enough to maneuver easily.
You may have trouble sourcing a piece of hard plastic flooring that fits your coop perfectly, so it pays to factor this into your chicken coop building plans. I’d suggest getting the floor first, then building your coop to fit it!
7. Liquid Rubber
Liquid rubber is excellent if you want a water-tight and easy-to-clean floor in your chicken coop. It can be time-consuming, as several layers are required to create a durable, easy-to-clean surface.
However, the initial outlay in terms of time and money will result in a floor that prevents water ingress and keeps your hens clean, warm, and dry, whatever the weather.
Liquid Rubbers adds a durable, hard, waterproof surface to almost any DIY project! This polyurethane deck coating provides a polyurethane elastomeric coating, which cures to a waterproof finish with excellent UV protection.
It's available in both smooth and textured finishes, as well as a range of colors. Simply apply by using a brush or roller. It's so easy, anyone can do it.
Sand can get used as semi-permanent flooring in a chicken coop. And it works similarly to a kitty litter tray. The advantage of sand is that it also fulfills your hen’s need to scratch and have dust baths on days when bad weather confines them to the coop.
For starters, you will need to lay at least two inches of construction sand (or at least construction-grade sand) in your coop. Scoop out the droppings every couple of days to keep the chicken coop clean, and periodically top up the sand as necessary.
Woodchips can be used similarly to sand to create a semi-permanent chicken coop floor. Woodchips provide a very natural environment for your chickens to live in, and they will enjoy scratching through the woodchips to hunt out tasty bugs.
A woodchip floor is not as easy to keep clean as some of the other options on our list, so you may want to put a different surface directly under the perches, where droppings tend to accumulate. The woodchip will rot down over time and need to be removed and replaced, but this rotted chicken-poop-filled woodchip makes excellent mulch for the garden!
Sheets of plywood can be cut to size to create a smooth, gap-free chicken coop floor that is easy to clean. When kept clean and dry, plywood will last many years without any problems.
One problem that many homesteaders encounter with plywood floors is that rodents may set up their homes in any gaps underneath. Ensure the edges get securely sealed to keep troublesome vermin away from your precious hens.
Hemp bedding works to create deep-litter flooring that is warm and comfortable for your hens. The hemp works great for overwintering chickens inside a large coop or barn, as hemp is highly absorbent and will gradually break down into lovely compost. Lay a thick layer of hemp in the chicken coop to start. Then top it up with a thinner layer every few days to cover any droppings.
Best Floor Types for a Chicken Coop – FAQs
Now we’ve got your chicken coop flooring options all figured out, let’s explore some other common questions about this topic!
Predators, rodents, parasites, and poor hygiene are the primary areas of concern for chicken coops. The best flooring to take care of all these problems is concrete. Concrete floors are easy to clean and (when properly implemented) keep pests at bay.
Many homesteaders do not put a floor in if they use a chicken tractor system. The coop is frequently moved to fresh ground, leaving behind an area cleared and fertilized by the hens.
There are three systems for keeping a chicken coop floor clean. Deep litter bedding systems are continually topped up with bedding to cover soiled material. Then the entire lot is dug out once or twice a year.
Alternatively, you can use a thin layer of bedding that gets removed (approximately) weekly. Some chicken owners prefer not to use any bedding whatsoever, instead sweeping out droppings and washing the floor as required.
We advise against pressure-treated wood to build a chicken coop. Pressure-treated wood could have gotten treated with toxic chemicals. Chickens like to peck at everything, including wood, and may accidentally ingest particles of tainted wood. If you are using reclaimed wood to build a chicken coop, avoid any that may have been pressure treated.
Chicken poop does not smell pleasant. And the odious aroma becomes even worse when wet! To combat the odor, you can remove droppings daily or cover them with a thin layer of bedding. Make sure the floor of your coop is kept dry by laying a chicken coop floor that prevents rainwater from seeping inside.
Summary – Best Chicken Coop Floor Options
I hope you’ve found our summary of the best chicken coop flooring options helpful! Keeping your hens clean, dry, and safe is the top priority for chicken owners, and this starts from the ground up.
If you have any questions or thoughts on building the perfect chicken coop, we’d be happy to hear them – we never mind chatting about our chooks!
Thanks again for reading.
Have a great day!