When designing a chicken coop, you may be wondering what the best chicken coop flooring material is. There are so many options, and each has its advantages and disadvantages. What type of chicken coop floor you get depends on your climate, bedding method, and preferences. Let’s talk about the different flooring options, and if a coop floor is even necessary for your situation.
Do I Need A Chicken Coop Floor?
In most cases, it is best to have a floor of some kind in your chicken coop. Flooring can keep your chickens safe from burrowing predators that get in from digging under the coop. It can also prevent mice and rats, and in return, snakes from entering your coop. Having a floor also makes the winters a little warmer than on dirt. And flooring is easier to clean than a natural ground.
The downside to having a chicken coop floor is that you might have to replace or keep up with the maintenance. And depending on the flooring that you choose, it can get pricey.
But in situations, having a natural floor might be best. Particularly for people who use the deep litter method, the ground can be fantastic for microbes and bacteria to help compost. Dirt floors are also excellent for warmer climates to keep your chickens cool. Natural floors are cheap and don’t require much, except for some hardware cloth to help prevent predators.
The cons of a natural floor are that if you don’t use precautionary measures, predators and pests could be an issue. Dirt floors are also very damp during the winter and can cause frostbite on your chickens. And cleaning your coop completely is nearly impossible.
Chicken Coop Floor Material
Now that we know the benefits of having a floor, we can discuss the best chicken coop flooring material. There are many types of materials that you can use, and each has its pros and cons. Choosing which is best for you depends on your location and individual needs. We will talk about all flooring types, even if they aren’t highly recommended to give you a clear picture of what is best.
Wire chicken coop flooring can be very appealing to some. It can be easy to clean at times and considered low maintenance. But they aren’t ideal for areas with cold winters, as your chickens will be at risk for frostbite. Not to mention, it must be uncomfortable to stand on wire mesh all the time. We don’t recommend using wire since there are better options available.
- Wire chicken coop flooring has excellent protection from predators since nothing can bury under it.
- Most people are attracted to it because it is very sanitary. The waste falls right through the bottom, so you don’t have much cleaning to do.
- You don’t need to use bedding on top of the wire.
- It can also provide ventilation and keeps cool when used in a slightly raised coop.
- Uncomfortable for your chickens long-term.
- It can be hard to clean if waste builds upon it.
- And if you live in a cold climate, it is too drafty and allows too much moisture in.
Wood panels can give a beautiful clean finish to your chicken coop. Wood is durable and easy to come by. Many chicken owners choose wood of all kinds as the best flooring for chicken coop. But even wood has pros and cons.
- Wood is easy to find and assemble.
- Depending on the type of wood you use, it is very cheap.
- . You can use it with any bedding that you prefer.
- Wood is hard to clean all smells and dirt out of the grains.
- Some wood can also rot if termites or moisture get to it.
- You will also have to make sure that there are no gaps that predators can crawl through. Especially in areas where the floor meets the walls, there can be gaps. You will want to use additional hardware cloth in this area.
If you don’t plan on moving anytime soon, a concrete floor might work for you. A well made concrete floor can be the most stable and protected area for your chickens. Many owners love the concrete over any other type of flooring.
- Concrete is sturdy and durable. You shouldn’t ever have to replace it.
- It is also really low maintenance. Cleaning with water and a little scrub during deep cleans is all it needs.
- Concrete flooring is also the safest out of all flooring since nothing can get in from underneath.
- If you live in warmer climates, it is very cool for your chickens.
- And it can also be used well with bedding.
- The biggest con is that it is expensive to lay.
- Sometimes it can be a little tricky getting the coop flush with the concrete.
- If not appropriately laid, or on inadequate grounds, it can crack.
- Not very comfortable unless there is a lot of bedding.
- Concrete is not great for winters because it is so cold and doesn’t absorb moisture.
- And if you ever plan to move, you can’t bring it with you.
Many chicken owners claim plywood is the best chicken coop flooring material. It is versatile when layered with other flooring materials. It is also durable and offers excellent protection from predators. You could even lay plywood down and layer it with different materials depending on the season. So during the winter, you could use warmer bedding and then an option of sand during the summer. The bedding change is easy, and your chickens will appreciate it.
- Plywood is cheap and easy to find at every hardware store.
- You can layer plywood with other floorings.
- The right sized plywood will keep out all predators and rodents.
- Plywood is the most common chicken coop floor material. So if you run into problems, you can get plenty of advice.
- Plywood also tends to rot and will need replacing.
- It is hard to clean plywood that doesn’t have a liner on top.
- Holds moisture that can lead to mold.
Rubber mats are typically used with plywood underneath for support. These heavyweight mats can be very beneficial and easy to clean. Many owners say that they are cleaner than many flooring types because they can be disinfected and cleaned thoroughly. When you use bedding on top of rubber mats, the mats won’t get slippery. So your chickens won’t slide around in the wet litter.
- Easy cleaning and installation.
- Rubber mats are also water-proof and increase the longevity of the plywood.
- These mats are also skid-proof for your chickens.
- Expensive to buy or order online.
- It can also be hard to find sizes that fit your coop exactly, so you will have to piece them together.
Plastic flooring of the chicken coop can be just as beneficial as the rubber mats. A plastic floor would be layered just like the mats for most of the same benefits. Mostly the plastic will preserve the life of the plywood or wood flooring under it. You can find plastic trays or mats at most hardware stores. You can even get them in large sheets to cover the entire coop in one layer, and at almost half the price of rubber. And they can help prevent pests by creating a barrier in wood that rodents and snakes can’t get through.
- Easy to clean and install.
- Cheaper than rubber mats.
- Plastic preserves the flooring under it.
- Plastic floors can also cover gaps and holes that pests can get through.
- It can become slick with moisture and waste.
Another excellent chicken coop floor is sand. Sand is expensive to start, but it works just like a cat litter box. Waste is quickly absorbed, and then you can rake it out later. The sand can provide a refreshing dust bath during the summer months. And it is excellent for using the deep litter method. You don’t have to use a floor with sand, or you may choose to place hardware cloth under it to keep predators out.
- Easy to clean and scoop.
- Sand doesn’t require a lot of maintenance.
- Best for warm climates.
- And it doesn’t need plywood as a base.
- A sand chicken coop floor needs replacing at least once a year.
- Expensive to start.
- Sand holds too much moisture for cold winter climates.
- Sand is not predator proof, so we recommend hardware cloth under it.
Linoleum or Vinyl
And our last of the best chicken coop flooring types is linoleum and vinyl. If you lay either of these on top of plywood, you could have an easy to clean coop at a very affordable price. But, you do need to be cautious of some vinyl. Some vinyl is made from PVC and contains toxic chemicals like lead. These are small amounts that don’t bother humans. But for a chicken, it can cause serious illnesses. It is better to use linoleum to avoid any risks.
- Linoleum is cheap and found easily at any home improvement store.
- Both are very durable when laid down with the right tools.
- They both will prevent rotting of any wood or plywood underneath.
- And they are easy to clean and maintain.
- Vinyl can contain toxic chemicals if it is cheap.
- Both can get slippery when wet.
Which Will You Choose?
There are so many great options for the best chicken coop flooring material. Depending on your location and your needs, one of these might work out better than the others. They all can have their ups and downs. But with this list, you are now better informed to make a decision.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!