How To Cover Your Chicken House Floor

Let’s talk about one of the most basic elements of building a chicken coop – the floor. You may want to know what the best choice is for your chicken house floor, and that’s a smart idea, after all you don’t want a floor that’s hard to move, smells bad, looks bad, and makes your chickens irritable. So what should you use to fill your chicken coop?

Well, it depends: your climate and location have a lot to do with what you pick. Let’s look at your major options… together.


Sand is by far the favored covering for most chicken coops – they work in a wide variety of climates and chicken sizes. But this isn’t as simple as grabbing a bag from a nursery store, you’ve got to get the right stuff. River sand is the best kind, it’s inexpensive and the texture (which is similar to kitty litter) makes it easier to collect chicken manure – so in addition to making it easier to clean, you can get your hands on some easy fertilizer.

But let’s suppose you live in really cold weather and want something that makes the area a bit warmer. Lots of people think of using sawdust to handle the floor, especially if they’ve got a lot of it around. But there are a lot of little problems with sawdust that add up to make it less than an ideal solution.

First of all, sawdust is a great insulant, but nobody really needs it since the chickens are comfortable in low temperatures. Next, it’s going to draw mildew and bacteria once it gets wet, which it almost inevitably will be. Finally, you’ve got to worry about smaller chickens inhaling the sawdust and doing long term damage to themselves.

Sawdust is OK if you’ve got adult chickens and you’re on a serious budget, but you’re really better off using corn shavings or something similar.

Here’s another idea – bamboo sticks are getting more popular because they’re inexpensive, dispose of waste easily, and they’re “green”, and the environmentally friendly aspects help people get behind this building material. Best of all, you can use it for the floor or make a sturdy frame. If you’re growing this already, bamboo is a no brainer.

Plywood works pretty well, too. It will supply your chickens with even temperatures… and a clean environment – this is another one of the most popular backings for chicken coop floors, but it’s not as easy to clean.

So what should you do? Well, as I said earlier, it depends. Sand is still your safest method of dealing with your flooring needs, but if you’ve got bamboo or plywood on hand, it won’t hurt to check things out . Also, remember that what your floor is made of isn’t as important as where you put it. You need to keep the floor of the chicken house above the dirt – a raised coop will help defend you from predators and keep the work of cleaning to a minimum.

building a chicken coop