How to keep the floor dry under the waterer

We've had wet floors from time to time in the coop. Of course there are times you can't do a thing about it! Like when the wind is whipping rain sideways or wet chickens come in out of the rain and drip all over the floor! Mostly though, the problem is the waterer. (or drinker, whichever you prefer to call it) 

chicken coop, floor, protection from damage

I've tried putting the waterer up on blocks so the coop bedding doesn't get kicked in. I've tried putting the poultry waterer outside the coop (but I worried too much about them getting thirsty before I get up in the morning) We tried different types of drinkers and bowls, bottles and cups. 

We tried pretty much everything we could find, and the bedding was still wet underneath the water font! A little bit of wet bedding isn't a big deal, but once it gets a little spreads and spreads till the whole floor is soaked. Yuck!

As if the wet bedding isn't enough of a problem, the floor underneath it is wood. Eventually wet wood starts to rot. That is all I need is a rotted spot on the coop floor! Not only would that be expensive to fix but I have to worry about predators finding it and tunneling into the coop before I can get it fixed! No thanks! 

I needed to find a solution before the coop floor was ruined.


How to keep the coop floor dry

Out of desperation I decided to put a boot tray underneath one of the smaller waterers and guess what? It kept the floor dry! So we went on a mission to find one for every coop. 

For winter we use heated dog bowls in the bigger coops, so we found a metal water heater pan for that one. This works especially well for the dog bowls since it has a cord hole in it anyway.

We put some bedding in, around and under the pan. The splashes of water get sucked up by the bedding in the pan and can be dumped out without wetting the whole coop. Yeay! 

Pan under water bowl in chicken cop.

The tray does get pretty gross sometimes, but the floor stays dry and that means the chickens aren't walking in wet bedding. Also, wet bedding tends to get rancid smelling and this is an easy way to contain, then get rid of all the smelly stuff!

Not only was this an easy solution, but it was a much cheaper alternative to eventually having to patch or replace the coop floor because of water damage! Seriously...nobody wants to mess with a rotted coop floor!

We've found different types and sizes of trays or pans to fit all the different drinkers we have. The big round water heater pans actually can hold 2 dog bowls at one time with room to spare. 

These pans have really helped keep the bedding dry and it's super easy to just drag them out of the coop and hose them off to keep them clean! We've even used vinyl remnants under the waterers to keep the floor dry

Sure wish we would have thought of this sooner!


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  1. OMG! so simple. one of those "why didn't i think of that" things! Ugh! My red bird loves to get the floor wet - I actually caught her filling up her beak, moving her head away from the bowl and dropping the water onto the sand floor. She watches it ball up in the sand and pecks it. = Soaked floor. Thank you.

    1. Ducks do that too! I think they just love to drive us crazy! lol


  2. Necessity is the mother of invention isn't it? What a great idea!

    We use an old water heater liner, cut in half as a trough that my hubs welded legs on to.

    Love your blog and am now following. Visiting from Down Home Blog Hop. Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. It really is!

      My husband will love your idea, thanks!


  3. Great idea - we always have a wet spot in the coop!