How to keep the chicken coop 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. Luckily I have some experience Using household objects in the chicken coop, so a solution wasn't far away!


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.

Pan under water bowl in chicken cop.

We put some bedding in, around and under the pan. The splashes of water get absorbed by the bedding in the pan and can be dumped out without wetting the whole coop. Yeay! 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! Just carry the pan outside and scrap the gross stuff off. It's really helpful that you can rinse it before you put it back can't do that with the coop floor!

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. 

A square washing machine pan can also fit a few bowls and comes in plastic if you prefer that to the metal water tank pans. Plus there's the previously mentioned boot trays if you need a small pan for a smaller coop.
water bowl liner in chicken coop to keep floor dry

Some of these pans are $30 or more, but I have had the metal ones for over 10 years, so it's pretty much a one time purchase. You might find one at a yard sale or flea market for cheap. You'll definitely find boot trays there! Or check the dollar stores, especially in winter.

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!

  4. I’ve not had this issue with drinkers, but I have always stood my drinker on top a bucket with a lid on. This lifts the drinker up to around about 12 inches/30cms off the ground. This is an ideal height for my girls to comfortably drink from. It’s heigh enough to avoid contamination with bedding or feaces & any tiny spillages remain on the plastic lid of the bucket, which is about one inch bigger around the drinker! Floor & bedding stay perfectly dry! I’ve just always done it like this. I think the bucket is an old Biodry bucket. It’s just perfect!

    1. That's a great idea! I have mine on a cement block in the silkie coop (it's too small for a big water pan) and it works pretty well also. Thanks for sharing!