How to dry out a wet chicken coop

We had a whopper of a rain storm last week. During the worst of it there was an active tornado alert and what looked like a river running through our yard. Unfortunately, at the bottom of the yard is our main coop. It houses roughly 20 poultry. 10 standard size chickens, 10 guineas...and on this occasion...7 chicks. Our whole yard is on a slant so as you can imagine, lots of water made its way into the coop. 

The rain came so fast and furiously even the french drain failed and we were left with a huge mess to clean up. 

dry a wet coop

First thing I did was scrape all the water out the door using a small shovel (and my feet...but hey, I was desperate!) Then I pushed the wet bedding onto the rubber mat that covers the back half of the coop. I let it spend the night back was too late at that point, but the real work was to come in the morning! 

floor wet coop flood

It's not an easy task and it smelled just awful, but here is the process we used to fix the mess.

How to dry out a wet coop

1) Get as much of the water out of the coop as you can. Snow shovels are flat and wide so they'll push a lot of water at once.
2) Remove old bedding. It's stinks and is ridiculously heavy, but it needs to go!
3) Scrape the floor. I used a kids plastic snow shovel to scrape the floor from one end to the other. I also used a plastic paint scraper to get along the edges, in corners and other crevices. It had been wet all night so it had turned to mush by morning. Gross!
4) Let the coop air out as long as possible. You can add a fan or in the winter we've used a torpedo heater to dry it up. (make sure the chickens can't get in the coop if using a heater!) Even when it looks dry, remember that it could be wet underneath the coop also and the added drying time can really help the health of the wood in the long run.

DE and barn lime on chicken coop floor

5) Once the coop is dry, put down a mixture of Diatomaceous Earth and Barn lime. I use an old shop towel container to mix it up and shake it out all over the floor. Try to coat evenly. 
6) Finally add your bedding to the dry coop and you're good to go. 

You'll want to keep an eye on it and consider installing a french drain or other runoff solution if your coop floods frequently. We did add a french drain a few weeks ago since we regularly had slight flooding. It has been able to handle the rains since then but this last one was just too much for anything to handle!

coop drain system

Even our pond flooded out. It looked like a river was running down the trail in the woods! Talk about extreme weather. It's supposed to rain again this week. I really hope it doesn't rain that hard again!


Update: this coop ended up flooding often because of its where it was built. Unfortunately, location was our Biggest Mistake Building the Coop.

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  1. Replies
    1. Your welcome. Thanks for stopping by!


  2. This was so interesting to read. I live in the city, and I always forget how much work it is to raise livestock.

    Heidi’s Wanderings

    1. Thanks Heidi! They are a lot of work sometimes...but so worth it!


  3. We live in the high desert so luckily we never have t do that! Just shovel the snow once or twice a winter...

    1. We could definitely use some dry weather here this week....want to send some this way? LOL