My husband is an electrical engineer with a hobby interest in working with cement and stone. He has made me several things with cement, including a beautiful workbench for my greenhouse and the still in-progress cement border for my swimming pool. His most recent cement work has been making the cement floor for my new chicken coop.
I decided on cement floor after trying to work with a dirt floor in the old coop for years. I felt I was always digging down into the dirt when trying to muck it out. The cement is also one more barrier to digging predators. I have seen the digging foxes can do.
With the weather spiking to unusual high temperatures in June (upper 90’s°F!), my husband knew he had to take measures to keep the cement from drying too quickly. Knowing that it would be near impossible to go out and spray it with a hose often enough, he was interested in immersing the curing cement in water, but it was impractical. (click on any photo to enlarge)
Then, his creative mind put together the method of spreading straw over it and layering a soaker hose on top of that. Both of these things were on hand, due to my gardening and chicken care. This is more steady and more water efficient than the sprinkling option. It is less likely to provide mosquito habitat than pooling water, such as might happen if borders were placed to create a temporary small pond or pool.
Here is a short video of it:
It helps that the cement is partly in the shade most of the day, under a small hay barn. He has been monitoring it for 5 days now and is very pleased with the set-up. Here is a link to an official recommendation for water curing cement. Cement is a relatively expensive investment. It is nice to know there is a way to make it last longer!
Here is a link to the first blog talking about how I built my PVC pipe hoop house chicken pen. And a still photo of the floor being soaked: