Anyone done a "green roof" on their coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by imthedude, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. imthedude

    imthedude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2010
    Thinking this would be a great way to keep heat down in the summer and keep some body heat in the coop in the winter. Any drawbacks to this that I'm not seeing?
  2. clairabean

    clairabean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Kootenays of BC!
    What do you mean by a green roof? One that is planted with vegetation? Green as in eco friendly? Solar?
  3. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
  4. Orchid

    Orchid Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2010
    North Central MN
    You could even plant it with grain grasses that the chickens will eat, if it's not too high for them to fly up - I think it's a great idea!
  5. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Quote:Do tell. Tell me more. [​IMG]

    Does anyone have a pic of this?
  6. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    One drawback I've heard of is the weight; roof would have to be very sturdy to hold the weight of the soil, plus plants, plus rain or snow. Some others on here have done it, though. Can't remember the thread , but if you do a search, I bet you could find it. Please post pics if you decide to do it.
  7. Orchid

    Orchid Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2010
    North Central MN
    Yep, you'll need to do some research before you commit. Building the roof and the structure to handle the load is priority #1 - a good waterproof membrane and proper installation to eliminate the chance of rot is #2. This website is a great place to start:

    I have been looking into this and am hoping to convince my DH of the need for a green roof on my next coop!
  8. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2010
    S.E. Michigan
    You could use a lightweight potting mix rather than garden soil to lighten the load.
    I was thinking of making a green roof---just for fun. I think Impatients would be pretty,
    until the hens found a way to get up on there. I'm concerned that hornets could be a problem as they look for small cracks
    in the coop to get inside.
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Two drawbacks to keep in mind, and one "neutral" consideration:

    1) Egregiously expensive for the benefits you get. You have to WAY SERIOUSLY beef up the load-bearing components of walls and roof, and mess round with impermeable membranes and stuff.

    2) Reasonable chance of developing semi-intractable slow roof leaks as time passes (from what I have heard from others who've done it on small structures like that)

    3) You really do not get much benefit for what you're laying out $$-wise... in a LARGE AIR-CONDITIONED building it sometimes makes economic sense (if you are using a good design well-engineered for your situation and correctly installed), but for a small coop it is extremely unlikely to do very much good, because indoor coop temperature is just a reflection of outdoor temperature. (Unless you are one of the about 2 people on this forum who [claim to] have a/c installed in the coop). And green roofs are really mostly just helpful in the summertime -- in a few climates they are maybe marginally-useful in the winter but more typically analyses show that they are either neutral or make the bldg *cooler* in wintertime. (Earth is really quite a poor insulator.)

    If you want to do it as a hobby thing, or to feel all eco-fashion-forward or that kind of thing, then I see no reason NOT to do a green roof (bearing in mind that unless you water it regularly or use climate-appropriate succulents, it will be more like a 'brown roof', seriously).

    But if you want it as a PRACTICAL measure, you would be infinitely better off just investing in good insulation and lots of summer shade and perhaps an intelligent passive-solar-and-thermal-mass element to the design for wintertime.

    JMHO, good luck, have fun,

  10. maclady

    maclady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 28, 2011
    Lost in Space
    I would guess if you wanted to do it you could use a lightweight mix for planting. I'm thinking something like what Mel Bartholomew advocates--1/3 blended compost, 1/3 peat-moss & 1/3 coarse Vermiculite & measured by volume not weight. Not sure what the weight would be for a liner for the planting area. I have heard of someone using a pond liner that they got at Home Depot. They sell it on a roll in their indoor garden area. Good Luck with this venture. I would be interested in finding out if it works should you try it out. I'm new to chickens but I think if you did what another posted and planted with a mixture chicken like it would be a benefit.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by