Building a pitched roof on chicken coop - help needed

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sakana, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. sakana

    sakana In the Brooder

    Aug 6, 2007
    Greetings all - First let me introduce myself as I just signed up for the list. My name is Elizabeth and my husband & I brought home two Australorps in April. We built our own chicken run, tractor -style. We are neither carpenters, nor particularly handy when it comes to building things.

    That said, we did build a tractor that is mostly square [​IMG] and pretty sound. You can see a slide show of our tractor building at:
    need flash to view it. Here's one shot of the finished product:

    However, after our unusual amount of July rain, it has become evident that we should have put a pitched roof on the coop section. Water pools on the top and has already begun to warp the wood. I'm thinking that a slanted roof would be adequate (ie raise one side only so that the roof slopes to one side) and that perhaps if I get it built to paper and shingle it. But I have no idea where to begin in calculating the angles for such a project. Does anyone have a simple to-one-side pitched roof plan (for lack of a more accurate way to describe it) they could give me?

    Also, our chickens (George and Rita) really don't seem to want to spend the night - or any time at all, for that matter - in the coop. Should I lock them in it at night? My husband thinks that forcing them to stay in there will freak them out.

    Anyhow, they both seem happy & healthy and we're waiting on our first eggs. Right now they're in my neighbor's yard in an ex-pen foraging unwanted clover. Sorry to be long-winded, and thanks in advance for any advise.
  2. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    I cant help to much on the coop, Im sure someone will be along to help soon.

    But as far as the shutting in goes, I shut mine in at night. It is all around safer. I am suprised they dont go in on their own. But if you bribe them in there with treats for a few nights in a row, my guess is that they would start to go in nightly, then you could shut them in if you like. Once in there, I dont think they will freak out, ecspecially if it is dark. They will probably just go into their little night coma....

    Good Luck.
  3. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    just my thoughts

    Depending were you live, climate, safety issues and wanting them to lay in a nest!

    I would start putting them in at night.

    roof I would pitch roof up in front (so rain drains away from coop)

    if there is alot of rain you might want to add a small awning to the pen (rain or shade)
  4. 2mnypets

    2mnypets Songster

    Apr 11, 2007
    Galesburg, IL.
    We have the one side slanted roof but we have a full size coop. The slant of the roof goes from 7' to 5'. There really is no measuring like trying to determine the degree of the slant etc. We just decided what the lowest point of the roof would be and adjusted our main coop frame 2x4 beams to match the two different heights. Then we just cut 2x4's to the inside dimension of the coop frame itself and nailed them in. There might be a slight space between either the top or bottom of the cut 2x4 that you are using for the roof beams, but if you want to use a protractor or something like that to determine the exact angle you can. After the framework was done we put the boards down and then the roofing paper and shingles.
    Better Than Rubies likes this.
  5. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    my 2cents........

    On the side of your coup that is adjacent to the run, lay a 2x4 the with of the coop along the front edge. Get some lightweight tin roofing from Lowe's looks like you will need 2 sheets (I can get the lightweight stuff for less than $8 for a 8ftx 2.5 ft sheet. Screw it down to the 2x4 and then to the opposite end of the coop. Will give you enough of a peak for the rain to run off . Get enough of the tin so that you can fold the side down just a tad so water doesn't get under the ends of sides.
  6. sakana

    sakana In the Brooder

    Aug 6, 2007
    Thought I'd post to say that we did make a couple modifications to the "tractor" as shown.

    We added 4 ventilation holes in the coop near the top (two on each side) and covered them from the inside with hardware cloth. We also placed a perch in the "run" section - and now that's where they seem to prefer to be all night. Also, the run is always covered (not shown in photo above) with either shade cloth when it's sunny, or a tarp when it's rainy. We are trying to do our level best to keep the chickens comfortable, shaded, dry, and happy. We routinely move an ex-pen around for them for daytime foraging (yes, I know the tractor was what was meant to be moved, but we're on a small city lot, it's easier to move the ex-pen around).

    I will give it a shot tonight "locking" the chickens into their coop (which has two standard nest boxes and a blanket of cedar shavings). Thanks for the suggestions about just adding the 2X4s, but I know if I do that I'll always be plagued by the thought that I could have done it without any gaps. I will definitely take to heart the front-to-back suggestion, I had planned to go to the side, but now it does seem like front to back would be better.

    Again, sorry to be long - this is a first in all ways for both of us - having city chickens (though we both had them growing up), building a coop, & trying to make sure that they get a balanced diet on such minimal acreage, etc. It's a big experiment for us: we routinely give them worms from our worm bin, alfalfa sprouts, raisins, lettuce, and etc. I hope we aren't overloading them with "goodies," but they seem to have no trouble eating theior hen scratch morning and evening.

    Thanks again for everyone's advise and help.
    Better Than Rubies likes this.
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Hi! I think your tractor looks great! I can't tell by just one picture, but did you add ventilation to your coop? Holes, slots or a window? Some opening at the top? I'm wondering if it's hot in there or even just stuffy? Their door opening is a small percentage of the front wall and if there's no outflow, then the air and the heat would just sit inside it. That might be one reason that they prefer sleeping in the run.

    Those are some good looking chickens. I have Australorp envy. They have such beautiful heads, with those dark eyes.
  8. Quote:I have heard that hen scratch is not a good food; it is to be considered a treat only. I believe we are supposed to be feeding layer food after about 12-14 weeks of age. And of course, once they start laying, the hen will need calcium supplementation.

    Other than that, it looks good. My tractor has a slope on the back; it is about 6" in 3 feet and sheds water just fine.
  9. chicks rule

    chicks rule Songster

    Apr 10, 2007
    SW MO
    I like Coyote's idea, seems the simpliest way to go and about the Cedar Shavings, from what I have read on this site, they are not good for the chickens, go with Pine Shavings. HTH
  10. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    We also placed a perch in the "run" section - and now that's where they seem to prefer to be all night.

    This may be the reason they don't sleep in the coop itself. Chickens prefer to be off the ground when they sleep so they prefer a roost. If you want them in the coop then put the roost in the coop and take down the one outside to encourage them to go in. But you don't want the roost over the nest box, and you only need one nest box. Sorry, I can't help with the roof problem. Perhaps if you raised the front 1-2" then filled the gaps with wedges of wood.....​

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