Clear or solid corrugated plastic for tractor roof?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by DerbyChook, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. DerbyChook

    DerbyChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    Seems like the clear would add more light, something my little tractor coop could definately use since it doesn't have windows, just vents. But it would also make it hotter in the summer, even if I parked it in the shade, a real issue here in the South. Opinions?
  2. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    I had the clear on my small coop but switched to white. The clear made the coop get too hot in the sun. The white is cooler, but not by that much. It lets in plenty of light, though.

    One of the other nice things is that an opaque roof does give the chickens cover. No predator can stare in through the roof at them. If I were you, I'd definitely go for the white panels.

    Do be careful about heat. My coop now gets way too hot in the sun for chickens to be in there. Fortunately, I have other housing for them in the summer.
  3. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    My tractor is just a daytime playpen. It is 2x2s screwed together and covered in plastic chicken wire. (Not preditor-proof, I know. We keep it in a fenced yard...) Anyway, when it is hot out, we cover it with a bed sheet.
  4. Coach B

    Coach B Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 14, 2010
    Marshall County, TN
    The roof panels on my tractor are off white. Will be watching to see how hot they get even with that. I have the ends of the tractor covered with painted white paneling. The middle section is covered with welded wire and backed up with chicken wire for plenty of ventilation. I'm hoping to keep my birds in the tractor until the cold gets here next winter.
  5. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    I have the clear panels on my chicken run. It is shaded by a large oak tree in summer which losses its leaves in winter and allows the sun to shine in.

    I like the clear it adds much more light. Any cover will tend to trap some heat since heat rises. My suggestion would be to park the tractor in the shade where they can enjoy breezes. I have a box fan running when its very hot and humid to increase air flow.

    You could also cover the clear panels with shade cloth if you need more shade in summer and they will be able to enjoy the sun in winter, something that the white panels would not provide.
  6. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    The clear will absolutely make it too hot. I'd go with opaque white. It will still allow some light in but won't get nearly as hot.
  7. ChksontheRun

    ChksontheRun Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2010
    Central Virginia
    I used opaque white and it lets in very little light. If light is truly an issue, use clear. If you don't need the light, use opaque white as the temp difference is significant.
  8. DerbyChook

    DerbyChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    Great feedback! I'g going with clear and will cover it with shade cloth in July and August when it gets hot-hot. I am adding another ventilation hole as well, but if the coop is still too hot, I can make a summer-only coop out of pallets or something. I am not in the deep south, so I hope that is not necessary, although it might be an interesting challenge. I think I like designing coops as much as raising the chickens!
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Opaque, for sure. Unless you like broiled or steamed chicken [​IMG]

    Honestly though if I were using something opaque ANYhow, I'd probably use metal rather than plastic, for a tractor, as being more predator-resistant. Or plywood. While I have not HEARD (yet) of anyone having a raccoon or coyote rip their way thru a plastic roofing panel, the things are so flimsy and brittle (cut with scissors, and in cold weather the pvc ones voluntarily crack if you're not careful) that I would hesitate to use them atop a *short* structure where predators would very easily access the edges to start working on 'em.

    Just a thought, good luck, have fun,

  10. DerbyChook

    DerbyChook Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    Did opaque after all. I had solid on it the first time, and it is very dark. Looking at the different options at Lowes, the opaque looked best. We are a fenced, urban backyard, so I am hoping that we won't have to face large preds. I have seen foxes, hawks and raccoons. My yard is fenced, so stray dogs are not a problem. And my tractor is a tractor in name only. We built it out of scraps lumber that we had around, all of it pretty burly. Two grown adults can barely move it! But on the plus side, I feel like it is sturdy.


    We made the roof too short on the coop, and it is dumping rain water into one of the vents on the back. That is why I am replacing it. Grrr.....

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