Covered run- Should we do it?


10 Years
Mar 28, 2009
fredonia, wi
How much do you like your runs covered? We are totally redoing, expanding the outdoor runs for our daughters chickens. We would like not to have to crawl into the run when necessary!
She has her 20 or so bantams for both pet and show. They do get some yard time but are not total free range, she worries about preditors.

I am trying to talk my husband into builing the new runs covered to keep them drier and thus cleaner and hopefully be able to extend the season of use for them in Wisconsin.
At first wanted the whole roof with the clear fiberglass roofing panels, way expensive. Now I am trying to talk him into half steel roof panels and half clear panels.
I thought light might be nice for the chickens?
The floor area is 10 x 20, divided into 2 runs.
As long as we are redoing we might as well do it right.
Any ideas or if it is not really needed to be covered?


10 Years
May 14, 2009
Aregua, Paraguay
Cover, Cover, Cover! I love my run that we covered in the clear panels. The girls love it too. We just had a t-storm move through and they all ran back to their run and waited it out. There is much less smell then when it's always getting wet too. In the winters they are always out in the run and I don't have to shovel anthing!
The ground is always dry and I can just rake and clean up anytime. Also, their food and treats don't get wet either. I can't think of a reason NOT to have a covered run!


RIP ?-2014
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
only the shadow knows.....
mine are just covered with wire. I let Mother Nature clean my run for me!

Be sure to consider snow load when putting a roof on your run. you can always add 6 mil plastic or stack bales of straw around your run to provide cover from those cold winters. The only time my girls don't go out is when there is snow on the ground. They are true Southern Girls, lol


10 Years
Mar 28, 2009
fredonia, wi
Right now the run is covered with wire. Would be nice to keep feathers cleaner if it was covered. At least she does not have white cochins anymore!
The snow weight load is not a problem, hubby is a engineer. He always way over builds!
Her little banties don't like the snow much which is why I tought it might help to extend their seasonal run use to keep most of the snow at bay. Her seramas and pyncheons will probably stay inside where it is insualted and heated at the coldest stretch of winter. Her tougher winter hardy banty birds live in the other half of the coop, unheated and would go outside if they don't have heavy snow to plow through.


10 Years
Dec 14, 2009
Our run is covered, and I wouldn't have it any other way. We used the fiberglass panels, and have clear panels grouped together, and opaque ones grouped, so that they always can find a light area and a shaded area. My husband built it with a good slope so that snow (when and if we have some again) shouldn't be a problem. It keeps the run drier, and prevents predators (so far) from entering that way. It was a good investment.

Elite Silkies

10 Years
Jun 17, 2009
My Coop
My Coop
Definitely consider the snow load! I didn't, and the tops were caving in and even snapped the 2x4's, we have to get all the snow off and re-brace everything! But, I would definitely, cover the run.

rancher hicks

Free Ranging
13 Years
Feb 28, 2009
Syracuse, NY
Here they are expensive and I have two runs. One 16 ft and one 24x8. The panels are only 24 inches wide . The painted metal are $23 and 36in wide. The galvanized metal are $15 and 29 " wide. I'd prefer an over hang but the metal ones are only 8 ft long which is long enough and they don't come in 10' lengths. The clear plastic are more and not as thick. Also you have to have good supports and that means more money.


11 Years
Aug 26, 2008
mtns of ,NC.
If you do not have the money to cover it all, cover what you can. My 8 feet that is covered is cooler in the hot sun and dry. Also not stinky when we have rain. I would love to add to that later when I can. I would cover the whole thing if I could. Gloria Jean

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