Covering the run with a tarp

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by scottn, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. scottn

    scottn Hatching

    Aug 20, 2011
    Hi All,

    I'm relatively new to chickens and just got a few sexlink pullets. I framed a 3 foot high run for them that is covered with wire mesh.

    I am considering adding a tarp over the top to keep the run from getting too wet and muddy due to rain and snow. I've read a lot of the posts on this and understand that I will need to be carefull to make sure the water can run off and my structure can support the weight of some water.

    But because my run is only about 3 feet high, and is already in an area that is shaded most of the day, I think the tarp would block almost all direct sunlight. They would be in shade all day. Is this a probelm for their health or for laying?

    I'm new at this and would appreciate any wisdome you care to share.


  2. rolffamily

    rolffamily Songster

    Apr 25, 2010
    Mine would never step out in sunshine if they could avoid it. Shade is the way to go with chickens.
  3. lowry075

    lowry075 Songster

    Mar 29, 2011
    Southern California

    They can still get shade from the sides of the run, right? It's just overhead light you're sheilding them from? I think it sounds okay, especially if you live somewhere hot. They really hate being hot.
  4. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Songster

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    My run is under huge pine trees and covered with a tarp. They still get afternoon sun to sunbathe in.

  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    Quote:My chickens love sunshine. Even in the summer they will go out and sunbath for a bit each day. And especially in the colder months they love a nice sunny spot. I wouldn't want to have them in an area that was completely devoid of any sun but even if you have a spot that just gets a couple hours a day they will take advantage of it.
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    A simple fix for you is to run the tarp only 2/3 of the way along your run. Also, an easy way to insure run-off for rain/snow is to run a 2x6 (or 2x8, or 2x10...depending on the pitch you want) down the center of your run from end to end. Then when you wrap your tarp, you have a slight tent-like top [​IMG]
  7. stilldeb

    stilldeb Songster

    May 28, 2010
    NW Kentucky
    We have heavy sunlight-reflective tarps covering the majority of our runs, with a small area left uncovered if they want to be out in the sun. We also built into the top an elevated 'lift' area that helps the rain run off and not collect in the tops/tarps. Been super-hot this summer and it's really helped, even with overhead tree shade as well.

    deb g

  8. suzyQlou

    suzyQlou Songster

    Mar 12, 2011
    Dillsburg, PA
    My Coop
    Just curious if your run is a permanent or portable one. I had a portable run covered in a tarp that blew away in a pretty bad storm last Spring. I still love having a tarp cover part of my run, but it's not secured in a way that would make it act like a parachute anymore. The hens definitely prefer the shade.
  9. rolffamily

    rolffamily Songster

    Apr 25, 2010
    I should clarify my reply by saying they like the daylight - just not the sunlight/sun-heat situation.

  10. crayon

    crayon Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Hillman Michigan
    We have a tarp over half of our run for our babies- mostly because it keeps their food dry and keeps them from standing on the shelter and flying the coop! I would not say they avoid the sun- my chickens quite like the sun- but not the scorching heat! They have been known to take in some Vit. D quite often. But they do enjoy the ability to be outside without getting wet or to hot.

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