Do you cover your run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by PurpleGizmo, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. PurpleGizmo

    PurpleGizmo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2008
    Enumclaw, WA
    Hi there,

    I'm debating whether I should put a roof over my run or leave it open to the elements with wire mesh or netting to keep animals out. We live in Western Washington and often have gray, drizzly weather in the Spring and Fall. The run floor will be covered with a few inches of sand if everything goes as planned—I'm still building the coop! [​IMG]

    I'd like to let as much light in as possible to help dry things out but don't want a soggy run. If I did put a roof on, I was originally planning to go conventional with asphalt shingles but now I'm wondering if the clear, corrugated paneling would work just as well.

    What would you do? Anyone wrestled with the same decision?
     
  2. william9792

    william9792 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 23, 2008
    graham, nc
    i use tarps in winter time to keep the rain out (clear ones) just have to have it braced alittle beter so they don't sag and holed water
     
  3. MrsShag

    MrsShag Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 6, 2009
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Hi PurpleGizmo [​IMG]

    I have fencing on the top of my run because We have very mild weather and lots of hawks. If I lived where you live I might cover it, because of all the rain. I grew up in Buckley WA [​IMG]
     
  4. wingnut1

    wingnut1 Crazy Bird Lady

    Hi PurpleGizmo!

    I have an area of our run covered, so when it is raining, wet, the chickens have a dry spot..and the remainder of the run is covered with bird netting to keep predators out. I'm glad the run has both areas - covered and uncovered - and if you can manage to have both, I think the chickens would enjoy it! Given where you live, if you can only manage one, I'd make it the covered run! [​IMG]
     
  5. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    The clear corrugated hard plastic stuff is what we use and love all year round.
     
  6. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    mine has chain link on top and some sheet of old re-purposed plywood wired to that for shade.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    My small front run is lean-to style, totally covered in 1x1 welded wire mesh; the run I used for the broilers last fall is just a repurposed dog run with chainlink sides and a corrugated fiberglass roof; and the runs I am building for the sussexes (one nearly done, other gonna have to wait til spring) have corrugated plastic "Suntuf" roofs. (e.t.a. - pix of new half-finished run are now on this thread https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=127967 )

    One thing to be aware about putting a roof (as opposed to just wire mesh) on top is that in some jurisdictions it may turn it into something covered by zoning, building code, and possibly even need a building permit. Here, anything under 108 sq ft is exempt from a permit but some zoning things still pertain e.g. location on property.

    If you get any snow, especially WET snow, I would highly, highly suggest a) overbuilding the support structure, with stronger posts and rafters and more closely-spaced rafters than you logically would seem to need; and b) if the roof has any slope, build it with a *good* slope, like at least 1 in 4, to facilitate getting snow off it if it should become necessary. Also for those considering Palruf (Suntuf's cheaper sibling) make sure you look at what temperatures it's rated for before you make your final decision -- it is more appropriate for some climates/constructions than others.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
  8. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have clear PalRUF, similar to Pat's description, hung with hurrican hangers and 2x4's every foot. Holds a massive snow load (we should know, this year has been BADDDDDDDDDDDDDDD). Well worth the trouble and expense. Our zoning allows anything for non-human habitation up to 250 sq ft.

    Shown in our BYC home page...
     
  9. Bec

    Bec THE Delaware Blue Hen

    I have deer netting over the top of my runs. It is cheap and works great. The holes are about 1/2 inch X 1/ inch. It keep everyone who can fly in and keep the bad guys out. It is barely noticeable so the chickens didn't even notice that it was there.....until they tried to get out of course..lol

    I have 5 chickens in one run, they have their house to go in and I have 11 chickens in the bigger pen and their house is on stilts, so they go under or in for protection form the weather!
     

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