Does my chicken run need a water-proof top??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by nharbison0722, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. nharbison0722

    nharbison0722 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi everyone! Hope that everyone is well and all chickens are happy!! I have a quick question..... I just finished the building of my chicken run, which I will attach pics of at the bottom. (Don't laugh, I have ZERO carpentry experience!) I will be putting the chicken wire and hardware cloth on today, and my question is this- do I need to have some type of covering on top of the run to keep the run dry, or will chicken wire suffice? I hadn't thought about putting anything on the top of the run other that the wire, until I thought about what the girls will do when a rain storm comes! I guess they could run into their coop of they so chose, but with this being my first time raising chickens, didn't know if they would even know to run into the coop to stay dry. Any help and advice is greatly appreciated!!!
    Thanks!
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  2. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You don't "need" one but by covering you help keep the run floor dryer and give then shelter from the elements while still being outside.
     
  3. nharbison0722

    nharbison0722 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the advice! What would you suggest using to cover the top to keep dry? Any ideas?
    Thanks again, I really appreciate it!
     
  4. AllynTal

    AllynTal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens free range and they don't mind at all being out in the rain. They only seek shelter if it rains really hard. If it were mine, I would cover half the run, maybe using a tarp or canvas. It'll provide some shelter if you have an outside feeder and give the chickens a place to get out of the direct sun as well as give them a place to be outside if they want to scratch around while it rains. I would probably take a 2x4 and lay it in the middle on top of the run. Stand it on edge -- like a ridge pole -- then tie the canvas down nice and taut. The ridge pole keeps the canvas from sagging and gives just enough slope to allow water to run off the sides.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2016
  5. nharbison0722

    nharbison0722 Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow- that's a great idea! Thanks for the input! I have plenty of 2x4's left over from building the run, since I really had no idea what I was doing Nor how much wood I would need! Thanks again for the advice!
     
  6. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not only will a canvas or tarp help shelter from rain and provide some shade as @AllynTal stated, if you live in an area where it snows, it'll give them space outside where they're not walking through it. When it comes to snow, there are some chickens who don't mind it at all and others who refuse to come out of the coop because of it. That may not seem like a big deal but chickens get "cabin fever" and start picking on each other when that happens which can lead to a whole mess of problems; health issues, injuries and sometimes cannibalism.
     
  7. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would, at the very least, partially cover it. Otherwise, after the grass is gone (unless you move it now and then), it will be a muddy mess when it rains. It's good that you are thinking ahead.
     
  8. MambaJack

    MambaJack Out Of The Brooder

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    Hard for me to tell your dimensions. But if I were you I would run another row of 2x4s half way up horizontally all the way around the coop for stability and to staple wire too
     
  9. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I agree with everyone else, you don't need a cover but you will want one. The problem I see is that you have a flat roof and water is going to pool up in it and cause you problems. I would take what AllynTal said even further and add several 2x4's down the middle. Think of a circus tent. Then stretch the tarp over the edges and tie or nail it down with roofing tacks.
    Another option would be to get one of those probable canopies like Harbor Freight sells. Costs a little over $100 but comes with poles and ties. We had one on our old run and it worked great for a couple years until a tree limb tore through it. I drove eye bolts into the side of the fence posts and used cargo straps to keep it from flying away in heavy winds.
    From all your photos it looks like the birds will have enough shade and I don't think you are too worried about much snow. But a muddy run is bad for you and the chickens.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. nharbison0722

    nharbison0722 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for all the help and advice everyone! I greatly appreciate it! I want to do my best to do everything right for the chicks!
    Thanks!
     
    1 person likes this.

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