Help with roof of chicken coop and ventilation

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Jessycalynn, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. Jessycalynn

    Jessycalynn Hatching

    Nov 17, 2010
    I am new to chickens and need advise on what to do with the roof of our chicken coop.

    I was going back and forth on if I should do shingles or a steel roof. I went to Menards and someone that worked there said a good choice is Ondura which is corrugated. I am concerned with the ridges being open and if there will be to much of a draft in the winter, but I know it would be good for Ventilation in the summer.

    We live in Minnesota so it can get cold in the winter.

    Should I just place the sheets on the roof and let the ridges be open, or should I put a piece of osb on the roof first and just place the sheets on top so there is no drafts. the only other ventilation is a window that opens on one of the sides.



  2. dbcooper02

    dbcooper02 Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    SW Washington
    Ondura does provide filler strips which will close off the openings if you wish. It might be that you could remove the fillers during the warm weather to provide additional ventilation. Re your second photo. If that is your coop you are going to need to run purlins (1X4) across your rafters to support and attach the panels. You can search Ondura on the net and find lots of good info at their site. As to weather the ondura will frost and drip on the underside like a metal roof I just don't know, but I suspect it would, In that case osb and felt paper under the ondura would probably be better.
  3. emys

    emys Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    I'd lift the roof up enough to create ventilation panels on at least 2 sides which can be open or closed as needed. Then I'd use the OSB under the panels to be sure the roof can withstand a heavy snow load.
  4. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Songster

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    Condensation dripping on the inside means not enough ventilation and too much moisture. I have metal roofing on mine plus a 1' by 8' vent on the high side of my coop and also have 4" of ventilation all the way around the edges of the roof, due to the 2x4 rafters. I closed off most of the 1'x8' ventilation with plastic when the wind blew snow inside, but I still have adequate ventilation and I have had no condensation or dripping. Oh it is an 8x8 coop with 12 (now 11) large fowl chickens.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    You can (indeed *should*, for structural attachment reasons) use the wavy filler strips when you install the corrugated roofing, which will fill the gaps.

    However, that said, in Minnesota you will need to insulate the underside of the roof anyhow to prevent condensation drips. What Oldchickenlady says is true for milder winters but in very cold areas you will get condensation on uninsulated areas EVEN IF coop humidity is quite low. (Unless it is essentially an open-air coop, with one side totally open, which few people are set up to do in somewhere like Minnnesota).

    Personally I would use metal roofing because it is more durable and usually not much (if any) more expensive. You will need to insulate under that too. You *could* install it over plywood or osb but it is easier (IMHO) and at least as effective to install the roofing (be it Ondura or plastic or metal) on bare purlins and then fit rigid foamboard insulation to the undersides. This is a bit more expensive but gives better insulation.

    You need to also build in some proper ventilation... both for summertime AND for wintertime. See my ventilation page (link in .sig below) for some suggestions. Without it, or just relying on the spaces between corrugations in roofing, is very likely to result in excessive humidity and greater risk of frostbite.

    Good luck, have fun,

  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Follow others instructions for their Minn. knowledge about insulation but you definitely don't want any water coming in. Wet bedding is a killer. I'd use the corrugated and top the ridge with a continuous ridge vent that keeps rain out but vents condensation and ammonia.
    I have continuous ridge vents, gable vents and open windows. Rarely gets below 0 F here.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  7. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    I'd be concerned about two things:

    1: Those openings are going to let snow/rain in. Maybe critters, too.
    2: I'm not convinced that Ondura alone is going to hold snow. If nothing else, you're going to need to support it more than it is (if that's your coop in the photo).

    I used metal shed siding for the roof on my run. It has worked out well and has held the snow, but it's got 2x4 construction on 24" centers holding it up. For the coop, we went with asphalt shingles because of cost. From the inside out it's: insulation/plywood/ice shield/shingles. It has held up well over the last three winters.

    PS - a window is not going to be enough ventilation. It's VITALLY important in our climate. You don't want cold air blowing on your chickens at roost-level (which will happen with a window-as-vent) and if you don't give moisture a way to escape then you'll end up with frostbite problems. Heat/moisture rises, so your vents should be at the highest spot on your coop. Make them close-able (I made scrap-plywood sliders) for when storms blow through.

    Probably not really what you wanted to hear, but hope this helps - cc
  8. Jessycalynn

    Jessycalynn Hatching

    Nov 17, 2010
    So I ended up putting osb on the roof and will put the ondura ontop of it. I also am going to put 2 vents right up high on either side of the door.

    Thanks for everyone's comments. I really never thought of the weight of the snow.
  9. cabincrazyone

    cabincrazyone Songster

    Dec 26, 2010
    NE Minnesota
    I'm just now building my first coop. I plan to use steel sheets on the roof .... 2 by 8 feet or 2 by 10 ft is available ... the kind used on farm outbuildings. It clips together (sort of like stove pipe) for a tight seal. Check at Menard's. There are different gauges .... thicknesses .... better price for a bit thinner .... but fine on a small building .... and stronger by far than the plastic stuff. No ripply end to worry about.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011

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