How do I rain proof my chicken run?


5 Years
Apr 26, 2014
My coop is solid in terms of being warm,dry and well ventilated. However, I need low cost ideas for keeping the rain out of the run, which is a large chain link dog kennel covered on top with netting to keep hawks out. I want my girls to be able to run around outside even if it's raining and still be able to stay dry. Thanks for your suggestions!
Cover on the runs are great because it will keep snow out too. Just remember that snow buildup can be heavy so the cover has be strong to a point.

I use some metal sheets from a dismantled shed. Screw them to wood bracing for strength. They sit pitched on top of the run and are removable.

The plastic corrugated sheets from Home Depot are also a good option.
A tarp is probably the cheapest option, but over time it will rip and have to be replaced. Most tarps are not UV resistant, so sunshine will weaken the plastic fabric weave and cause it to fail.

You didn't say how large the roofed area would be, or where you live, and that determines how you need to build the roof. I put a 15'x16' roof over my run. I used 16' long 2"x6" rafters on 18" centers, supported by 4x6 beams at the 7.5' and 15' marks. The roof itself is made of 3'x16' aluminum roof panels. The run has weathered two 24" blizzards so far, and it is rock solid. If the roof of my house every collapses from too much snow, I'll move in with the chickens!
Thanks to those who offered suggestions. I'm still trying to figure out how to respond to each post individually so for now will say "Thank you" this way.
I indicated the run was in the form of a chain link dog kennel which is incorrect. I don't know what I was thinking when I wrote that (I do have and use 2 chain link dog kennels for my 4 dogs if I am away for the day, but that has nothing to do with my chicken run).

My chicken run was kind of put together on a tiny budget using T-posts, zip-lock ties and chicken wire. Keeping that in mind, I'm not sure if it is even possible to implement wood bracing, rafters or beams (not that I even know what those things even are :) ) (I'm passing on this information to my husband).

Anyway, Thanks again!
Google up (or check Craigslist) for used billboard tarps, they are a UV resistant thick PVC material that will last years outside... Overall they are a little bit costly but not too much when you consider what a cheap blue tarp cost and the fact those only last a few weeks/months outside before they start to fail... I highly recommend you also put some pitch into the roof so water runs off or else it will pool water and bring itself down...

Another options is to get one of those hoop building car ports and put that up over or inside the run, if you mount it properly on level ground they are quite strong... But, don't waste your money on a hoop building if you don't plan to mount and secure it properly as chances are it will collapse or find it's way in the neighbors yard a twisted metal wreck during a wind storm...
Big heavy duty tarp draped over it and staked down at four corners?
That's what I thought! I literally just had to "push" all the accumulated rain off it & now it's flooded & my girls are stuck in the small run that came with the coop while I try to get horse bedding to soak it up. What a mess!!!

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