Opinion on what type of roof for the Chicken Run


7 Years
May 21, 2012
I need help. I'm new to raising chickens and I don't know if I should have a screen top on the run or totally cover it. I am thinking about using the corrugated rooffing because that way the area is protected from rain and predators but wondering what the cons might be. I can think of evenually the area will no longer have grass for the chickens. But maybe that is ok as I see many people use sand and other types of flooring. Many of the runs you see on the web sites are just screened in, but I was worried about the mess when it rains. I live in Florida and we have quite a bit of a rainy season in the summer and I would hate that the chickens have to be in the coop for other than sleeping. I need protection from cats and raccoons climbing into the run, so not sure if Tarps are good option.
i have two covered runs.and dh used tin,we bought it at lowes.its shiny so will reflect the sun.it keeps the runs really dry and cooler on the chickens for summer.
First, don't worry about the grass. There will not be any left. They will eat it all, then scratch up the roots and eat those.

To keep those climbing things out, I'd suggest at kleast 2" x 4" welded wire. I'm not sure what you mean by screen, but you need something strong enough they can't rip it apart, especailly the raccoons. Domestic cats are not much of a threat to grown chickens, but they will sometuimes take chicks.

Other than cost, I cannot think of any downsides of a solid roof. You need to slope it so the rain runs off, otherwise any roof will leak. It will provide shade, which they will need in Florida. Rain and sunlight will still come in from the sides, but a roof can help a lot. A huge help in keeping it dry is to position the coop so rainwater does not run into it. Place it somewhere a little high so it will drain and use swales and berms to divert runoff.
Corrugated metal roofing (basic galvanized stuff) isn't too expensive, and pretty durable. If used over a relatively small run, it will help provide shade for your birds and cut down on wet / mud / smells. A larger run gets a lot harder to roof economically, although maybe you could just roof part of it, and using screening over top of the rest -- ??

The fiberglass / plastic corrugated roofing is even cheaper and easier to work with than the metal stuff, but may not hold up quite as well in the long run. And it may not provide effective shade if translucent and you live in a hot & sunny area (in fact, may make it even hotter -- people often use the translucent stuff for greenhouses -- !!).
I use the plastic corrogated roofing. The smoke color blocks some sun but lets enough through that they get enough and it keeps them nice and dry. Make sure you do enough overhang so the runoff doesn't splash in and when the rain that angels in gets in less.
One nice benefit to a solid roof is being able to install a rain barrel to provide water for the chickens, as long as it's not shingles. We installed a metal roof on our coop that drains into a 55 gallon rain barrel. Makes it nice since the whole operation is about 100 yards from the house and we don't have to schlep water any distance.
We used metal roofing sheets. It is REALLY noisy when raining but I know it won't leak and they'll have a dry place to run. It survived the golf ball sized hail we had this past March 2nd with just dents. It's lightweight and easy to install, just be careful with the sharp edges!
I am in Las Vegas and I am also thinking about doing a solid roof. I am just wondering if anyone has experience with this in a hot area? We can reach temperature of 115 in the summer and I want to make sure this is not going to heat the area up. Would you use metal or plastic?

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