To roof or not to roof (the run)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JackHammer, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. JackHammer

    JackHammer Just Hatched

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    Here's a photo of our setup for 6 chickens. 4x6 coop inside a 12x13 run. 1/2" hardware cloth on the sides and top.

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    The roof of coop extends along the the back to provide some protection. My original plan was to tarp off the back wall and the side to the left of the door as a wind break. Now that winter is on the way and I am in Massachusetts I am starting to wonder if i should put a metal roof on the run. Unfortunately I did not pitch the run roof when I made it. If I tarp the roof it will collect rain ice and snow and I don't think that will end well. Do I even need to do a roof? Will the chickens just stay in while it snows and come out when it stops? This will be our first winter with chickens. All comments and Ideas are welcome.
    Thanks
     
  2. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:You can just add 2x4" where you want the high pitch. If it rain a lot, it would be best to add the roof to reduce muddy and smell. The clear plastic roof also available if you want more light.
     
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  3. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I have a tarp over mine...Does not cover the entire run...I have no problems with rain or snow...My run is built under spruce trees...The stacking of 2x4s is a great idea though....

    Cheers!
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Pitch is important for rain...and how will you handle snow load?
    Even if you don't roof or tarp, the HC will hold snow and accumulate.
     
  5. urbanchick1950

    urbanchick1950 Out Of The Brooder

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    My husband and I purchased a beautiful coop with an attachable run from a couple preparing a move to Colorado next Spring. It has a metal lined pull out tray for cleaning the roost area and three nest boxes. We also purchase two RIR from them. They have layed from the first day and we are besotted! Enough that we wanted them to have a bigger run. So we bought a 10x10x6 dog kennel, erected it under Crape Myrtles and Cherry Laurels for shade.
    Because our back neighbor feeds 11 adult feral cats, and 8 new kittens, we used 4x6 tarps to cover the bottom 4 feet of the kennel so the cats can't jump at the chickens. My husband decided we needed to cover the top so we tarped it and had the foresight to erect a center pvc pole in a 7 ft length to tent the roof and allow rain to run off...except it poured rain this morning and at least 100 gallons pooled
    In two places. We managed to lift the pooled water up til it drained and went to HD and got 4 more poles, with rounded caps and lifted more of the tarp to try and prevent any more pooling but we know this is temporary at best.
    The hens go in their open coop at dusk and sleep til morning.
    Should we close them in?
    I used a small rake and clean up poo daily and add to our compost pile. Every 3 to 4 days I clean out their shavings and freshen the nests etc.
    They are given laying pellets and scratch. Bagged broccoli slaw and sakad mixes, veggie and fruit.
    They seem fine except now the largest has lost feathers on her bottom though I feel pinpricks of new feathers.
    I dusted the hens, their bedding materials and the ground of the enclosure with D.E. yesterday.
    I am new to chickens and appreciate any advice.
     
  6. urbanchick1950

    urbanchick1950 Out Of The Brooder

    There isn't room in our coop for the good or water containers...the previous owner gave us a bucket with food tray to hanG although the birds were used to eating from a large pvc pipe with an elbow on the end. They do fine with the bucket except for lifting their feet and tipping it to pour out food everywhere. We bought a feeder that is a large tube that ends with an opening that is "ROOFED" and thry won't stick their heads in it to eat.
    We were told "just go out twice a day and scatter feed", but someone else said they need constant access to food so we arent sure whats right. We want to be good caretakers of our little flock. We were told our coop will hold 4 birds comfortably but we don't want to get two more of their flock mates til we get their living pen complete.
    Do we need to protect them from rain? Would shade cloth be enough of a roof overy their enclosure. We are in a city neighborhood in Ft Worth Texas so no wild predators (except feral cats) and milder winters than most.
     
  7. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    They will try to scratch feed out of a hanging bucket, so raise it up a little higher. If it is about shoulder level for them, they won't be able to scratch it out with their feet. They will still scoop it out with their beaks, but not as much.
    The coop looks too small for 4 chickens, at least in the picture. What are the measurements?
    I'd cover at least the half of the enclosure over the coop for summer shade. I don't know if shade cloth would keep the rain out or not.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. JackHammer

    JackHammer Just Hatched

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    In the end I wound up stacking three two by fours to gain a little bit of pitch. If I ever build another run it will have proper pitch from the start. It would have been easy to do as I built it but I was thinking it was just a run and didn't think about the need to cover it later on. After staring at the run for half an hour thinking about all the work required to take it apart and do it right I went the easier route with the 2x4's. On the bright side installing metal roofing was very easy and inexpensive. $11.00 a sheet from HomeDepot. It is raining today and the water is running off the proper side but this winter I will need to use a snow rake to keep the load down.
     
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    After many years I had the run rebuilt last summer, and love the solid pitched roof!!! It was $$$ but worth every dime. No more snow and wet, and over double the space for the birds in winter, no matter what the weather. Make sure that you do have enough support for the snow load, as most of us wouldn't go out in a blizzard, or at 3am, to rake off the roof! Mary
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Am mostly retired so keep mine cleared off throughout the day......
    ......but yeah, it's the overnight storms that get me, have taken to propping up the mesh run roof with a few 2x2x8's in weaker spots for added support.
     

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