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Translucent white polycarbonate vs. corrugated metal roofing

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hens4jen, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. hens4jen

    hens4jen Hatching

    Jan 7, 2015
    I've started construction on my tractor coop, based on the plans for the Garden Ark. I live in Utah, where it's sunny most of the time, can get hot in the summer, and cold and snowy in the winter.

    My coop will have a little bit, but not full, shade. I like the look and natural light aspect of the white polycarbonate roofing (I've already decided I don't want clear, like the plans suggest), but I wonder if a solid corrugated metal roof would be better. It would provide more shade, but it would also get hotter. There is quite a bit of ventilation through the "ceiling" and the roofing material is suspended above.

    Does anyone have experience with both materials, preferably in a hot, sunny, climate? Do the white panels still raise the temperature too much (like a greenhouse) in sunny conditions? Or does the heat radiating off the metal raise the temp just as much?
  2. hennible

    hennible Crowing

    No experience with the clear or white poly carbonate material but I think that with that little space for your birds I would go with the metal, I wouldn't want any extra light coming in the top... You will be Getting lots of light at all times of day through the sides... I would aim to provide shade as overheating is a pretty big cause of chickens dying... Also they will probably only be in their coop part to lay eggs and sleep so it's nice that it's a dark space... Also I'm willing to bet tin will outlive any plastic product but just guessing... that's just my thoughts without any real experience. Oh and build it bigger... Lol... Because you're going to end up wanting more chickens I bet :D
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015
  3. hens4jen

    hens4jen Hatching

    Jan 7, 2015
    Thanks for the reply. Yes, a larger coop would be great, but for now, I want something small and portable. I anticipate moving within the next couple of years, so I would like something I can take with me. It also needs to be narrow enough to fit through the 55" gate that accesses the backyard. I did extend the run a bit. I'm leaning toward the metal, for the reasons you stated. I appreciate your input :)
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Metal can radiate alot of heat, and it's heavy.
    I would look for an opaque (no light transmission) plastic corrugated.
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    If I were building that coop, being that it's so small, I would use neither metal nor plastic. Too much heat in the coop with either one. Chickens handle cold just fine but not heat. I would make it out of plywood and put asphalt shingles on it. And is there hardware cloth over the top of the coop? I hope it's not just all open between the coop and the roof to let predators in.

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