Does A Chicken Run Need A Roof

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You already know that a chicken run is highly essential for your chickens as it gives them the feeling of being outdoor without roaming around. Asides from the outdoor feeling it provides, it also gives chickens their desired freedom to stretch their legs and have a cloud of dust bathe easily. Having known this, does a chicken run need a roof?

A chicken run needs a roof. A run without a roof exposes chickens to all manners of attack from predators. Chickens would also be exposed to the rain and cold without an adequate cover. If the run doesn’t have a cover and a protective mesh, they could also potentially fly out and escape.

A good chicken run with sturdy mesh walls and strong roof is also necessary to protect the chicken from predators. It is one of the ways of providing the best environment for your chickens.

Does A Chicken Run Need A Roof

As a poultry farmer, when building a chicken run (Amazon link), one of the things to consider is a good structure for your run. Then, you should decide on the type of run that will work out best for your chickens.

Although some believe that a roof is not vital for a run, there are several advantages of having a roof over the chicken run. To be on the safer side, it’s highly recommended to build a roof over the chicken run to protect against predators such as hawks.

Not having a roof over your run will give you problems, especially when it rains. A muddy ground in the run is not good for your chickens as it becomes sloppy and restricts the chicken’s movement. A roof over the run helps keep out precipitation, especially during the rainy season.

Advantages for a Roof on Coop

  • Security from predators
  • Protection from rain
  • Helps avoid a muddy run
  • Adds a little warmth
  • Stops chickens escaping
  • Offers some shade to chickens
  • Stops food getting wet and moldy

Disadvantages to Roof on Coop

  • More expensive
  • Less sunlight

How High Does A Roof Need To Be In A Chicken Run

The roof should be high enough to allow circulated ventilation and ease cleaning, therefore high enough for you to enter and for the chickens to stretch their wings. 6ft or higher is a good consideration. Also, consider a lean-to roof as it will last longer and give better drainage.

If you have decided to make a roof over your chicken run, it’s best to make it high enough for you to enter and clean the run. It also needs to be high enough for the chickens to fly when needed, although they are not the best at flying they will need space.

There is no one rule on the height needed for your chicken run roof, but, I would say the higher the better, a good 6ft or higher will be needed. The roof can be shorter and still be perfectly fine. The number of chickens and floor space will also play a part in the decision.

outdoor chicken run

Roof Styles and Roof Materials For a Chicken Run

There are a number of roof styles and materials you can use – but I would recommend a solid roof, such as polycarbonate sheeting or corrugated metal with a 15-degree slope (approx).

Another roofing style is the simple flat roof, but there are some drawbacks to this, such as less room for the chickens.

Flat roofs won’t give the best drainage for rain and excess buildup of snow will create stress on the structure.

If made correctly, a flat roof will work well, but personally, I think a lean-to style is better suited.

Whichever roofing style you go with, just remember to make sure there is enough height for your chickens and you

There are a few options when it comes to the roof material. You can simply just have a chicken wire roof, as explained in the next chapter, or construct a more waterproof roof.

I personally think a solid waterproof roof is best, for the many advantages which i highlighted above.

Check out some of these roofs below that would be perfect for the roof of a chicken run

These Galvanised Steel Roof Panels (Amazon link) would be a great way to waterproof your chicken run and offer great shade.

These panels are 50.8″L x 17.7″W and you get 12 of them.

These polycarbonate corrugated roofing panels (Amazon link) have UV protection and are perfect for sheltering your chickens. You could even get creative by making a sliding roof.

These panels are 72.0″L x 26.0″W and you get 10 of them.

This Peel & Seal Self Stick Roofing Roll (Amazon link) is great for making your chicken run roof waterproof. Able to stick to wood or metal for great waterproofing ability.

This roll is 33ft L x 36inches W. Its just one roll

How To Make Chicken Wire Roof For Run

Chicken wire is a galvanized metal wire mesh that is not affected by any kind of weather. This makes it a good option for your run.

Chicken wires come in varying holes (mesh size) and thickness(gauge). The size you choose depends on the predators you’re trying to keep out. For example, if you’re trying to prevent rats from entering the chicken run, you need a wire mesh of approximately 5mm.

Making your chicken wire roof is not as hard as you think. Of course, one person can pull it, but it makes it a lot easier if you have a helping hand.

You would need the following materials.

  • Wire cutters
  • Stapler
  • Measuring tape
  • Couple of bricks

Straighten out the wire if you have a large working space. Alternatively, unroll the wire to about 2 inches beyond your desired length, and hold down the loose end with bricks to stabilize the loose end. Then, cut out the desired length with your wire cutters.

After cutting, fold in an inch of both edges; this will help you avoid sharp edges.

Ensure the wire is straight, and fix it to the top of the run with a stapler.

Alternatives To Chicken Wire

Although chicken wire works well, it has the disadvantage of not preventing certain predators from coming in.

A perfect alternative to chicken wire is premium galvanized hardware cloth. It offers better protection for your chickens with its half an-inch netting. It is also strong, durable, and has a galvanized finish that prevents rust.

You can get them here, 36in x 50ft 1/2in 19 gauge hardware cloth (Amazon link)


In this article we looked at does a chicken run need a roof, as well as some closely related topics on the subjects. we established that a chicken run needs a roof, you can decide on the best roof for your run by considering the predators you’re avoiding. While chicken wire does not work for some types of predators, such as rodents and even little rats, there are other alternatives you could use to ensure maximum security for your chickens.

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