Plywood covered in a weatherproof material, such as metal, plastic, or shingles, is the best option for chicken coop roofing as it offers protection both from predators and the elements. Shingles are the most durable weatherproof material, but are more expensive than metal and plastic, and harder to install.
The best way to waterproof a chicken coop is to use a waterproof sealant of some kind. This can be either in the form of a waterproof paint, like the paint that you used on the outside of your chicken coop, or a wood sealant like you might use on the wood of a deck.
The insulation will also help to keep the coop at optimum humidity levels. When the chickens are kept at the optimum humidity levels they produce more eggs. Insulating the walls will also help to keep the chickens dry. In colder climates when your chickens are dry they can withstand the cold well.
Do You Need a Roof on Your Chicken Run? Yes, a chicken run needs a roof to keep your hens inside, and protect them from predators, and the elements. Chickens need an outdoor space to move around in, but it's vital to enclose this for their safety.
Concrete is the ideal surface for a permanent chicken coop. It provides a heavy, solid barrier that prevents predators from digging their way into the coop. Concrete is also easy to clean with a hose and water.
In short, no, you don't need grass in a chicken run area and if you do place a run onto grass it will quickly get destroyed through constant scratching, leaving behind bare soil or dirt.
Not all chicken coops need floors, particularly those that use the deep litter method, have soil that drains well, and are well-designed to keep out predators. However, many coops without floors allow easy access for rodents and burrowing predators, are difficult to clean, and add too much moisture to the coop.
Be sure the coop has adequate ventilation to allow the excess water vapors in the air to escape. Usually this is accomplished by placing shed vents into the eaves of the coop. As always, the coop should be draft-free. Check to be sure the chicken coop is not leaking.
(Remember, the coop is 4 ft by 8 ft—this is where the 8 comes from). Step 4: Add on the length of the overhang. Let's say you want your roof to overhang your coop on each side by 8 inches as illustrated below. Add 1.33 ft (16 inches) to both the length and the width of the roof.
Unless you're brooding chicks, you don't need to keep a coop toasty warm, but I do suggest keeping your coop around 40° F. So if you want your birds to produce through the winter (in cold climates specifically), keep your coop's temperature within your chicken's comfort zone for best results and happy hens.
How It Works. The straw traps air and insulates and the cardboard keeps it in place. This method of insulating works really well if you have exposed beams with a bit of a gap before the outer wall. Cardboard also has insulating qualities, if it is the corrugated stuff.
Ensure that you use an exterior paint or stain because these hold up against the weather conditions and will give your chicken coop extra protection that interior paints can't.
It is generally less expensive than other soft or hardwoods. However, the chemicals used to treat the lumber can be toxic for your chickens. Chickens tend to peck at the walls and frame of their coop. Any chemicals in the lumber can get onto their beaks and may make your chickens ill.
And for those cold climate areas, your chickens may develop frostbite due to the excess moisture. Fortunately, there is hope: As a preventive measure, it's recommended to apply a water sealant such as Thompson's water seal clear multi-surface waterproofer, which you can find at Lowe's for $54.50.
Ideal for 12-15 Chickens.
A great addition to your coop is the Eva-Dry E-500. This wireless, portable dehumidifier will keep the chickens (and their owners) happy all season long. You can find this, and other dehumidifiers, at www.eva-dry.com/dehumidifiers.
A chicken coop needs about 3-4 square feet of ventilation (including the pop door) in cold weather, and as much additional ventilation as possible in hot weather, typically in the form of windows, vents, and doors that can be opened when needed.
What To Put On The Floor Of A Chicken Coop? You can put wood shavings, wood pellets, straw, shredded newspaper, and even sand on the floor of a chicken coop. Whatever chicken bedding your choose, remember that it's vital for comfort, added insulation, and odor control.
Medium- to coarse-grained sand is the best chicken coop bedding as it's non-toxic, dries quickly, stays clean, is low in pathogens, and has low levels of dust. Sand is a much safer choice than all other bedding materials.
Chicken manure makes an excellent fertilizer for your garden, but it needs to be composted first. Composting destroys any potential pathogens that may be in the manure. Also fresh chicken manure is so “hot” (high in nitrogen) that it can actually kill the plants in your garden.
Chickens love scratching up dirt, dust bathing in it, and gobbling up grass, weed seeds, and insects, worms, and other invertebrates they find while scratching. When confined to a small outdoor run even a few chickens will soon devour every bit of grass and convert it to bare dirt.