There are so many different roofing options for chicken coops and it can be difficult to choose the right option for the best roofing for a chicken coop.
From weather protection to keeping predators such as foxes at bay, the roofing material you choose for your chicken coop will play a vital role in keeping your hens safe and happy.
We have spent hours comparing the best roofing for a chicken coop so read on to find out what material is going to be most suitable for your chicken coop.
If you are looking for a pre-made chicken coop with different roofing options check out the range of affordable and stylish options here.
What this article covers
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Does a Chicken Coop Even Need a Roof?
Yes, a chicken coop needs a roof to keep the chickens protected from predators and the weather.
A roof over your chicken coop will also prevent escapees. Some chickens such as bantams can fly very well and have been known to fly several feet high and escape over fences.
Considerations for Choosing a Roofing Material
Roofing material should be appropriate for the climate it exists in. If you live in a hot climate then your chicken coop roof should be compatible with the summer sun and heat. If you live in a colder climate or one that receives snowfall, your chicken coop roof needs to be able to support snow on the roof and keep the damp out.
Best roofing materials for HOT climates are:
- Standard asphalt shingles (light colored)
- Corrugated asphalt
Best roofing materials for COLD climates are:
- Slate shingles
- Asphalt shingles
What Qualities Make the Best Chicken Coop Roof?
A decent, secure and protective chicken coop roof should have the following qualities:
- Strength – material must be able to withstand extreme weather conditions.
- Reliability – material must be able to perform as per specifications and as expected.
- Durability – material needs to be able to hold up against not only weather but scratches, knocks and bumps.
- Weather Protection – must be able to provide protection in all seasons of weather.
- Sloped – drains the water and snow off the roof.
- Long life – you don’t want to have to be replacing roofing every other year.
Material Options for a Chicken Coop Roof
There are many options to choose from when considering materials for a chicken coop roof. We have researched a large range of roofing options and collated the best materials below for your consideration.
Wooden roofing has not been included due to its susceptibility to becoming rotten and moldy in wet weather. Wood is also porous and leaks easily, so it has not been considered as a suitable material in our review here.
Metal Roofing Sheets
Metal roofing is a very popular roof sheeting choice. It is made from tough galvanized steel, and therefore offers fantastic strength, durability and weather resistance. This makes metal roof sheeting ideal for a chicken coop. Metal sheets can suffer from some condensation, particularly in winter time. These days there are different colors to chose from as well so this is handy for those that have a particular color in mind for their chicken coop. Keeping this in mind its best to utilize a breathable membrane or plywood base underneath the metal sheeting when installing.
✔ Easy to install
✔ Provides a rustic look
✔ Requires little to no maintenance
✔ Long lifespan
|❌ Noisy during rainfall or hail
❌ Offers no insulation in cold climates
❌ Vulnerable to being blown off in heavy winds
❌ Requires a saw or heavy cutter to cut to size
Bitumen Roofing Sheets
Bitumen roofing sheets are also a very popular choice for chicken coops. They are lightweight, inexpensive and very easy to install. There are many colors available to choose from as well so this is great for those that have a particular color scheme in mind when decorating their chicken coop. Keep in mind that bitumen sheets are not as durable or weatherproof as metal sheets.
✔ Widely available
✔ Easy to install
|❌ Low durability
❌ Some maintenance
❌ May not be waterproof
Plastic Roofing Sheets
Plastic roofing is a very cost-effective roofing choice. It’s easy to install and has a warming effect on the chicken coop, so this can be an advantage in a cooler climate. The downside is plastic sheeting is not as durable as other roofing materials and is prone to cracking in extreme weather elements like hot sun and strong wind.
|✔ Easy to install
✔ Clear plastic will allow the sun through providing a greenhouse effect
|❌ Noisy during rainfall or hail
❌ Offers no insulation against heat or cold
❌ Extremely vulnerable to high winds
❌ Susceptible to cracking, fading and rotting from weather elements
Felt shingles have a large range of styles, shapes and colors available. They can be beautifully aesthetic and are also lightweight and simple to install, making them perfect for DIY. They are generally inexpensive and suitable for hot or cold climates. They are not as durable as roofing materials like metal so will require maintenance and replacement sooner.
|✔ Comes in a range of colors, patterns and shapes
✔ Easy to install
✔ Suitable for hot and cold climates
|❌Felt shingles require repair or replacement sooner than other types of shingles
❌ Not as durable as other roofing materials
Self-adhesive felt roofing is a low-cost and easy to install option for chicken coops with a flat roof. Felt roof installation simply consists of rolling the felt onto the roof and then left to give time to adhere. A felt roof is cheap and easy to maintain and repair. Felt roofing is not as durable as other roofing materials and will require more maintenance and care.
✔ Easy to install
|❌ Requires more maintenance than other materials
❌ Not as durable and has a shorter lifespan
Green Roof (Living Roof)
Green roofs (also known as living roofs) are becoming increasingly popular for their environmental benefits. They have unique natural aesthetics and will help to keep the chicken coop warm due to the insulating properties a living roof provides. A living roof will also improve the internal air quality inside your chicken coop as harmful substances are drawn out by the plant matter. Living roofs have a higher initial outlay and require some specialized knowledge for installation so ensure this is factored into your budget and timing when planning a living roof for your chicken coop.
✔ Improves air quality and temperature inside chicken coop
✔ Eco-friendly and can bring in pollinators depending on chosen plants
|❌ Needs specialized knowledge for instalment
❌ More materials required makes it a more expensive option
❌ Needs more maintenance than other roofing materials
❌ If chickens are allowed to access the roof they can easily make a mess of it
Best Roofing for Chicken Coop – Our Pick
The overall best material for a strong, reliable, weatherproof and durable chicken coop is metal roof sheeting.
Metal sheets drain well and are very unlikely to be damaged in a storm. The sheets are lightweight but still very strong and durable. They have very little maintenance and a long lifespan.
Even in a hot climate we would still likely choose this material and also provide a source of shade over the coop to help keep the metal roofing cooler. These roofing sheets are a great choice for chicken coops and are our pick for the best roofing material for a chicken coop.
Check out the large quality range of metal roofed coops here.
Cheapest Material for a Chicken Coop Roof
If you’re looking for a cheap roofing material for your chicken coop, then self adhesive felt is a great option. This roofing felt material is designed especially for lightweight garden buildings such as chicken coops. With super easy installation of just rolling out and sticking to the roof, you couldn’t ask for a quicker, easier or cheaper option for your chicken coop roof.
Roofing Designs for a Chicken Coop
When considering a design for your roofing type, you need to keep in mind that the more surface you must cover, the more expensive your outlay will be. Multi-angled surfaces will require more weatherproofing to close in any gaps in the roofing. Below are the most common types of roofs used in chicken coop roofing designs.
- Roof has one surface.
- Flat roofs are not ideal for any chicken coop because of drainage issues which may cause your roof to fail or leak.
- If a flat roof is utilized, pick a material which is most durable for potential pooling of rain or snow. Plastic, metal or a green roof could work.
- Flat roofs can reduce available space inside the coop.
- Two surfaces
- Most chicken coops have pitched roofs. This type of roof is the most versatile in terms of materials that may be used. Plastic, metal, shingles or a green roof are suitable materials.
- Pitched roofs are suitable for all climates.
- These roofs give more space inside the coop in comparison to flat roofs.
- 1-2 surfaces.
- A simple design and just a roof surface which is slanted to one side.
- Most materials are suitable for this roof type. Plastic, metal, green roof or shingles work.
- Lean-to roofs are simple to construct and look good.
- Four surfaces.
- Gambrel roofs are commonly found in outdoor garden sheds or barns.
- Most materials are suitable for gambrel roofs. Plastic, metal or shingles are suitable.
- Gambrel roofing is interesting to look at but there are more materials and work required in construction.
- Two surfaces.
- Another roofing type often seen on chicken coops is the saltbox design. It’s a combination of basically two lean-tos (one short, one long).
- The roofing has steep slopes so is great for drainage but will also impact on the space available inside the coop.
- Plastic, metal, green roof or shingle materials work well with this design.
Best Roof Type and Pitch for a Chicken Coop
We like pitched roofs the best for chicken coops due to their simple construction, great drainage and versatility with materials that can be used.
We would recommend a roof pitch at a minimum of 4:12 (18.5°) for a chicken coop. Flat roof chicken coops do not provide as much space inside as pitched coops so to maximized internal space a pitch roof coop is the way to go.
A pitched roof on your coop drains off water and snow well. Allowing water or snow to accumulate on a roof (as in the case of a flat roof option) can encourage roof damage and result in roof leaks.
Check out the huge range of quality coop designs here.
Chicken Care Shopping List
Are you looking for a shopping list of everything you need when caring for your precious flock? We have put together an easy reference of items for your convenience.