Keeping poultry in the UK is increasing in popularity, largely thanks to programmes like Countryfile. Even urbanites with limited outside space can harvest fresh eggs daily, as well as enjoying the feel-good factor that comes with adopting or rescuing former battery hens.
Rather than buying a ready-made hen coop, you can make your own chicken des-res relatively simply. Just bear in mind that your choice of roofing material is crucial to the comfort and productivity of your poultry.
Desirable Roofing Properties
When it comes to choosing roofing for your hen coop, there are a number of important considerations to bear in mind.
The roof must be easy to install. It must be cost-effective, strong, and long-lasting. It should also be attractive to look at, so that you don’t get complaints from your neighbours if you live in an urban area.
Galvanised steel roofing sheets provide all these qualities and more. Galvanised steel is resistant to wind and fire damage and is robust enough to prevent foxes from gaining access and attacking your hens.
Constructing Your Hen Coop Roof
The ideal configuration for your hen coop roof is slightly sloping from front to back, allowing rainwater to drain away from the area where your hens will be feeding and scratching and, thus, preventing the ground from becoming too muddy. Choose coloured metal roofing sheets that blends with the environment, perhaps green or terracotta. To dissuade the hens from roosting on top the roof, you can either make the slope steeper so that they slide off or provide suitable roosting perches in their run.
There’s no need to put plywood or insulation underneath the roof. You want the hen coop to be well-ventilated with plenty of airflow to keep humidity levels down, prevent the spread of disease, and discourage mildew and mould. This design also prevents condensation forming and the hens’ body heat will provide plenty of warmth for the occupants during the winter months (if it’s particularly chilly, you may want to add a heat-producing bulb, for example, for the well-being of your hens).
Use galvanised steel screws to firmly attach the metal roofing sheets to the frame of the hen coop, rather than nails. These won’t rust and are less likely to damage the wooden frame in the event of very windy conditions when a strain may be placed on the roof itself.
Galvanised steel roofing is the perfect choice for your new hen coop. For more information on prices and the range of colours available, why not contact the helpful team at Bushbury Cladding?