Chicken Run – 6

We are excited that our framing is up.  This Chicken Run is starting to take on a shape and we can all see what it going to look like.  Our next step was to put  a roof on!  First I needed to learn how to cut rafters and place them on our framing.  We researched and found the illustration below.
rafter, chicken coop, chicken run, backyard chickens

We followed the instructions which told us to measure the distance between the sills and then cut a template piece which we could use to make additional rafters.  Cutting the right angles was easier than I thought.  We held up board up on top of the sill and could see the angle and distance.  We marked the template with a pencil then cut along the marks.  Because the roof will be on a slope the angle portion of the mark and cut took care of itself, which was a relief!


rafters on chicken run, chicken coop, backyard chickensWe cut enough rafters so I would have one every 18 inches.  I read that some builders place the rafters at shorter distances apart and some at 2 feet.  Since, this roof was not going to be heavy and supporting under 100 lbs I split the difference and went with the 1.5 feet.  The rafters wanted to slide because of the angle they were set on.  As you can see from that middle rafter, my cuts were not sitting perfectly on the sill.  I would have to secure the rafters to the frame with something that would hold them there firmly.  I also realized how important it is to make sure the framing stays parallel the entire length of the frame when I put the posts in.  We had difficulty doing that because of the tree roots I mentioned in our previous post.


Back to nailing the rafters onto the sill.  I found several different prefabricated pieces designed for this that are called Rafter Ties at Lowes Home Improvement that would hold these rafters in place.  It was a little surprising how many choices there were but I suppose there are many different types of roofs!  They were not expensive ties so I bought a couple different ones and tried them out.  The “U” shaped one I liked for the bottom side that was supporting most of the sliding force the rafter would be facing.  As you can see below we had tried a few types that either were not right for our set up or we just couldn’t figure out how to apply them.  Probably the later option is correct!I picked the one shown below which is twisted at a 90 degree angle so nails can be put into both the sill and the rafter.  Once the rafters were secured we simply started sliding the particle board on top of them and setting them in place so we would have a support for our roof.  This part was exciting as putting a cover over the Chicken Run made it feel nearly finished.  As you can see below I chose commercial composite sheets that come about $11.00 for a 4 x 8 ft piece.  They were large enough to cover my roof area with just about 5 pieces.  They went onto the rafters easily then Garrett (sorry for the bad shot of him here) went to work with the drill.  He screwed the particle board sheets  onto the rafters below.  We chose screws rather than nails in case we had some strong winds in the future that might try to get under this sub roof and pull it up.  Nails would have probably been fine but I ran the scenario through my head of explaining to my neighbor (who are so kind and easy going) why our chicken run roof is laying in their yard after a storm and decided to go with the added security the screws offered. Garrett was more than excited to use the drill so it was a good fit.






The next step was to put a barrier down between the composite sheathing wood and the actual roofing.  As you can see above, Braxton, was my helper here.  As soon as, Garrett, finished screwing a section down, Braxton would roll this roof underlayment on top of it and staple it down.  We used a staple gun but occasionally the staples wouldn’t get all the way into the sheathing or so Braxton said.  I think he just wanted a reason to get the hammer out 🙂  Check back Monday for the roofing portion.  We did not choose shingles but chose a different type of roofing material.



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