What type of roofing is best for a chicken coop?

Although many backyard chicken coops use corrugated metal, corrugated asphalt, or shingles over plywood, a great alternative of roofing for a chicken coop is corrugated polycarbonate roof panels. To understand why, let’s take a look at each of the commonly used materials.

Corrugated Metal

Corrugated metal is a popular choice for chicken coops. The sheets attach over a plywood underlayment or directly onto purlins. While metal panels do have a charming look, they unfortunately radiate heat, amplify sounds of rain or hail, completely block sunlight, and have dangerously sharp edges. 


Asphalt Roll or Shingles over Plywood

If you already have scraps of asphalt roll or shingles available, this can be a great way to repurpose those materials. The finished chicken coop can look really nice with a shingle roof, especially if the roof matches the one on your house. However, this type of roof is time consuming and expensive to build. 


PVC or Fiberglass

Shoppers commonly mistake PVC or fiberglass panels for polycarbonate roof panels. Although PVC and fiberglass panels may look a lot like corrugated polycarbonate panels, they are not the same thing. PVC and fiberglass panels can quickly become brittle and they deteriorate when exposed to sunlight. Also, these materials are not capable of withstanding impact. 


Asphalt Panels

Many chicken coop builders use the ONDURA Premium Series for the roof of their structure. The asphalt panels make great chicken coop roofs! This type of roof offers many of the same benefits of the polycarbonate panels, like the ease of installation and durability, but there is no transparent option.


Polycarbonate Roofing

Polycarbonate roof panels are an excellent choice for a chicken coop roof because they are available in various lengths, widths, tints, and degrees of opacity and transparency. They block nearly 100% of UV rays, and they can last for decades. Additionally, the material is easy to handle and install. 


Installation Notes

In order to get the best results from the roofing material you choose, it is paramount that you read and follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. The specific manufacturer’s instructions will cover special cases like areas with high-winds, very rainy or snowy conditions, and vertical installation. Pay close attention to these guidelines and follow them directly to ensure that you experience all of the available benefits. 


What are the benefits of polycarbonate roofing for chicken coops?

Multiple Variations are Available

With the multiple variations, polycarbonate roofing is a high-quality material that can fulfill several different chicken coop design requirements. The clear panels can be used on the outside walls and opaque panels can be used on the inside. 


Easy Handling and Installation

The polycarbonate roofing panels are lightweight, resistant to folding, and easy to cut and install with standard tools. This means that building a chicken coop is a very DIY friendly project! 



Polycarbonate roofing panels are incredibly strong and long lasting. The polycarbonate panels can resist hail and heavy winds. The material will not rust, corrode, fade, discolor, or deteriorate in the sun. This means your chicken coop will protect your chickens and withstand the elements for many years.  


With polycarbonate roofing panels, the chicken coop can have tight, solid walls that allow in the natural sunlight that chickens need to thrive. Due to the tight seal, the chicken coop can be ventilated efficiently, and LED lights can be used to provide warmth. Those who have polycarbonate chicken houses report that the hens in those houses each hatch an average of 4 more eggs than the hens in houses built of other materials.


Onduline's Polycarbonate Roofing

For more than 75 years, Onduline has supplied lightweight roofing materials worldwide. The Onduline North America team brings nearly 45 years of local history, beginning in Virginia in 1976 with its corrugated asphalt panels. The TUFTEX® plastics operations were founded in 1988, moving to Fredericksburg in 1995.  Together the products in the ONDULINE®, ONDURA®, and TUFTEX® brands provide material for just about any pitched roofing job you can think of and a variety of other projects.

Onduline is a leading supplier of polycarbonate sheeting. The TUFTEX® Multiwall Polycarbonate sheeting is a dependable, coextruded polycarbonate panel that allows 90% of light to pay through while still blocking UV rays. This material provides excellent thermal insulation, is temperature resistant, virtually unbreakable, and environmentally friendly. The TUFTEX® PolyCarb corrugated panels are 20x stronger than fiberglass, can withstand extreme temperatures, are resistant to hail and wind, will not rust or corrode, and are easy to install with standard tools. Use this store locator to find Onduline products at a convenient location near you. 

For more DIY inspiration and materials, visit the Onduline site today.