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How to build a thatch roof for chicken coop from giant canes? Answered

I have an unlimited supply of massively invasive canes (Arundo donax) growing on my property, and my chicken coop needs a roof.  Anyone have ideas on turning canes in their natural state into roofing material?  

I will start just experimenting with weaving together lengths of cane, but some experienced advice would be very welcome.

EDIT: Traditional thatching appears to involve attaching bundles to each other by essentially sewing them with wire or flexible blanches.  I'm thinking this is a specialized craft precisely because the techniques are not entirely improvisable.

weather proof materials (aside from canes, fixtures that will not rust/mold/decay)
technique of attaching bundles to rafters?
peak of the roof?


If you use the Ardundo donax like palm fronds are used throughout the world, you should be able to get a fairly water tight roof for your chicken coop. By no means do I know the fine art in building a thatch roof, but I've found you some images that show the process I have seen.

You'll want to use the stems of mature canes for the frame of the roof. Then attach the largest leaves to a length of stem, until you have enough to cover the frame in an overlapping fashion from the bottom up. The idea is the leaves will carry the water from the top, off the roof, and if the application of leaves is thick enough, it should be fairly dry inside.

(Right click on the image and open it in another window to view a larger size).


How thick are the canes?

They vary, the biggest ones are about an inch wide and 9ft and up tall, but I was thinking of using the smaller immature ones, abt 5mm, trimmed to usable length.

Seems to be a bamboo I would suggest tying bundles together with a none rotting string (nylon) Then tie bundles together to make roof.

Thatching traditionally is done with thinner reed or straw and relies on the thickness of the thatch to guide water down the straw to the bottom end.

Try making bunches/bundles tied at one end and layer them from the bottom to the top of the roof. Pretty simple really.