I bought a panel of 70% Aluminet shade cloth for my chicken run last spring, and I’ve found that it’s remarkable stuff. Shade cloth is designed for gardeners and greenhouses, and is a knitted or woven fabric that blocks a specific percentage of shade. Most shade cloth is black, but Aluminet is made from an aluminized thread. In addition to shading, it also reflects heat.
The temperature inside my chicken run is usually 5-10 degrees cooler than the temperature just outside. And cooling breezes pass right through this stuff like it’s not even there! I’m planning on buying another couple of panels of this stuff to hang on our upper deck where the temperature goes over 100 degrees (in Seattle!). It’s sturdy lightweight stuff. Mine went through a whole summer resting and rubbing against the cage wire of the run with no perceptible damage except a couple of pulled threads.
My only complaint is that it makes my chicken run look like a giant baked potato! Still, I can live with that. I understand that this stuff is popular at Burning Man, which makes a great deal of sense. It’s not cheap, but it’s well worth the extra cost, because it does such a great job keeping things cool.
— Amy Thomson
Aluminet Shade Cloth Panels (prices depend on size)
Available from Amazon