With a little elbow grease, this Cool Coop is a great example of using recycled material and minimal supplies to come up with a functional coop on a limited budget.
This DIY project takes advantage of discarded wooden pallets. – I’ve featured a “Cool Coop” constructed of pallets before and many readers were concerned on the safety of using treated lumber (as many pallets are) as a housing material for the coop. Our current DIYer, Amy Christensen, not only addresses this issue, but does a great job explaining the construction process that her and her boyfriend used in putting together their coop. Continue reading as Amy shares the evolution of her “Pallet Coop”:
We gathered up pallets from local businesses that used them for storing feed for animals. So we knew they were untreated. Most of the ones around here are painted blue on an edge when they have been treated with chemicals. We then took a hacksaw and broke all most all of the pallets down so we didn’t have stacks lying around the house and we could sort the quality of the boards. One pallet we got had big machinery that was shipped in on it, and it was built using 2x4s. That was a great find. From there we basically built the coop like you would a house.
This is how my boyfriend originally had the siding of the coop (see photo), but I asked that it be put up like siding and overlapped each other so that the rain would slide off rather than go through the little cracks.
I did draw up a basic design on a piece of paper from something I had seen on a YouTube video. From that, we put up the sides. I knew one side would be the “nesting box” side with four boxes. The front of the coop would have the “ladder” for the chickens to leave the coop and the backside would have the big door so that the coop could be easily cleaned out.
We constructed the “floor” of the coop by just adjusting the existing boards to make room for additional boards and seal the gaps in the floor up. On the right is the frame for where the nesting boxes will go.
On the front of the coop, I wanted the little door that would be “popped” open and held with a chain, but I knew we had to have support for the “siding” so that’s where the frame around the door came in.
This is the coop almost finished. I knew that I wanted it high enough off the ground that I wouldn’t have to stoop to clean it out, but not so high that I wouldn’t be able to reach the eggs. This is the backdoor view. Now the gap on the edge has the insulation between it and the hinges to keep out the cold air and we still need to put up a few more decorator pieces on the side. But this shows the base that has the original fork lift holes, so that if we have to move the pallet, we can. Just unscrew the legs and the brackets holding up the legs (2-2x4s nailed together) and put the coop on a flatbed trailer.
This is the nesting box and “front door” side. The nesting box lid has hinges on it, so I can latch it open and reach in for the eggs, while the “front door” can be locked open for the chickens to come out during the day. When we got our chickens in March, it was still below freezing at night, so we had the heat lap ran just under the eave with a chain to hold it up off the floor for the chicks. I did purchase 20 Buff-Orphington Pullets from the local feed store. Some didn’t make it. I now have 11 plus another purchase of 7 straight run chicks. Unfortunately, some of my pullets aren’t pullets…grr. I woke up the other morning to the strangest crowing and I thought my Polish rooster (he was given to me) was being attacked by the male turkey (also given to me). Nope, I have more roosters than I originally wanted. Well any day now I’m expecting to find eggs from my chicks. I hope this has helped.
Amy Christensen, Chris Welch (bf), Sean Christensen, and Candice Christensen (kids)
Thanks Amy and Chris for sharing for DIY steps of your Pallet Coop! I’m sure this will inspire many of our readers to undertake a similar project. Please leave Amy an encouraging comment below and send me
an email if you have a “Cool Coop” you’d like to share with the Community. My email address is RNickols@CommunityChickems.com
Click on the link below for previous entries in the “Cool Coops!” series…