Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pallet Chicken Coop

The pallet chicken coop is 95% done. I worked on it for most of the day yesterday and all that is left is to get the hinges on the wood flaps so that in the winter-time, I can close them for warmer digs. I have the hinges, but I currently can't find them at the moment. I just know if I give in and buy some more, they're going to show up and I hate that! So for now, I'm still looking.
Would you like a tour?

The main entrance. This chicken coop was designed entirely in my head, nothing written down, once I knew I wanted to make it from pallets. It is 2 pallets long and 1 pallet wide. The only material we had to buy was more nails and 3 8x4 pieces of plywood for the roof; leftovers went for the outside walls. Pallets, cinder blocks, roofing materials and chipboard all came from scavenging construction sites.

The door came from my Mom's home, when the contractor used it to make a temporary door when the firemen ripped out her front door. We asked them if they were going to keep it and they let us have it when they installed the new front door. They left the hinges on, too! All I had to do was cut it down to size. We also got all the wood they used to cover the broken windows.

Right-side view. Recycled some old cast-iron plant hangers that old owners left behind to hold watering can and feeder.

Left-side view. "Windows" are covered with chicken wire and in the winter, flaps will fold up to cover the windows. Small trees were sacrificed for roosting bars.

Rear wall with 9 nesting boxes. I have more nest boxes than hens, but eventually, I hope to have a larger flock of chickens. The floor is covered with pine shavings and it does not smell in there at all.
All told, we spent less than $50 for materials to build the chicken coop. This was more my project than it was my husband's, so I did the majority of the work. He helped me cut a few pallets apart, helped me lay down and nail the shingles and he cut down the trees I needed for the roosting bars, too. Thanks, dear! The rest of the work, I did myself. I have my Dad to thank for teaching me how to use power tools, measure twice, cut once, and for letting me be his "assistant" while he worked. Thanks, Dad!

I'll see big trucks go by with pallets stacked on them and I holler at them to drop 'em off at my house. I see pallets in a whole new light now, and I have a few more projects involving pallets up my sleeves.

The chickens seem pretty happy with the coop, they put themselves to bed every night and all I have to do is a head-count before shutting the door for the night. I'm proud of it and it was a fun project to do!


Stephanie D said...

Great job, Jenny! You are so resourceful. I have to laugh when I read Judy Laquidara's blog about the chicken coop her husband has taken almost all summer to build and then read how quickly yours has gone together. Hers might be prettier (it's purple), but I really like how you've recycled materials and figured out different uses for so many items.

I've heard about making compost bins from pallets, but a whole building is a great accomplishment!

Ron said...

Congrats, Jenny! I love it! Yours has some improvements over the one I made, with the idea for closing the vents and the hanging feed/waterers. Very nice. :)

Once you've built something with them, those pallets become mighty useful. Not the easiest material to work with, but you can't beat a $50 chicken coop with character. :)


Karen Mayes said...

I am curious... do you have some way to keep the chickens warm during the winter?

Great job!

DJ Kirkby said...

What an excellent idea. Now even your chickens are benifitting from your creativity!

Carol said...

Blimey!! I am most impressed that you built your own Chicken Coop!! My brain just doesn't work that way...I wouldn't have a clue where to start!!

C x

barefoot gardener said...

Awesome job!

jenny said...

Stephanie-- Thanks! I checked out Judy's blog-- that's one fancy coop! We would like to paint it, make it look a little nicer, but it ain't happening any time soon!

Ron-- I wanted some fresh air to circulate, and I wasn't too sure if it would smell in there or not, and the windows add light, since it has no electricity. I'm pretty pleased with it. Thanks again for the inspiration! :o)

Karen-- I picked chicken breeds that were winter hardy. If it gets too cold, I'll bring out the extension cord and use the heat lamp during the night.

Dj-- They seem to like it! Now I just need to get some hay for the nesting boxes. Shouldn't be too much longer before they start laying eggs soon! :o)

Carol-- I've always been the kind of person that does well with hand-y things:: sewing, cooking, wood-stuff... Not so good at other stuff, so it balances out, I suppose. Did you ever try the sorbet??

Barefoot-- Thanks! :o)

Angie said...

I am looking up ideas for pallet sheds, and came across your blog! your chicken coop is excellent! Had I known about this pallet idea then, I may have tried this myself with our own chicken coop! We did make our own, and used many free/recycled materials, but you wouldn't know it by looking at it. We did buy windows, plywood, shingles, insulation... we have an 8 foot by 12 foot coop. I'm wanting to help my son build a "fort" back in the woods, and want to use pallets to build it.

Erin said...

Wonderful! I am thinking about trying to build a pallet coop soon. I already have 3 coops, but need another 1 or 2 soon...also need a duck house before winter gets here! lol You have been inspirational!

Unknown said...

LOVE it! I especially like the windows, what a great way to ventilate the coop.