We got chickens! Chickens are not an unusual sight here in Western PA, however this is our first time having them, so it's all a little new to us.
As soon as we knew we were getting them, I headed to Pinterest and started pinning chicken coop ideas. There are TONS! It can be a little overwhelming as a first timer and not knowing what's actually important, and what looks nice in your yard too.
The other problem when you start searching on Pinterest, is that most Chicken Coop Plans are not free - if you've been here a while, you know my motto is "done is better than perfect", and I'm one that just has to start building and figure it out as I go. So the plans weren't really what I wanted.
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I did see someone had started with a pallet base, and I thought - brilliant! Pallets=free wood! So consider this inspiration for making a DIY chicken coop from pallets.
Here's what I did:
I knew I wanted this up off the ground, so I needed to cut some "legs". Cut 2x4s 18" long, and screw two pieces together to make a square post. Do this 4 times, attach these "legs" to the base of a full pallet. Add another full pallet to the back of the coop, and screw it to the base. I then found a scrap piece of wood and laid it on the floor for a solid bottom for the coop.
Cut a couple of pallets down (these were roughly in half) to make the sides and screw them to the back pallet and the base. Then attach the sides with a 1x4 cut to size across the top.
I used my circular saw to cut the pallets to the size I needed them. A reciprocal saw would work even better if you have one.
Cut plywood to size and attach to all sides. Also, cut the pitch of your roof into your front and back pieces. Screw these to the pallets. My favorite screw to use any time I'm building are these.
This plywood is cheap! Only about $12-13 for a 4x8 sheet!
Using a reciprocating saw, cut your windows and doors through both the plywood and the pallet slats.
Cut a 1x4 the length of the coop and screw it to the top of the roof. This will give your roofing material something to sit on.
Cut some scrap wood for the "nesting boxes" and attach to the pallets where desired. I made a little window cut out there so we can open that window and grab the eggs once they start laying.
Here's a top view looking into the coop. It's easier to get all your pieces added where you want them before adding the roof!
Trim and paint! This step takes it from looking like a run down shack to something you are proud to say you built. I just used 1x4's and trimmed out all the windows, doors, and sides. I installed 1/4" hardware cloth on the window so it gives ventilation but is still protected.
I painted this chicken coop with Behr Barn and Fence Paint. I was surprised it only took one coat, and covered all the printing on the plywood.
Attach the hardware. I chose black gate hardware from the hardware store (like this), just for some contrast.
Attach the roof. I really wanted a tin roof, however I was very unsure I could cut that stuff without also cutting my fingers, so I opted for the plastic version. It was very easy to cut to size with my circular saw, and easy to screw right to my wood braces underneath.
Of course, I couldn't resist adding a "Farm Fresh Eggs" sign from Eleven Eleven Gifts. I think it's just the perfect finishing touch to this DIY pallet chicken coop!
Here's a video tour for you!!
The chicks are loving their new home, and I'm pretty happy with how this turned out! Now to build the fence around it...