Looking for a chicken coop but have no money? Look no further. In this post we’re gonna show you how to make a chicken coop out of pallets and basically for free! This is a very simple process that you can customize according to your needs.
You really don’t need a lot of skills to make your own coop. This is the simplest way I’ve found to make one yourself. Depending on your level of skill it may take from one day up to three.
This is how we built a simple chicken coop in 6 easy steps.
1. Check measurements and gather materials.
Pallets are usually easy to find. We simply paid a visit to a couple of warehouses and asked if they had any pallets to discard. They were almost disappointed to see us take so few. If you’re gonna do this, make sure to ask first. More and more states have pallet theft laws. You can also find some in smaller stores, pallet recycling business, even Craigslist, if you’re lucky.
For the nesting box we originally used a small metal box I found and later upgraded it to a longer one also made out of pallets. If you want something more professional you can buy something like these ones. They’re cheap and easy to install.
Finally we used a couple of small air grilles I had before along with some other small hardware like nails and screws. Don’t spend a lot of money on them. These ones are pretty cheap and great for your coop.
This coop will house three Buff Orpingtons but if you have a bigger flock you can easily take double the size by using two pallets for the floor and a couple of walls.
2. Disassemble pallets
Now you have to decide which pallets you’ll use and which you’ll disassemble. There are a lot of ways to disassemble pallets, the easiest of them arguably being cutting them through the nails.
We however wanted to rescue the nails to use later so we ended up using the simple hammer method. To do this all you need to do is hit the wood panels from the inside as close to the nails as possible, then leveraging them out with the hammer. It can be destructive but we had a few pallets to spare.
Once the wood was ready we started selecting the ideal pieces to cover the other pallets. This will be easy if you get pallets with open spaces as wide as the wood planks.
Leave the “skeleton” of the pallets intact as you can see on the photo, since we’ll use those later.
3. Build walls and floor
Now that you have both the pallets and the materials you can start hammering the planks away! If you’ve been careful at removing the planks from the pallets you may be able to use the same nails to attach them to their new pallet.
Try to attach them as closely as you can. If the openings of your pallets are too small you can simply attach the wood planks over the openings. One of the advantages of building a chicken coop out of pallets is that you can use the inside of the pallet as a chamber to place insulation if you live in a cold area.
This is where you can start getting creative. You can, for example, add a removable tray by placing a wall above a couple of wood blocks at the sides and place the tray between them.
We decided to simply use a removable wall for an easy cleanup.
Cut the areas of the walls where you’ll attach the nesting boxes and the chicken coop door. You can also attach the door now.
4. Build your coop’s roof
To avoid water gathering on top we went with an inclined roof. To achieve this we traced a line on the side of the walls where we wanted our roof to be. We then used a chainsaw to cut the panels and make room for the roof.
To make it waterproof we originally intended to use some plastic sheets, however we ended up using transparent roofing panels.
5. Put everything together
Now that you have the walls, floor and roof of your chicken coop you can start putting it together! To do it we cut the inside of a couple of panels to fit it inside the third one as you can see above.
Then we nailed them down and covered the corners with some small wood panels. Before attaching the front make sure to install everything you need inside the coop, like a panel on the middle where the chickens can sit.
Next we took the “skeletons” of discarded pallets and used those to attach the walls to the floor. The great thing about this coops is that the floor is already suspended on top of the ground so you don’t have to worry about any predators digging to get to your chickens from below.
Remember to waterproof your coop’s floor. You can use plastic sheets that you can remove for cleaning up. Fortunately we were able to acquire some heavy-duty pallet plastic covers with the pallets!
6. Add chickens!
If making a chicken coop sounds like a hassle, check out our best chicken coops of 2019!