DIY Chicken Coop Made with Pallets

Alex Birch

DIY Chicken Coop Made with Pallets

Raising chickens can be a hugely rewarding lifestyle choice that supports sustainability while also providing access to fresh eggs.

If you’re eager to unlock the financial benefits too, learning to keep your costs down without compromising poultry health is vital.

Building a chicken coop made with pallets is the ultimate solution. 

It is estimated that up to 10 million US households have backyard chickens.

This guide on how to build an easy clean chicken coop using pallets is ideal for anyone who is about to start their chicken farming journey or needs more space for new additions. 

I appreciate that it may seem a difficult task, but I promise you that it is more accessible than you think.

Chick out the advice below, and you’ll soon be set to build a chicken coop with pallets with stunning results.

Why Opt For a DIY Chicken Coop?

Before searching “How to make chicken coop with pallets”, you must first motivate yourself. While the global chicken coop market shows a CAGR of 5% and is worth in excess of $500m, a growing number of backyard chicken farmers have turned their attention to DIY structures.

Whether it’s an easy pallet chicken coop or not, you will see benefits. However, most will opt for pallets. Here are just some of the reasons that you will love it;

  • You can tailor the project so that it becomes beginner-friendly,
  • The project allows you to build a coop that suits your flock size,
  • Moving the materials to your backyard is far easier than moving a built structure,
  • It is a chance to reuse old materials for an eco-friendly solution,
  • The design of the chicken coop can reflect your requirements,
  • There is a sense of satisfaction that comes from building a chicken coop.

Above all else, building a chicken coop is far cheaper than buying one. A good quality chicken coop may cost £2,359 plus taxes. Alternatively, it’s not uncommon for a chicken coop aimed at just 6-8 chickens to cost over $1,000. 

While making a purchase is still the best option for some backyard chicken owners, anyone seeking a cost-effective solution can reduce the costs by over half when taking the DIY route.

What About Used Chicken Coops?

Another option would be to buy used chicken coops. While chicken numbers dropped slightly between 2021 and 2022, backyard chicken farming is more popular than ever.

As many expand, used chicken coops become available with a significant discount compared to new versions. Unfortunately, they do bring some problems.

Firstly, there is the logistical issue of relocating the chicken coop. If you have to hire an expert, this will remove any savings that were made from the direct purchase. 

More importantly, there are potential health issues for your chickens if the previous owner’s flock had diseases or if there is mold lurking in the coop.

In short, my advice would be to avoid used chicken coops - even if the price is tempting.

Why Choose a DIY Chicken Coop with Pallets?

Deciding to build a DIY chicken coop is one thing, but the next challenge is to find the right materials.

There is a long list of possible materials to choose from, including; Softwood, 

Hardwood, PVC, Plastic, Mesh, and Tin.

Perhaps the most obvious reason to choose pallets relates to the cost. If you already have wooden pallets left over from a project or purchase, that’s great.

If not, a local store will almost certainly let you take some for free rather than disposing of them themselves.

I’ve also acquired them from people for free on social media marketplaces.

Conversely, plywood could cost $15 per sheet while plastic is $27.50 per sheet. There are plenty of additional benefits to consider too, like;

  • Wooden pallets have a standardized size (48" x 40”), which makes the DIY project far easier than working with non-uniform materials.
  • The wooden materials are eco-friendly.
  • Wooden pallets are ideal for keeping chickens comfortable and are built to withstand adverse weather.
  • The wooden pallets can also provide excellent protection from predators.
  • It is easy to access more pallets if you find that you have misjudged the project or caused damage to a pallet.

While the average cost of building a chicken coop is $650, the high-end structures can cost over $8,800.

However, a DIY chicken coop with pallets can be built for under $100. Better still, a simple job can be completed in as little as three hours.

How To Build a Chicken Coop with Pallets: Before You Start

By now, you may have already decided that an easy DIY chicken coop from pallet materials is the best solution. Before you do, though, I have some simple tips that will make your life a lot easier.

Firstly, wooden pallets may be a standardized size but the slats used may be of different thicknesses.

Measuring the thickness of the slats is hugely important. Aside from giving the chicken coop a better finish, it ensures that the load-bearing capabilities are consistent. 

The good news is that an easy cheap pallet chicken coop can be made without a plethora of tools and equipment.

Still, you will need some additional items for the project. The list will be influenced by the specifications of the project but a general checklist will include;

  • Table saw,
  • Miter saw,
  • Handsaw,
  • Angled bevel,
  • Scrap timber,
  • Roofing felt,
  • Wood nails,
  • Wood screws,
  • Claw hammer, 
  • Screwdriver,
  • Tape measure,
  • Pencil.

You may also wish to consider wood paint due to the visual aspects. It’s also important to consider the different types of chicken coops that you could make as well as your sizing requirements.

As a rule of thumb, one chicken needs about 5 ft2 of space along with 10 ft2 in the chicken run. 

The main types of DIY chick coops are detailed below:

Chicken Coop Style

Features

A-Frame 

A simple coop with 75% dedicated to a run, combined with a basic nest box or two. It takes its name from two pallets slanting up and inwards to create an “A”.

Tractor

The chicken coop or housing sits on top of a run. They are quite small but have wheels on them so that they can be relocated to another part of the yard.

Walk-in coops

They are much larger, allowing access for owners and more space for the chickens. Walk-ins often feature nesting boxes at different heights to provide versatility.

All-in-one 

This type of chicken coop will include a large walk-in along with a large run. They are often characterized by fancy designs, although a DIY wood pallet one can be quite simple.

 

Other Considerations for Your Chicken Coop Made with Pallets

When considering how to build a chicken coop out of pallets for cheap costs, you must ensure that it provides suitable shelter and protection for your chickens.

Ideally, you’ll be eager to build an easy clean chicken coop using pallets too. Some of the key attributes it needs include; 

  • A sturdy roof,
  • Solid walls, 
  • An elevated position,
  • Nesting space and roosting space,
  • A chicken run,
  • Good ventilation,
  • Accessibility for you but not predators.

Once again, the spatial requirements are vital. If DIY building a pallet chicken coop for 20 chickens, you will need at least 80 ft2 (but preferably 100 ft2 to keep with the 5 ft2 rule) depending on the breed.

Keep this in mind before starting your project. 

How To Build a Chicken Coop from Pallets: Inspirational Ideas

Now that you understand the basics of how to build a chicken coop out of pallets, it’s time to look at various chicken coop ideas with pallets.

This guide to dismantling pallets without damaging them should leave you with enough timber for the job at hand. Here are some of the best ways you can use it:

#1. The Temporary Chicken Coop

A temporary chicken coop is an ideal choice when you are still in the process of completing the plans for a permanent structure.

Or it could be a great option when waiting for a professionally built structure to arrive.

To build this structure, you simply need wood pallets and some tarp sheets. Simply erect the standardized pallets to build the walls and roof. Scrap pieces of wood can be used to fill in the gaps if required.

However, the fact that it’s a temporary structure means you don’t have to worry too much about the look. You just need it to be safe and ventilated.

A tarp sheet or two can be added to the top of the roof, which is held in place by spare bits of timber from the pallets.

The front is simply half a pallet, leaving space as an entry point. If worried about predators, block it off at night with a makeshift door.

#2. A Single Door Chicken Coop

As a beginner looking at how to build chicken coop from pallets, you probably want a project that’s relatively easy yet delivers a result that provides a sense of satisfaction.

This is one of the best options to satisfy your DIY plans for building a pallet chicken coop.

Simply line the pallet slats up against the frames to create a basic structure and nail them in.

A slanted cut can be made, covering three slats, to help with the roof. A flat pallet is used for the base too, which can be elevated on top of two other pallets.

A hardboard is used for the floor and a beam is added using a new slat for structural support.

Using a jigsaw to cut chipboard will allow you to create entrance points. Felt and chipboard are used to build the roof while chipboard is again used to fill in the gaps on the side panels.

Adding hinges enables door access to the coop for easy cleaning and egg collecting. 

#3. Full-Size Chicken Coop

The benefits of a large chicken coop are that it offers a spacious area for your poultry while also making it easy for you to access.

So, when trying to build an easy clean chicken coop using pallets, bigger may be better.

In this exact model, you can build a six-foot chicken coop for under $50. Meanwhile, the process is as simple as preparing the slats and essentially creating a structure that is the height of two vertical slats.

The whole structure sits on breezeblocks for elevation while the base uses slats running in the opposite direction to the wood they’re attached to.

The roof is arguably the biggest challenge as you will need to raise it from the main structure.

However, it is still made from the timber and once prepared can be nailed into place while creating a 7” overhang. Internally, nesting boxes can be laid out as you see fit.

#4. Mini Pallet Chicken Coop

A mini pallet chicken coop can be a great option for anyone with just a small flock. The fact it starts with purchasing a cheap frame makes it a beginner-friendly choice too.

Not least because you can visualize what’s happening from the very start.

After adding the slats to the frame to create the mini coop, hinges can be attached to make a nest box door for egg collection and cleaning.

Using a pre-built frame also incorporates a run underneath the coop itself. Fixing a mesh will prevent chickens from getting out or predators from getting in.

You could easily extend the run with extra mesh and pallet slats.

As a simple DIY how to build a pallet chicken coop project that offers good versatility and clear instructions, this is easily one of the best.

And, as shown by the inspirational example, there’s the option to paint the wood for an attractive finish.

#5. A Simple A-Frame Pallet Coop

Wood pallets or fenceboarding can be used to create a simple A-frame chicken coop.

In essence, you will create a triangular prism that creates the ‘A’ shape at the front and rear. Mesh can be used to stop chickens getting out or predators getting in.

If you only have a small flock of backyard chickens, the depth of the A-frame only needs to be two horizontal slats.

A vertical slat runs up from the central area, which will then create an intersection halfway up the ‘A’.

So, when looking at the structure from the side, the frame should look like a big “+” but at a slanted angle as the point of the triangular prism is met.

When painting the frame, a bold color can be met to create a standout appearance. Or you may opt for a color that is contrasted by a white trim.

Either way, the DIY chicken coop will add to the look of the backyard.

#6. Portable Coop

Portable chicken coops offer many benefits for chickens as well as farmers. Notably, it promotes land fertilization while the chickens have a chance to explore different parts of the backyard and forage in previously untouched areas.

When learning how to make a chicken coop out of pallets on wheels, the key is to attach the wheels. You can pick up castor wheels and attach them with ease. Or larger bicycle wheels can be repurposed.

I would suggest adding a handle that will help you take the weight when tilting the coop for movement. An A-frame coop is usually the best choice to be adapted.

For convenience during the moving process, it’s probably best to keep the main part of the coop and section of the run directly below it separated from the main run.

As long as the main run has a door that can be opened to connect it to the rest, you will be fine. 

#7. Converted Shed and Coop Combo

If you want to know how to build pallet chicken coop that looks like an advanced project but is a lot easier than you’d imagine, look no further than the converted shed option.

It is particularly ideal if your shed is already elevated off of the ground.

In this example, the shed uses a laminate floor but you could use pallets and chipboard.

Inside the shed, using pallet slats and mesh to create an enclosed space that still lets in light and ventilation is ideal.

This creates a walk-in shed/coop with plenty of room for adding feedboxes. Moveable slats that hook to the ceiling also make the bedding easier to clean.

The addition of an automatic side door allows for chickens to move into the shed with ease.

When the side entrance/exit steps down into a chicken run, the results are incredible. If you don't have a run, the pallets and mesh can quickly solve this issue.

#8. Basic Open Chicken Coop

The basic open chicken coop in this guide is one I love. While it only works as a coop within a chicken run that is safe from predators, it serves a clear function of giving poultry an elevated place to rest, lay eggs, and get shade.

In fact, you don’t even need to make an elevated slope. You could just plant regular-sized pallets into the ground to create a three-sided solution.

Another option is to add additional pallets along all three lines to build a pallet chicken coop for 20 chickens.

Either way, you could potentially create a spot for your chickens without even removing the slats.

However, you could use additional slats or chipboard as a backing to cut off the gaps and create more shaded area.

Meanwhile, a raised platform base could be achieved easily with another pallet and slanted slats to create a ramp.

#9. Pallet Fence Coop and Run

A coop that leads out into a protected run is always a good option when looking at how to make a chicken coop out of pallets.

This guide will provide ample inspiration if you have several pallets and a lot of backyard space.

The coop could be made from several of the above options (a modification of the single door chicken coop into a double) is ideal.

You can paint the rear (the side on show to the garden) to stand out. The surrounding run is fenced by the use of pallet slats.

Vertical slats up to the height of the coop, coupled with mesh and a slat frame above this level, will serve you well.

It does mean you’ll have to dedicate an area to this function.

But I love this chicken coop and run because it offers security, safety, comfort, accessibility for cleaning or egg collection, visibility, and a way to promote a sectioned-off area. Perfect. 

#10. The Half-Shade / Half-Mesh A-Frame Chicken Coop

If you’re an experienced carpenter, there is no limit to what can be achieved with your chicken coop designs.

If you’re an average homesteader or backyard chicken raiser like me, though, your skills are somewhat limited. This advanced A-frame will hide those restrictions.

The basic concept is no different to a simple A-frame. You will use slats from the pallets to form the A by starting out far apart at the base and working towards a point at the top.

You will then use horizontal slats and vertical slats to create a “+” as shown in idea no.5. This time, however, only one half of the depth will be mesh. Wheels may also be added.

For the other half, you can use vertical slats. This creates a professional look that can also be painted.

The side that is covered by the slats can also incorporate an elevated area and nesting boxes. If searching how to make chicken coop with pallets, this is for intermediates. 

Ongoing Costs Associated with Your Chicken Coop

Knowing how to build a chicken coop on the cheap is one thing, but you also need to factor ongoing costs into your calculations. I’ll make it easy for you with a quick breakdown;

  • Chicken purchase - $5 per chick (although it can be up to $100).
  • Chicken feed - $30 (or $60 for organic) per chicken per year.
  • Nest boxes - $30 (one-off fee) per chicken box.
  • Food dispenser - $23.99 (one-off fee) with water dispenser.
  • Chicken bedding - $15 (monthly).

Ultimately, the costs aren’t that high while the right care will promote increased health and happiness - as well as improved egg quality.

And when combined with the low costs of a chicken coop made with pallets, success is assured.

Conclusion

Chicken coops are not a legal requirement, but ensuring that your poultry has a suitable shelter will deliver significant benefits.

As such, anyone who raises chickens should build one, ideally that features a run.

While there are many options to consider, including buying a pre-manufactured unit or hiring a professional, knowing how to build a pallet chicken coop is the best solution for many.

It is the perfect DIY project that is both affordable and allows you to create something that satisfies your chickens as well as the backyard dimensions. Happier chicken farming awaits.

For the best results, combine your DIY chicken coop with the right chicken feeding accessories by calling Roosty’s today.

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