Friday, January 25, 2013

Pallet Chicken Coop: Part One

For about a year Jason and I have been talking about getting chickens. With a house full of growing boys, we needed to find some easy ways to cut down on our grocery bill. A garden is on our list of to do's for this spring, and I figured if we were going to be farmers we might as well add a little livestock into the mix too! I did a lot of research online, and I feel in love with the idea of a pallet chicken coop. One because pallets make the cutest stuff....and two because pallets are free which means our project would be way cheaper than if we bought all new supplies at the hardware store.
We started our adventure with a trip to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Our original intention in going to the ReStore was to look for electrical fixtures and old kitchen cabinet doors. I had seen a suggestion online to use glass front cabinet doors as window for the coop, and I figured the ReStore was the best place to look for something like that. We ended up with a couple of glass front kitchen cabinet doors and a truck load of FREE pallets! Jason picked up some extra lumber at the hardware store and then we headed home to start building.
We decided on a layout and measured how big the base for the coop needed to be. Jason started the base with four 4X4 posts for the corners. Then he attached them together with 2X6's to make a rectangle.
 We used some scrap plywood from another project as the floor...and we got a little help from the kiddos!
 After the base was made, Jason dug holes for the four posts to sit in. We picked up the base and sat it down into the holes, and then let the kids fill in the holes with the extra dirt.
 The next step was to build the walls. Our coop ended up being three pallets across. Jason just laid them down and attached the three pallets together with extra wood strips from other pallets.
 We had plenty of pallets, so some of them {the ones with broken slates or missing nails} got used for parts.
The design we decided on was a back wall that was one pallet high and a front wall that was one and a half pallets high. After we had the front wall put together, the top edge of the pallets were trimmed so that they could be stacked.

 After the walls were trimmed, we put the walls into place and attached them to the base with lots and lots of nails. Here is a picture of the back wall in place:
 It turns out that pallet wood is actually really good quality...which means it is HARD! Which means you need a lot of muscle and a little bit of patience to get nails to actually go into the wood! We had quite a few bent nails laying around during this project:)
 And here is a picture with the partial front wall in place:
 Here is a side view of the coop with the base and walls up:
Check back next week for part two...we get the rest of the walls up, add doors and nesting boxes, and I paint the whole thing!

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9 comments:

Nichol said...

I would love to have chickens! We are planning on getting out of the city (soon I hope) and having a small farm, with garden, possibly a pig or two, a few cows and chickens. Can't wait to see the rest looks like it is coming along great!

Paula@SweetPea said...

This is such a fun project. I look forward to seeing your finished coop.

Richella Parham said...

This is SO COOL! I look forward to seeing the finished product. And I'll be really interested in hearing about your adventures with your feathered friends! :)

Foursons said...

I love that this is costing you next to nothing to make. I'm also very jealous of that enormous backyard you have!

Myya said...

What a fun project. Nothing beats free supplies. Yaaay!

Wanda Baarman said...

I love your idea to use pallets! They are usually free and give an artsy look to things you create with them. I raise chickens too. Can't wait to see how it all comes together

Cuevas77 said...

Check with your insurance carrier for a discount. When I was shopping around last year I was offered a "farmers" insurance because I had pig (we raise one each year and butcher, he gets fed any leftovers from the me, my mom and friends houses) and some fruit trees on my property. It was a nice discount!

Lexie Loo, Lily Boo, and Dylan Too! said...

What a fun project!

staci @ lizard n ladybug said...

What a great idea!!
I can't wait to see it all completed.
I bet it will be the best looking coop around :)

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