Building a chicken coop is a great way of giving your chickens the home they deserve, but a DIY Pallet chicken coop can get you the same results at an even cheaper price.
When you’re looking to get a new chicken coop, you can either buy one or build one. Many backyard chicken farmers prefer to build their own coop, but the cost of materials can still be significant if you need a large coop or a coop with nice features.
This is where using used pallets can be a brilliant idea. Many businesses don’t have a plan for recycling their used pallets and these can end up being discarded or sold at next to nothing.
These used pallets are basically free wood that you can repurpose to build your dream chicken coop. Luckily, there are plenty of DIY pallet chicken coop ideas that you can use as inspiration out there.
We explain why you should be considering building your next chicken coop from pallets and share some of the best DIY pallet chicken coops that others have created.
Why a DIY Pallet Chicken Coop is a Great Choice
A DIY pallet chicken coop means spending a little extra time and effort sourcing the right pallets, but is it worth the trouble? Isn’t it easier to just go to your local store and buy all the materials you need?
There’s nothing wrong with buying all the lumbar you need to make your coop, but a DIY pallet chicken coop offers the following advantages:
- You can save on cost especially if you use used pallets which you can get for free. There are stores that will be happy to have someone get rid of something that’s likely to end up in the trash.
- It’s a more environmentally friendly approach to building your coop. Many backyard chicken farmers are very environmentally conscious and wouldn’t miss the opportunity to recycle.
- Depending on your coop design, you may end up doing less cutting, measuring, and joining since the pallet pieces are already joined into large pieces. This can help you to get a functional coop in much less time.
- Most DIY coop designs you can achieve using store-bought lumbar, can be achieved using pallets.
The main challenge with a DIY pallet chicken coop is that some coop designs will require you to take apart the pallets. It’s easy, you can dismantle a pallet in less than 5 minutes. This may be a small price to pay given the benefits above.
15 DIY Pallet Chicken Coop Ideas
There are many directions you can take when working on a DIY pallet chicken coop. Here are a few pallet coop ideas you may want to consider depending on your needs.
1. The Ultra Simple and Ultra Cheap by Flannel Farms
There is nothing fancy about this DIY pallet chicken coop but that’s exactly what some people are looking for. This design from Flannel Farms is supposed to give you a coop that is functional without you spending more than $50.
The design requires five pallets, but you won’t have to take any of them apart. You’ll have to cut up a lot of plastic water jugs to create a water-resistant cover for your roof.
The idea for this design is to give you a pallet coop even if you don’t own power tools. The pallets are even held together using nylon ropes.
2. The Small and Elegant by Aergonaut
This coop is perfect for the farmer who is looking for something just big enough to handle two chickens. When finished, this DIY pallet chicken coop looks great and would fit in, even in a suburban backyard.
Unlike the previous design, you’ll have to disassemble the wooden pallets so you can make use of the individual pieces of wood.
There’s also a lot of cutting, measuring and joining required so the work will go much quicker if you have access to and know how to use power tools.
The work of putting this coop together is, however, worth it because your chickens will get a cozy home that even has a run included.
3. The Ergonomic Pallet Coop by Mason Dixon Acres
This DIY pallet coop has a brilliant design for individuals with accessibility issues or even if you would just like to make it easier for yourself to work in and around the coop.
The pallet is high enough to allow a wheelbarrow to fit underneath it. This makes it easy to clean out shavings and chicken waste from inside the coop.
One entire wall of the coop can be opened, and this makes it a lot easier to clean out the inside. The floor is covered with linoleum to keep the waste and wood shavings away from nooks and crannies where they’d be harder to remove.
The design isn’t just ergonomic for people, it also has features that are great for the chickens including a ramp and an automatic door that opens during the day and shuts at night.
4. The Hybrid Approach by Kevin Robinson
A chicken coop made completely out of pallet wood sounds great but is often not practical. This is where the hybrid DIY pallet chicken coop comes in.
Much of the wood used in this design comes from pallets but, store-bought lumbar is needed for the frame of the coop. The design also makes use of iron sheets for waterproof roofing.
This DIY pallet chicken coop is far from cheap, but the result is a classy coop that will comfortably house a good number of chickens. This is the kind of coop you should invest your time in when you want to get serious about keeping chickens.
5. The A-Frame Coop by 30mo Fishing Charters
This A-frame DIY pallet chicken coop can comfortably accommodate around five chickens. It has a simple design for a coop of its size.
Although many parts of the coop are built from wood reclaimed from used pallets, fence boards are used for the frame. This is because the length and height of the design call for longer pieces of lumbar than you can get from a pallet.
The entire structure is covered using chicken wire to keep predators out. One side of the coop is also covered with a tarp to form a sheltered area, while the remaining part of the structure is left open and serves as a run.
6. The Spacious Coop by Chris Scott
Unlike the previous DIY pallet chicken coop designs, this one can handle a lot more chickens.
Pallets can be used for all the wooden parts, but as seen in the design, it might be easier to substitute pallet wood with other wood from other sources including logs for some of the parts.
This design required around 300 boards so be prepared to take apart a good number of pallets. This may not be a high-cost coop design, but it will certainly take a lot of time and effort due to its size.
The interior of the coop is also patched to prevent drafts. The run is made using logs and covered with hardware cloth.
As a bonus, Chris Scott provides an ingenious way of taking apart the pallets faster than using a hammer or pallet buster.
7. The Chick Inn by flying.sawdust
The Chick Inn is another small and elegant design that seems achievable to beginners. The entire structure is made using wood reclaimed from pallets and other sources.
To give it some extra elevation, the legs of the structure are placed on concrete blocks.
Part of the coop is completely covered by pieces of wood while several sections are open and only covered with wire mesh. This ensures there is adequate ventilation inside.
The design of the Chick Inn can be easily used for a larger coop if you have more chicken.
8. The Full-Feature Coop by Gibsonhomesteading
This chicken coop design features everything you’d want in a coop and a few extras.
On the inside, the design has a lot of space, and a lot of thought went into the design of the roosts, nesting boxes, and the housing for chicks. The coop was equipped with solar lighting for long-term energy savings.
The sides and much of the interior wood pieces come from pallets.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to spoil their chickens, you will love this design. The roll-away nesting boxes are even cushioned to ensure the eggs are safely delivered to the collection area.
9. The Temp by Greg’s World
The temporary coop might be the complete opposite of the full-feature coop. This DIY pallet chicken coop design is supposed to be a temporary shelter.
This type of coop can be a good idea in places with particularly harsh weather where chickens spend most of their time in some other completely enclosed shelter.
A temporary shelter will allow your birds to be out of their usual enclosure and give them the freedom to enjoy the outdoors when the weather is nice. This shelter is made by simply attaching some pallets together and covering them with a tarp.
The inside of the coop is also minimalistic but has enough space for around seven chickens. You can easily add more space to this design by using more pallets.
Due to the overly simple design, this may not be the best coop if you live in a place with a lot of predators.
10. The Portable Coop by Cottage Farmstead
This DIY chicken coop is perfect if you want a coop that can be moved from one part of your backyard to another. Pallet wood is used for the main structure and chicken wire is added all around the structure for extra protection.
This coop is very small and lightweight but with the right workmanship, the result is a coop you’ll enjoy seeing and moving around your backyard.
11. The Cozy Coop by BricoNature
This coop design is small and is probably ideal as just a place for your chickens to spend the night. It has a simple roosting bar, some steps for your chickens to move from one level to the next and some straw on the floor for extra comfort.
Building this coop will not require that you take apart the pallets completely so this can make it faster to construct. Although some cutting and measuring is involved, the overall design approach is simple and there’s room for error.
The result is a small coop that certainly looks cozy and able to keep out drafts during cold weather.
12. The Portable Tall Boy by Homesteading with Sadie
This coop has several things going for it including the fact that it is raised well off the ground. This makes it great at keeping out predators.
The coop is also mounted on wheels and can be easily moved from one spot to another by just one person. It also has nesting boxes that facilitate easy collection of eggs from the hens.
This coop certainly takes more thought and time to put together considering its small size. You’ll have to take some pallets apart and working with power tools is definitely the way to make this task easier for yourself.
13. The Sunlit Coop by Our Kilkenny Homestead
This is an absolutely beautiful DIY pallet coop design that is designed to take advantage of natural light. The external design is very ‘house-like’ and even has windows that are covered using clear plastic to let in as much light as possible.
This is yet another small coop, but it demonstrates the kind of beautiful results you can get if you put a little more effort into the structure.
The boards have to be removed from the pallets first and there’s a lot more cutting and measuring involved. Luckily, Our Kilkenny Homestead does a great job of explaining the steps taken to build the coop.
There are nesting boxes designed for easy egg collection, and a large section of the wall also swings open. This last feature will make cleaning a lot easier for this smaller coop.
14. The Stacked Coop by Mona Weathers (Homesteading for Beginners)
Where many DIY pallet chicken coop designs require that you take the pallets apart, this one mostly doesn’t, and it makes the work easier.
The main structure of this tall coop is achieved by simply stacking pallets on top of each other. You will need to take apart a few pallets to get the wood to seal the spaces between the stacked pallets.
The result is a tall coop with a door high enough for people to walk through without crouching. With this main structure in place, you can fit the inside however you like, and it can certainly accommodate a lot of chickens.
15. The Big House by Reederbunch
Like the previous coop, this one also uses the technique of stacking pallets. It enables you to create a lot of space in your coop without having to do a lot of measuring, cutting, and joining.
The difference between the two is that this design requires more effort, but the result is far more complete with windows covered with chicken wire, a flowerbox and a run that is almost as tall as the coop.
What this design demonstrates well is that you can take any chicken coop idea and push it to a new level.
DIY Pallet Chicken Coop Precautions
As exciting as a DIY project such as this is, working with used pallets carries a certain amount of risk. The best DIY pallet chicken coop is one you complete without any injury.
You should keep the following in mind if you choose to work on any of the above DIY pallet coops:
- Avoid pallets that were chemically treated, or those used to transport chemicals. These can emit chemicals that are not good for you or your chickens’ health.
- When taking apart or joining pallets, take precautions such as proper use of safety gear, only work with tools you are familiar with, and using safe techniques.
- Used pallets may have hazards such as exposed rusty nails and broken boards that can give you nasty injuries. Be sure to take care of these as they can pose some risk long after the coop is built.
Working on a DIY pallet chicken coop is a great way to cater to the needs of your chickens while spending only what you can afford. Pallets can be acquired for free or close to nothing depending on where you are.
You can supplement the wood from the pallets with store-bought lumbar and accessories or some other recycled items. You should also ensure you work safely and only use pallets made from wood that wasn’t exposed to harmful chemicals.
The ideas above are a great start, but the truth is, you’re only limited by your imagination. As long as you factor in what your chickens need, your DIY pallet chicken coop can be as simple or as quirky as you like it to be.