Finally finished "The Pullet Pallet Palace"

Snowkitten714

Chirping
Mar 8, 2013
40
4
77
Bakersfield, CA
So, I've always wanted chickens, but have never been in an "ideal" situation to have them. I've always moved around between apartments, condo rentals, and basic city dwelling without the backyard or room to have them. My situation has finally changed, and I planned on getting them next spring (wanting to make sure I had everything ready and researched before purchase), however, BF went and sent me pictures of the TSC chicks, and asked me if I wanted to go see them. Well duh, silly BF! We stopped by our local feed store first, and low and behold, they had the two species I wanted. My will power got me out of the store without chicks, but I still wanted to go to TSC and look. With my will power weakened, I picked up a bunch of supplies while in town, then headed home. We went back to the local feed store the next day (yeah, ok, there was really no willpower, just temporary suspension of purchase since I didn't actually have the supplies yet to bring them home that day). I got three chicks, 2 Easter Eggers and a Red Sex Link.

The day I got them, they said 2 weeks old


When we picked them up, they were already 2 weeks old, so I told the BF we had maybe a month or two to build the coop. We hit the hardware store the next day and I spent WAY too much money. I even bought him a new table saw to assist the project. So every day after work, I rode him hard in working on the coop. No breaks, no "I'm too tired" after work, we had to get it done. This lasted about a month. The chickens were still in the house, the livingroom to be exact, and they were getting big, and a bit smelly. They've really no other place we could put them (we have a very very small house, no garage), so I was doing my best to change bedding daily. I even added a bit of PDZ to try and control the smell. Every day the chicks would get to come out and run around the kitchen. They were getting big and outgrowing the brooder (which was already a big plastic tub, and we didn't have the room to make a bigger brooder) and I didn't want them to start picking on one another.

2 months old, wandering the front yard.


The big coop in the works...


I still found building the coop fun, but the BF was becoming bitter and bickering. I'm definitely one to pick and chose my battles, and this wasn't one of them. Even though he'd promised a coop, he wasn't really getting it done fast enough, being too tired after work, or just not wanting to work on it. *sigh* So to diffuse the situation, I stated I would buy a little cheapy $200 coop from TSC and use it as a temporary. He thought it a waste of money, but agreed.

The next day I drove past a neighbors house, and there has been a pallet sitting at the corner of their lot for the past week or so, it made me think of all the posts on this forum about pallet coops. I thought, "I can build one of those..." so I went and checked out the new Family Dollar Store that was opening, talked to the manager and asked if I could have a few pallets. He said take as many as I wanted, so yeah, I did. They had a ton of them. Each day after work, I'd swing by and pick up 4-5 of them. I think I brought home something like 15 pallets? I'm not sure because I broke them down as I was building and as I picked them up, so I never really saw more than about 4 in my driveway at a time.

It took me longer to build than even I expected, it took 3 weeks to be exact. Of course, I work 12 hour days, so even on my workdays I would rush home to work on something or another. Breaking down the pallets wasn't actually that hard, but it felt back breaking. The coop itself is 4'x3' and the run is 3.5'x7'. I calculated this to be the bare minimum footage the birds should have, plus the pallets were 4'x4', and I had one pallet that was 2.5'x7'. It's very simple, but it's temporary. I built it to allow my BF extra time to build the big coop and to ease the tension on the relationship that it was causing. Now he has a couple months to get it done, or I'm going to have to add a covered kitty litter box in the little coop, since I didn't build it with nesting boxes.

I built most of it with items already had, but if I had to break it down, I'd say I probably spent about $200 on it? Including hardware, chicken wire (yeah, to be upgraded on large coop to hardware cloth), paint, bricks, concrete stakes, and decorations. It's "technically" a little cheaper, because many of the supplies were bought for the big coop, but could be used on the little coop. I included them in the cost though... but as compared to the TSC coop, I think it's $200 much better spent.

Inside the coop, simple but works for temperary


The pop door ramp, how to attach it




Access to the underside, now with a handle and stained


The coop, 4'x3'


It has one window, 2 vents, and the pop door. If it needs more, I will make another 2


 

wrenfri

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 19, 2013
18
1
23
Western Washington
This looks nice, I understand about keeping the peace while trying to get help in building the chicken coop. I have been working on a Wichita Cabin Coop for the last two months. I finished the cement brick foundation myself, have the frame together, now just trying to get my husband and kids to help raise the roof and finish the coop. I hope next weeks weather will work with us and give us no rain. Here in the northwest we have a wet spring.
 

QuietPony

Chirping
6 Years
Feb 24, 2013
166
31
88
State of Constant Confusion
No way the chicks in the first picture are 2 weeks old! Two days maybe. But not two weeks.
By the time mine were 2 weeks old they looked like a hot mess with their big bird feathers coming in.
Those are still little fluffy babies. great coop!
 

pappy1264

Songster
6 Years
Apr 7, 2013
300
19
101
Was going to say the same thing about their age! Great idea, may have to do a quick one to, while we finish the big one....
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
94,057
123,085
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Agrees about the first age......Pallet Coop is very nice....but... wonders why you didn't use your mad carpentry skills to finish the big coop instead of building the pallet coop?
 

boxofpens

Songster
6 Years
Mar 9, 2013
411
38
102
Texas
I was wondering the same thing. All the time and effort on the pallet coop (which is really nice) would have finished the big coop it seems.
 

Snowkitten714

Chirping
Mar 8, 2013
40
4
77
Bakersfield, CA
Thanks all. Well, perhaps my gals are a bit younger than I thought. I've never owned chickens before, but I've seen some really small fluff balls this year, so I thought they were older. At least that's what the store told me.

As for putting the effort into the big coop, well, that gets a bit tricky... The big coop is really the BF's project, and he has all sorts of ideas in his head about it. While the pallet coop looks pretty good... I don't measure everything precisely. I think I measured the frame itself, but most of it is somewhat eyeballed. I'm sure I could be precise on everything, but it just didn't seem all that important. Nothing so crooked or off that it couldn't be sawed off, sanded down, or have some other piece of wood put in as a space filler. I also think I'm not working on the big coop because The BF probably didn't have that much faith in my building skills. He was very suprised the first day he came home from work, I had told him I was building a coop out of pallets, but his response was something along the lines of "wow, that actually looks really good. Not at all what I was imagining you building." He's gotten other reactions from his friends like "She actually built this all by herself? You didn't help her at all?" I mean, I know I don't know the names of many of the tools, but I know how to use them. :) So I guess I just don't seem like the handy type?

Hopefully we will start back up on the big coop tomorrow. Aside from the roofing frame, I think the hardest part is done, which is all the framing. I don't mind having done the work on the little coop. I can have a "chicken village". I have a place to put younger chicks if I decide to ever get more. I can use it as a small place to confine a sick or injured bird if needed too.

Relationships work in mysterious ways.... But I think this was the right way to go. And now... The BF needs to make the big coop full of awesomeness to outdo the little pallet palace. ;-)
 

boxofpens

Songster
6 Years
Mar 9, 2013
411
38
102
Texas
Well you've definitely raised the bar (or 'roost', if you will). He's got a little catching up to do. :) Congratulations! That is an AWESOME looking pallet palace! And the way you attached the ramp- Wow! I've been using power tools since I was like 7, and I would have never thought of that clever little concept. Great Job!!!
 

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