Looks like we are using wooden pallets - any lessons learned to share?

Dobela

Chirping
8 Years
Feb 4, 2011
124
0
99
Arkansas
It looks like wooden pallets will be how we at least frame up the coop. Since we have 25 chicks coming we are needing a larger building and the cost is growing faster than our budget. We have a source for free and nearly free pallets in good condition. For those who made coops with wooden pallets, I would love advice, warnings, hints, and so on. Doing a roof has me overwhelmed. I need at least a bit of an angle for rain and such to roll off. (Did I meantion I am a new builder too?
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We will cover the exterior with leftover wooden siding from a friend and will buy pressure treated wood for the foundation. The finished size needs to be at least 10x10, but I am aiming for 12x12 so I have storage room as well.

Thanks so much!
 

Moabite

Songster
9 Years
Feb 24, 2010
1,011
6
151
Utah
Use a sawz-all to cut the nails at the seems. It is very tedious to carefully remove each nail with a prybar and you end up splitting the boards. A lot of pallets are made of oak, be sure to pre-drill before nailing or screwing it together. Scraps make great firewood. I just finished DW's cold frame made of junk pallets, looks like barn board, she is very happy!
 

Bleenie

Wyan-DO's
10 Years
Jul 14, 2009
5,014
84
268
The Beautiful Pacific NW ,WA
I think I recall something about the pallets that are painted on the ends have been treated with something that isn't good for animals and especially shouldn't be burned? I am not positive though.
 

Dobela

Chirping
8 Years
Feb 4, 2011
124
0
99
Arkansas
I appreciate the advice so far. I don't have a sawzall but I will be getting one
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I don't think any of the ones we gathreed tonight have paint on the ends. I will watch for that in the future. We did find 2 crates that are a good 4ft by 4ft that I think we can convert to brooders with a little effort
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If we stack the pallets 2 high for the walls, do we need to do anything extra to give them strength or support? Or will the fact that they are nailed to each other on all 4 sides be enough? My husband was thinking about running a 2x4 between them for extra support and strength.
 

Arielle

Crowing
8 Years
Feb 19, 2011
16,722
639
411
Massachusetts, USA
Not sure of your location and whether or not snow is your winter decoration. If not save yourself the reading, otherwise read on. Snow loads can be very heavy. We are building a coop to:hmmr rather, when the snow melts off. Our biggest expense will be the PT floor supports and the 2x6 or 2x8 roofing for a 10' or 12' run. And the wall framing. Somewhere here on BTC is a story about a woman that built her coop entirely of pallets. Putting the runners end to end and then side supports to be the wall supports; then using the slats for siding. Maybe you can find the story--it had good pictures, too. Enjoy your chickens.
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Illia

Crazy for Colors
10 Years
Oct 19, 2009
16,240
248
336
Forks, WA
Quote:
If such is so, it is not the case for all. I've seen some with painted ends, and some that look completely untouched.
 

TigerLilly

I failed Chicken Math
9 Years
Jul 18, 2010
3,035
9
183
Central Florida
I have seen some pretty great looking pallet coops on here! I am going to have to seriously think about building mine out of pallets--it may be the only way i get it done cheap.
 

Knittycat

Songster
8 Years
Feb 25, 2011
651
17
146
Bay City, TX
I don't know how far along you are, but I thought I'd pass along a great tip. Sometimes lumber yards (especially locally owned ones) will put aside all their sub-standard lumber to sell really cheap. I got 2 treated 16 foot 2x4s for one dollar at my local Alamo Lumber. It's slow and you don't always get *exactly* what you are looking for, but it's CHEAP!
 

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