Returning Chicken Mom, Third Time's the Charm?


Apr 9, 2017
Omaha, NE
I originally joined BYC almost three years ago, I had just gotten three barred rock chicks and had a used coop that was free from a friend. Before the chicks had even made it out of the brooder (a huge dog kennel on a table inside my back porch), I had my son, Juniper. He'll be three this May. We (my now ex husband and I), ended up losing two of the three girls to critters over the next year. It was horrible, graphic, gross.

The next spring (2018), I was determined to try again. We got a new coop from a feed store, not too sturdy, but I put it inside a dog kennel, on top of cinderblocks I buried, and attached hardware cloth to the entire bottom half that I also buried. I was trying really hard to keep these ones. These girls (a silver laced wyandotte, salmon faverolle, and an ameraucana) were not as sweet and friendly as the birds I lost the year before, and the one that was left had no interest in them. They also didn't eat mice like the old ones did, which wasn't *why* I had them, but was a perk as we had given our cat away the year prior and developed a nasty mouse problem; anytime I caught one the barred rocks would chase each other to get to it. These new ones turned up their beaks at them. Hmph.

Sometime that year, I lost the last barred rock to another critter. Raccoon I think. Then the salmon faverolle cooked herself in the coop on an especially hot day. At this point, I was over it, but my ex (who didn't even take care of them), wanted to keep them. A few months later we split up, and I moved out. I couldn't take the birds with me, but I didn't want to anyways. I didn't have a yard and couldn't afford to feed them. I spent all of last year chickenless. It was honestly a huge bummer.

Fast forward to now-ish, three years since the first batch of chicks. I moved in with my boyfriend, I have my son half the time. We live on about 3 acres (for now, though my boyfriend is trying to sell half my dang yard), and I have the opportunity to get chickens again. I also have the opportunity to build my own coop from scratch, on a much larger scale! So the current "plan" is to salvage some pallets, I'm going to pick up some scrap 4x4s and 2x4s tomorrow, and go from there. I don't have an actual plan of what I want it to look like yet haha. But I have about 10x6 feet to work with for the coop itself, the run will be large, but also attached to a chicken moat around my large cut flower beds. I'm looking into starting with 4 barred rocks and 4 easter eggers, and up to 4 guineas.

We'll see how any of this nonsense turns out, but I feel accountable for doing a project if I make my plans public, ha! And it seemed like a good time to re-introduce myself and tell my new story, seeing as I've spent the last four days in a row just scrolling through other's pictures and plans of their little chicken havens here on BYC.


April in Wyoming
Staff member
Premium member
6 Years
Dec 12, 2013
Welcome back!

Best of luck with all your plans :) I just did a quick search over in the Coop articles and there are several examples of coops made from pallets. Try this link for the search results: 233844
Hope you see something here that helps you out with your build!
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