The Expensively Inexpensive Pallet Coop (picture heavy)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hands On Dad, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. Hands On Dad

    Hands On Dad Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2014
    Walker, LA
    So I got voluntold earlier this year that we were going to get chickens. My wife has no idea about chickens or building, but I had chickens when I was younger and am fairly handy around the workshop, so the onus fell on me. My wife likes things of a contemporary rugged design (if that makes sense), so I decided to try my hand at a pallet coop. First to save a little money (yeah right) and second to get the design aspect that she was looking for.

    So we got 8 buff orpingtons from our local feed supply store. We ordered colored leg bands for them so the boys and us could tell them apart. They were named according to their colored bands. Blue (Betty), Green (Grace), Pink (Penelope), Orange (Ollie), Yellow (Yolanda), White (Willow), Red (Rosie), Black (Bernice). Although as it turns out that Betty was actually a red sex link chick that had been put in mistakenly by the factory. It all worked out well, as this whole endeavour was as a learning experience for my two boys, ages 7 and 5. So they learned that just because one of the chicks has a different color feathers, we don't treat them differently, etc.

    So I started out by gathering pallets. I didn't have any plans to go by, it was all in my head at this point. I knew I didn't want your standard pallet coop, so I decided to disassemble the pallets and go from there. First part of the build was the floor (in my mind). So I used the braces from the pallets as the frame.
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    After that I used the slats from the pallets to cover the floor. I originally had the idea to make the doorway into the coop on the underside through the floor, hence the square opening. But that was later changed and the floor was covered with linoleum. [​IMG]
    Next I used 4x4 posts to make the legs. Some of these were found along with the pallets, the rest were bought. I wanted a sturdy foundation.
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    Additional support posts were later added. Then we moved it out to it's permanent spot in the yard. We have 9 acres in South Louisiana, 7 of which are wooded. We don't have foxes around here, so our main predators are raccoons, opossums, and hawks. We do have a 100lb. lab/boxer mix dog "Reggie" who is known throughout the land as a raccoon connoisseur. He loves them and is a highly regarded raccoon critic in the local paper. Knowing this, we integrated Reggie into the chicks life as soon as possible. He loves them. He helped with the build and the chicks would take turns sunbathing on his back as he was laying around watching.
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    Once it was in place I added the next boxes. I also was able to salvage several panes of glass from my late grandfathers old shed to make into windows. I had to buy the hinges and clasps. Total spent at this point was around $20.
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    Me and my foreman finished the windows on my makeshift work bench (boat). Once the windows were installed, I continued with the exterior of the coop. The exterior was finished with the slats from the pallets. Of course there were small seams in between the slats, but I found several pallets that had OSB plywood on them. This was screwed in from the interior of the coop to cover most of the gaps, the rest were filled in from the inside with an exterior wood colored caulk.[​IMG]
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    Then I needed 2x6's and 2x4's for the roof. I built the roof beams on top of the coop instead of inline with the top to give 6" of clearance and ventilation at the top of the coop. 1/2" hardware cloth was used to cover this. The hardware cloth was also used on the inside of the windows. Total spent at this point was around $75.
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    I then added a door and gangplank (what the boys call it). The door has a large hinge attached to the top of it. A rope was attached to this and through a series of pulley's, it opens from the outside.
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    Adding the tin to the roof and my wife's decorative touches, total cost at this point is $100. I'm now adding the run. I forget to say, the coop is 6x6 to house our 8 birds. 36 sq. ft. The run is 18x6. 108 sq. ft. I buried welded wire around the entirety of the coop to help prevent any digging predators.
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    If any of my tools go missing, the smart money is on Ollie. Once the run is finished, the roof of the run with be 1/2 tin roofing and 1/2 poultry wire. I'm using the tin on part of the roof just to give them a little more shade during our brutal summers. I've added a screen door to access the run. The screen was replaced with 1/2" hardware cloth. The exterior of the run with be poultry wire as a base, with 1/2" hardware cloth wrapped 4' high all the way around. The hardware cloth was by far the most expensive part of the coop. Counting the lumber for the run and wire, total cost of this build is around $250.

    Any comments are appreciated. This is my first coop project. I think it turned out OK. Minor details I would change if I had to do it again, but overall I am satisfied. More importantly, the wife and kids are happy. If you have any questions, please leave a comment, I'm sure I forgot to leave out some details.
     
  2. nordicacres

    nordicacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2015
    South Central MN
    Looks great! I love the red touches and the decorations. Very cute :)
     
  3. Hands On Dad

    Hands On Dad Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2014
    Walker, LA
    Thanks. I made some PVC feeders that go under the coop. They're painted red as well.
     
  4. RR1011

    RR1011 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 16, 2014
    Ohio
    Awesome, great job!
     

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