Let's Talk About Chicks, Man!
12 Years
Nov 17, 2007
Port Orchard, WA
Hey! I am starting my coop in the next day or so and was wondering if it is ok to use treated lumber for the coop??? I am assuming no, but I thought I would check since it will be partially in the ground....could I use treated lumber for the base, and pine for the upper part???? Thanks so much!


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jan 26, 2007
BC, Washington Border
Treated lumber is a No for those going for an organic standard because of the potential of toxins leaching into the ground.

You will find many here that have used treated lumber on coops and don't seem to suffer for it. Chickens don't normally eat their coops so the potential of actually ingesting toxins is rather slim.


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
I'd say that probably the great majority of people here who have posts sunk in the ground have used pressure-treated wood, since it lasts SO much better. And probably a majority also use p/t for sills that are in contact with the ground. Chickens don't eat wood
Using untreated for the rest of the structure makes good sense, though, both from a financial standpoint and from a 'don't use p/t where it's not needed' standpoint.



Cooped up
11 Years
Mar 2, 2008
Quote:Pressure treated lumber is rather more benign than it was in years gone by.

FWIW, I use P/T for the skids on my coop, and for the ground perimeter of the run, you can see them here

I use pine and spruce for the rest of it, and an oil based finish.

I have built coops like this before with no ill-effects. P/T lumber has a place, and as was stated, chickens generally don't eat their coops. What is nasty is the sawdust produced when cutting the stuff. Wear a mask and make very sure the dust is disposed of, and not mixed with sawdust and shavings you might want to use around your animals.


11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
Centre Rawdon, Nova Scotia, Canada
Are you putting this wood in concrete? If so, an alternative might be setting the wood into brackets designed to hold wood on concrete, OR those little concrete blocks you can buy for $3-$6 each that would hold the wood above ground. Because we're beuilding our run in a frost zone we'll use sono tubes, concrete and U-fittings to accept the wood over the concrete. We'll use a few treated 4x4's (because we have them) on the corners where the chickens can't reach them. Like others we're cautions about sawduct from treated wood- we use a face mask when cutting and we always cut in a location away from the animals.

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