29 Pallet Chicken Coop Ideas You Can Build This Weekend
Choosing the right chicken coop depends on how many chickens you want and what features would make it easy for you to maintain the coop. We’ve narrowed down a list of pallet chicken coop ideas for you, including design elements that would make your chicken coop stand out.
- The Basics
- Cool Modifications to Consider
- Make It Pretty
- Final Thoughts
Let’s start with the simple ones. Chicken coops are structurally categorized as either free-range or enclosed (1). I’ll be introducing the different forms according to the level of difficulty, together with some variations to give you more ideas. These coops are perfect for those just getting started with raising backyard chickens.
1. Simple Open Coop
This is probably the easiest coop you can build and is great if you’re in an area where the risk of your chicks flying away is not a threat.
Aside from the 3 whole pallets that you just screw at the corners to secure, it requires other relatively easy-to-find materials such as a few sticks for roosting, a recycled black plastic box for the nesting boxes, and some scrap metal for the roof. As for carpentry skills, as long as you know how to hammer a nail, you’re good to go. Simple, easy, yet effective. Build this coop now.
2. Basic Weatherproofed Shed
For this coop, you will need more materials and carpentry skills. This design is best for locations where climates can get extreme but are also relatively safe from predators (a fenced property). Whole pallets are used for the floor and walls and weatherproof plywood for the roof. One of the longer sides serves as the main hatch which is propped open when needed with a wood beam. The pallet cavities were stuffed with hay bags, for added protection. To ensure weatherproofing the coop, it was wrapped in tar paper and sided with weatherproof shingles. Check it out here.
3. Fenced Enclosure
You can save on materials if you build your coop along your existing fence. In this coop, whole pallets were used as the walls and chicken wire was added to secure the space, preventing chickens from going out and predators from coming in. This also helps you keep an eye on the chickens without going into the coop. Be sure to add a shaded area, roosting rods, and nesting boxes inside to make your chickens happy. Read more about it here.
4. Walk In Shed
For easy access into the coop, you may want to opt for this open walk-in shed design. Pallets were used for the walls of this coop, with the gaps filled with other pallet slabs. For ventilation and natural lighting, the gaps on the upper half of one of the walls were not filled in. A great feature of this coop is the separate human-sized door, making it easy for cleaning and egg collection. Security-wise, you will have to build this on a fenced location to avoid your chickens getting lost. Check out the building process of this coop here.
To eliminate the threat of predators, you can build a critter-proof coop. This particular design was made of 3 pallets and old wooden boards to fill the cracks. It has a door that is big enough for a person to enter to check on things and enough space inside for the chickens to move around inside. To allow natural light into the coop without leaving gaps, a clear roofing material was used for part of the roof. This coop not only keeps the chickens safe from predators but also the weather. Learn more here.
6. A- Frame
Coops don’t always have to be box-shaped. This design for an A-frame coop is good for a few chickens. For this coop, the builder did not need to take the pallet boards apart, which is convenient. Similar to the previous coop, a part of this coop allows natural light in through the pallet gaps. However, it is secured with chicken wire to keep critters out when the chickens are in at night. This A-frame option is lightweight and can be easily moved around, but bear in mind that this is designed for free-range chickens. Get the details here.
7. Compact A-Frame
A modification of the previous item, this A-frame coop is more compact and secure. It’s made of 3 whole pallets screwed together and raised off the ground to prevent moisture build-up. To have a finished look, plywood was used for all sides, with the doors cut out from one panel and secured with simple wooden locks. The roof is just clear corrugated fiberglass. Pretty cool coop for a 3-hour build! See the details of the build here.
8. Elevated Hen House
Elevating the coop provides several conveniences. For this coop, the elevation was intended to prevent insects from eating the wood and getting to the chickens. This is especially important for keeping flies out of your coop.
For the build, pallets were taken apart, using the planks as the walls and the ramp. Other scrap materials from the kitchen were used, such as the little door and window. A metal, textured roof provides protection from the rain and or snow. Get more ideas here.
9. Raised Hen House
This is a variation of the elevated hen house I mentioned earlier. The elevation in this coop allows for extra space underneath as part of the attached chicken run. The pallets were dismantled to be used for cladding around the frame of the main coop. The chicken was made separately with wooden beams and chicken wire. It attaches to the main coop to provide a small safe space for the chickens to roam. See the build stages here.
10. Close It Up As Needed
Having the option to switch from being a free-range coop to an enclosed one comes in handy when you live in a place where drastic weather changes are common. Made from fresh pallets that have been disassembled, this coop can be fully enclosed and is big enough to have the chickens comfortable and secure inside for stormy days. During fine weather, the hatch can be left open and a shaded area attached to the coop provides the chickens with a way to escape the sun without going inside. Read about the building process here.
11. Chicken Tractor
Living on a farm usually means having fertile land. A chicken coop that can help achieve this with minimal effort is the chicken tractor. It can be pushed around to different spots and the chicken’s actions through time make the spots fertile (2). You can think of this as a self-cleaning option too, win-win! This particular design was made to protect meat chickens while allowing them to have a free-range diet. The coop is simply made with 4 small pallets, wooden beams for support, and enclosed in chicken wire. Read about the concept here.
12. Chicken House
Let’s say you have more than 10 chickens and want to have a coop that fits all of them in one place. This chicken house, believe it or not, was made from pallets. Yes, from the floor to the walls and even the roof and supporting beams, ALL PALLETS. The use of occasional plywood for the door and paneling for the inside came from the pallets too. Granted the outer walls and roof were cladded with vinyl, it’s amazing that this huge chicken house was made almost entirely out of pallets! Check out this awesome build here.
13. Pallet Palace
Here’s a variation of the chicken house, providing much more ventilation with the open walls. This is a more rustic build, which is less work because you don’t have to completely disassemble the pallets but is still relatively secure. This is perfect for places where the weather is pretty much fine all year round. Do keep in mind that small predators can still get in the pallet gaps, so securing it with deer netting or chicken wire would be best. Read more here.
14. Chicken Shack
If you have limited pallets available but still need to build quite a large coop, you can use the pallets for the majority of the foundation and framing of the coop and use chicken wire for the rest of the enclosure. This makes it sturdy, but also allows you to easily keep an eye on the inside. The door and roosting rods of this coop were also made of pallets. Check out the interesting build here.
Cool Modifications to Consider
Now that you’re familiar with the basic forms, let’s talk about how to make them better for you. One of the best things about DIY projects is that you can modify them to suit your needs.
15. Easy Egg Access
Having easy access to the nesting box is one of the best things to consider when building a chicken coop. You don’t want to be sticking your arm into a coop full of hens and feeling around for eggs, and feeling yucky things in the process! Whether you’re building a small coop or a walk-in one, having separate access to the nesting box will be very convenient, even your kids can help out with the egg picking. Learn more about it here.
16. Roof Access
If you want to have your coop on ground level but still want easy access into the coop, roof access would be ideal. This particular design was made with having the option to hop into the coop for easy cleaning. It’s also a way to keep the dogs from following in from behind and creating chaos with the chickens! With this design, however, you may want to build the coop in a covered area, since the rain will get into the coop. Get more details here.
17. Look Out the Window
Even if the chickens live in a coop, you don’t want them to get too cooped up (pun intended). Adding a clear window into the coop provides natural lighting whilst keeping the chickens safe from predators and the elements. For this coop, the builders used pallets for the walls and flooring. The glass window was repurposed from a discarded pile. Since it does not provide air circulation, be sure to drill some holes in the coop. Learn about the coop plan here.
18. Raised Tractor
This concept is a combination of the raised hen house and a chicken tractor. Having a raised tractor combines the benefits of not having to stoop down for egg collection and also the fertilizing benefit of being able to move the coop. This coop was made out of rustic old pallets, including the nesting boxes and the ramp. Being relatively lightweight, it’s not much work to move it around the yard. Check out the specifics here.
19. Egg Count Board
Let’s take a break from all the technical aspects and add a bit of fun to the coop. This design is made of recycled pallets with a raised roosting area. It’s quite spacious, measuring 100sq ft, which makes the hens happy. What makes it fun? This hen house showcases the brilliant idea of having a chalkboard mounted on the side for easy egg counting. Even kids can help monitor your chicken’s egg output. Find more fun ideas here.
20. Self-Watering Coop
Having a coop with features allowing you to do less work is awesome. This small chicken coop is made with 7 recycled pallets and designed so well that it looks like a little house. It even gives off a cottage feel with that window. What makes this coop really special is that it has a rainwater catchment system. The slanted roof allows water to slide into a gutter and down a series of pipes that then provides the chickens with water to drink, so clever! Check it out here.
21. Easy In, Easy Out
If you have the space for it, adding a chicken run to your coop would be a great idea, after all, chickens don’t like spending all their time inside the coop. This run was built out of pallets as well and is big enough for people to walk into. The coop is small and is positioned only halfway into the run, with the egg hatch accessible from both outside the run and the coop itself. Having multiple access points is convenient. Read more here.
Make It Pretty
Now that you have an idea of what kind of chicken coop you should build and what it should have in terms of features, let’s talk about making it visually appealing. Just because you saved money and used recycled materials, doesn’t mean the coop has to look cheap.
22. Play with Color
Paint is a relatively inexpensive yet effective way to vamp up anything, including a chicken coop made of pallets. This coop was made out of pallets partially taken apart and put together with some plyboards. Painting this coop white made it look fresh and the blue and red add some character. The sign adds a fun element, together with that watering can planter. It’s the little details that make all the difference. Get more ideas here.
23. Modern Minimalist
This coop was made with several whole pallets put together with some nails and screws. It is quite big and raised off the ground. The ladder can be hoisted up serving as the door of the chicken entrance. Using plywood sidings gives the coop a refined look and makes for an excellent canvass. Doors to the nesting boxes, cut out from the plywood, look seamless. Finishing off the coop with the fresh coat of paint makes it have a modern minimalist look. View the slideshow of the build here.
24. Barn Style
This coop was made out of 3 flat pallets (pallets with plywood instead of little panel boards) for the floor and 2 big walls. The coop was elevated to prevent rats from getting into the coop and so the chickens have a shaded area. The chicken door opens into a fenced area on the farm. The coop looks pulled together because of the little accents like the shingled roof, the paint job, and framing details. Looks like a quaint little barn, doesn’t it? Read about the build here.
25. Angry Birds
A great way to get the kids involved in chicken care is to make things fun. This Angry Birds-themed coop would be so cool for the kids! This coop was made of recycled pallet boards and some found objects and materials. It’s cool to note the intentional design features such as the beak in the entrance, which serves as shade. The entrance being triangular not only to look like an open mouth but also to minimize draft, and the external hatch looks like a tail. Build this cool coop now.
26. Pretty Yet Simple Coop
It may not look it, but this coop is almost entirely made of reused pallets. The boards were put together in a uniform and precise way, making the coop look quite polished. The slanted roof allows for a mesh area for ventilation while adding to the aesthetic. This is a good example of how execution makes a difference in the final product. It looks clean and well put together, while that little planter is a nice touch too. Read about it here.
27. Rustic Hen House
Embracing the pallet look is another way to go. No frills, no cover-ups, just highlighting the coop you worked so hard for and showing off the fact that you used the relatively inexpensive, maybe even free, materials that are pallets. This coop was put together using disassembled pallet boards for the framing, the sidings, and even the door. The nesting boxes were made of recycled particle boards. The character of each wood board really shows! Learn to build this coop now.
28. Cool Gray
This is a minimalist take on dressing up your pallet coop. This design was built on top of cinder blocks intended to keep moisture from rotting the wood. The pallets are arranged quite uniformly with a small nesting area in the corner. The A-frame roof protects the chickens from the weather. Seemingly meant for free-range chickens, this coop has a well-crafted ramp, not painted, which adds some much-needed contrast to all the gray of the coop itself. Get more ideas here.
29. Quaint Cottage Coop
If you’re one who likes to impress and doesn’t necessarily go for the simple things, making your coop extra like this cottage-style hen house might just be the project for you. This coop may not look it, but it has been made almost completely out of pallets. Keep in mind that you will need some power tools for cutting out the windows, doors and shaping the wood for the rafters. The trim and planter boxes made a huge difference to the aesthetic. The finished coop looks worth all the trouble, don’t you think so? Check out the detailed build here.
Pallets can be used either as the platforms they are, or you can take the panels apart to cut and put together according to your liking.
They also come in many forms and sizes, making them very versatile materials.
Building a chicken coop depends on a lot of factors, but ultimately it boils down to functionality and size. Be sure to keep in mind that each chicken you keep will require at least 2 square feet in the coop and 4 square feet in the run (3).
Build the coop to suit your chickens’ needs, while making sure it is made functional for you too. Make the most of the pallets and space you have and don’t forget to add an element of fun!
If you need more inspiration, check out our ultimate list of free DIY chicken coop plans.
Alex lives in the sustainability capital of Australia (Byron Bay) where the local community thrives and strongly supports self-sufficient living and green tech entrepreneurship. He began Eco Peanut in 2014 with the mission to spread bite sized sustainability advice to the masses.