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Chicken shelter from two old pallets

Posted by on Monday 8 November 2010 in chickens, DIY, making | 6 comments

I finally built my long-awaited shelter for the chicken run on Saturday – hurrah! It will provide more stomping space (since they can stomp around underneath and on top), more shelter for the rain and somewhere sheltered to hang another drinker.

My original plan had been very fancy – involving a sloped solid platform (to be a shelter, with the water draining into a mini-gutter) topped with perches. The actual version is simpler – two small pallets (about half the size of normal pallet), one cut in half to be the legs, one left intact to be the platform, then finished off with scrap wood.

Since I was using already pretty solid pallets, it came together really quickly – three little bits of sawing (through the support struts of the pallet to be the legs) and a few screws, and I had a strong platform, which I could use as a work bench for cutting the scrap planks to size.

The raised bit in the middle has three purposes:

1) I couldn’t find any wood to fit the gap between the two middle slats – everything was either just too big or way too small – so I fitted a too-big piece across the top (it’s supported underneath by some little pieces on the support joists);

2) The raised sides are a bit narrow for the purpose really but could be perched on if a chicken felt that way inclined; and,

3) It gives a neat bribery trough for corn and similar treats.

It’s a little low really — they can get under there and stand up, but not stretch properly.

But I’m really glad I made this one – it showed me how easy it was and because it was smaller, it was easier for me to manage on my own without having resort to Long-Armed John’s assistance. It’s a useful prototype really – and aside from the cost of a few screws, completely free!

I’m going to make another version with two full sizes pallets next weekend – that should be more than tall enough for them. Once I’ve made that, I’m going to secure more perches going to and from the platforms and their existing perches so they can play “floor is hot lava” around the run :)


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  1. louisa

    Quick apology for the dark/wet photos – I could have taken the pictures at any point over this lovely autumn sun-filled weekend, but no, I had to take them when it was rainy, windy and cold this morning.

  2. Colette O'Neill

    When you realize that a battery hen have the space of a shoe box for ALL their sad life…a shelter like this is luxury!

  3. Phil

    that is a great idea especially with the feeder at the top, i’ve had real problems with mine kicking their feeder over so i am going pallet hunting today thanks for that louisa

    • louisa

      I still haven’t had a chance to make the bigger version – from full size pallets – but hopefully I’ll be able to do that this weekend, and I’m going to make it as water tight as possible so I can hang a feeder underneath.

      My original plan had been to hang the drinkers underneath so it didn’t matter if rain got into it but I think our new girls would prefer having two feeders in the coop, so if the ISAs are near one, they can get to the other.

      Hanging feeders for the win – never knocked over! :)

      • Phil

        Well still no luck with a pallet, my brother in law has two but my attempt to obtain them failed, all was going well until he asked what they were for, after explaining he told me it was a good idea and that he would be using them for his chickens instead lol

        so once i can find some you’ll have 2 tables a la louisa in belgium :)

        • louisa

          Haha, unlucky!

          I don’t know what the situation is in Belgium but I’ve found once you start looking for spare pallets, you see them everywhere! So hopefully you’ll find some more soon :)


  1. Expanding the tribe: four new chickens! | The Really Good Life - [...] is hiding until the shelter I built them from pallets the other day – glad to see someone using…

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