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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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