Creating A Chicken Coop From Recycled Materials

chicken coop
The completed recycled pallet chicken coop in our garage.

Ever since creating Old World Garden Farms in late 2010 – we’ve tried to really show that you can build much of what you need using recycled, re-purposed and reclaimed materials. More importantly – that it can all be accomplished in a way that can not only be easy on the budget – but functional, long-lasting, and pleasing to the eye. One of the best examples of that might just be the two chicken coops that we have built for the farm. (see: Building Our Farm From Pallets)

Both of the chicken coops constructed over the last 5 years have been built almost entirely from recycled materials. Our very first coop was made from shipping crates and pallets – while our second and current coop was made from a mixture of old roofing materials, reclaimed barn siding and pallet wood.  In both cases, we have often been asked for the building plans – and sadly – we simply built them without ever having a single thought of creating a construction guide.

chicken coop
Our recycled coop at the farm we completed in May of 2013

So a few weeks back – and after a few more emails requesting we add them to our Etsy store along with our other plans – we decided to go for it. Besides – with a stash of used barn wood, pallet wood and reclaimed metal roofing to clear out of our garage before the move – we had the perfect motive to build one final demo unit to create a set of plans. 

Much like we did 5 years ago – we built the coop in our current suburban home’s driveway and garage – and once again – it led to a lot of strange looks and questions from our neighbors and those passing by. I think most wondered what in the world we could possibly be building this time. It’s funny, but in many ways, our friends and neighbors have watched our farm progress project by project right smack in the middle of our driveway.

For us, the project brought back to life a lot of memories about how far our little farm has come – and how many things we have built from recycled and reclaimed materials. In the end – we completed the demo coop for a little over $100 in purchased materials – and were able to create a great set of plans – finally! 🙂  (See – OWG Vintage Chicken Coop Plans)

Of course, it can be built entirely from new materials (the plans list out both options) – but to us – there is something special about using materials from the past that would otherwise end up in landfills.  

Creating The Recycled Chicken Coop

Chicken Coop
The recycled door on the new coop

At 8′ long and 4′ deep, the Recycled Chicken Coop really is perfect for raising a few backyard chickens anywhere – whether it be in the city, suburbia – or out in the middle of the wide open countryside. 

In reality – you could actually build this structure for any use – whether it be a playhouse, farm stand, ticket booth, or a top of the line dog house. The plans are easy to modify to almost any size.

The slanted sloping roof is a throwback to Midwestern coops of years gone by – and the window screens on the sides allow for excellent cross-ventilation of the coop. With 32 square feet of floor space, the mini-coop has plenty of room for raising up to 12 to 16 hens. That’s more than enough to keep a family of four supplied with fresh eggs – and enough left over for the neighbors, friends and family!

The coop was created entirely from simple 2 x 4 studs that provide a strong and lasting frame. We then wrapped the coop with inexpensive 1/2″ sheathing for a solid barrier to outside elements and great protection for the chickens. For the exterior – we used reclaimed roofing for the bottom, and salvaged fence panels and pallet wood for the top and trim.

The coop frame in the driveway - just like we did five years ago!
The coop frame in the driveway – just like we did five years ago!

For the door, we used a simple sheathing board and faced it with pallet boards.  The door is right at 60″ – more than tall enough to enter and exit easily. A valuable lesson we learned after building our first coop at a mere 3′ high. (Not a great idea when one is 6′ 4″! 🙂 )

We finished it off with 24″ metal roofing panels to keep out the weather from above. The solid 2 x 4 roof framing is more than strong enough to handle anything from a shingle, metal – or even slate roof.

The nice thing about the base plans are that the exterior walls can be clad in just about anything from pallet wood, metal, t1-11 wood panels, vinyl or solid wood siding.

The only limit is your imagination.

chicken coop
The finished pallet coop in the garage.

After all, with a little planning and a little work – you can make some pretty awesome things from recycled materials.

Happy Recycling!  Jim and Mary

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8 thoughts on “The Recycled Chicken Coop Pallet Project

  • March 21, 2016 at 5:39 am
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    It looks fabulous, and so functional! I may even try to build it myself! Pinned!

  • March 20, 2016 at 12:07 pm
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    Just a quick question. When will we be getting our wonderful book, those that contributed to the cause? You are the best! Thanks for all you contribute to our gardening and farm experience!

    • March 20, 2016 at 12:11 pm
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      Thanks so much Donna! I am very excited to say that the book is next Sunday’s Update! :):) We are in the final editing stages now – and we should be able to announce the publish and print dates next Sunday!!!

  • March 20, 2016 at 12:05 pm
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    You are clearly above average with your d.i.y. skills and I imagine that you have a good selection of tools to choose from. Might be an idea to list the tools that you have used to make each project? I would find this a great help.

    Keep it coming, as I follow you avidly since happening upon your website.

  • March 20, 2016 at 9:36 am
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    Question….is it a good idea to leave screened windows uncovered all year when you live in upper Zone 4? Many nights go below zero here…should windows be covered in really cold weather?

    • March 20, 2016 at 10:10 am
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      Great point Susan – and one I should have mentioned in the article. We cover our screens in the winter to protect our flock. We actually use old barn windows and just screw them in over the outside – works like a charm!

  • March 20, 2016 at 8:58 am
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    I always look forward to your postings. Can you tell me if the coop has a floor or does it sit on the ground. Also between the two coops you have add front windows. Did you find with the older coop you needed them

    • March 20, 2016 at 10:13 am
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      We are so glad you enjoy the posts! We added windows on the front of this one since it was a bit smaller and we could not have one above like on our current coop. It just helps to give them even more light. The coop does not have a floor – but could easily have a plywood 4 x 8 sheet attached or put on a concrete pad if desired. We like just putting mesh down and then keeping it easy to clean out.

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