Pallet wood chicken house 101

June 17, 2019 | By alex | Filed in: Video Easy DIY Chicken Coop Plans.

The next 101, on creating a pallet wood chicken house, originates from Sue, a HOMEGROWN member from over the pond. You are able to follow all her adventures on her behalf blog, The Eco-friendly Lever, and find out more about her method of raising chicken in the Holistic Hen. Thanks a lot, Sue, and please keep hammering the great ideas!

The Rear STORY


Do you love your home but feel that you are running out of space?  A laneway house or coach house could be the perfect solution for you.

There are many reasons for wanting to add a laneway house to your property:

Laneway House
  • provide housing for a variety of users, such as aging family members, adult children, caregivers, and homeowners wishing to downsize.
  • Laneway housing provides more choice of housing type in single-family residential neighbourhoods.
  • contribute to the rental housing stock and offer an affordable solution to the growing population and housing market.
  • Laneway houses enhance to the overall sustainability of the city providing opportunities that may have otherwise not existed.
  • to make the city’s urban lanes more green, livable, and safe.


I am Sue Mix and that i accept my hubby, Dr. Andy Colley, plus an array of rare-breed bantams, quail, and fantail pigeons with an organic homestead in La Baie de Mont Saint Michel, Normandie. Both of us originate from a lengthy type of enthusiastic reusers, repurposers, and enthusiasts of the items now has been known as “shabby chic.” Within this 101, I am sharing the sourcing, design, and construction in our pallet wood chicken house, or as it is called, our chicken house.

In 1999 a hurricane required away our roof although i was on Christmas travel to the 300-year-old ruin which was then our holiday home. Once we had already made the decision to market our house in England, quit our careers, and be happy self-sustaining peasants, it appeared a great time to talk about permanently, if perhaps to repair the rooftop!

At the end of summer time of 2000 we received our first set of hens, two rare-breed Ardenner bantams named Pouledini and Chicklette, partly payment for searching following a neighbouring homestead although the proprietors were abroad. I increased on an assorted arable farm with 3,000 hens and 300 free-range turkeys, which means this was real micro, or I would say nano, farming, but after a period living and dealing in towns and metropolitan areas, I finally felt I’d get home. Happily, Andy felt exactly the same. He’d been born in the middle of the commercial Midlands and spent a long time in industry being an engineer before returning to college, but he loved the countryside and it was thirsting to achieve the space to operate by himself projects.

Our first project would be a chicken house for that Ardenner siblings, who, using the fruits more hen-sitting, have been became a member of by Dorothy, the Wyandotte mix. Orlando and Dorabella, a purchased set of Sebrights, adopted shortly, as did Frizzante, a re-homed apricot Frizzle! The chicken house was inspired with a pile of old, earthworm-eaten but serviceable floor boards, victims from the hurricane, which were being tossed out with a neighbour. We switched them right into a small Japanese-style chicken house, including a split bamboo roof, also repurposed from the neighbour’s discarded prunings. Through the years, with more inclusions in the flock, this house required its share of battering in the vagaries from the climate. It is just today, however, 14 years on, that we’re going to dismantle it and set up another pallet wood chicken house from the following design instead.

A thing on the setup here: We’ve 1,000 square meters of organic forest and walled and hedged garden, with three hen houses, that each flock has created its very own territorial but quite fluid limitations. Have a video tour through our garden and meet a few of the flock: Chez Nous – Your Garden Awakes.



“Fit for purpose” is really a phrase dear to both our hearts. One thing I learnt from your beloved Japanese design was: Never create a house you cannot fully stand up in! Another was: It never rains in Normandie. This should be a nearby joke, but wherever you reside, it’s so much simpler to possess a design that may be built inside, inside a barn, workshop, or perhaps pre-drilled for set up in the kitchen area, once we did! You don’t need to be bored in the winter months. You are able to build this chicken house in comfort inside after which make it outdoors and install in situ throughout the first sunshine of spring.

A far more personal reason behind this “kit form” of design is that we’re putting our home available on the market and plan to purchase a stretch of land to construct our very own eco-home, most likely in Brittany. The hen houses, therefore, could be taken around, supplying the hens with instant accommodation and security, both mental and physical. In addition, we intend on creating a bigger version for all of us to reside in. This is not merely cheaper and much more sustainable than buying a motorhome, but it’ll leave us having a ready-made guesthouse to see relatives and buddies. (An email: For additional tips about locating a homestead and relocating chickens, don’t miss Michelle’s recent HOMEGROWN Existence publish about them.)


» 24 standard (120cm x 80cm, or roughly 2’ x 4’) untreated pallets. Included in this are the 4 employed for the bottom. Should you have only a couple of hens, the bottom could be cut lower, however for easy cleaning and access, believe me, the peak ought to be stored exactly the same.

» 24 planks (1800mm long and 23mm thick, or roughly 6’ x 1”). They were cut lower to some width of 40mm (1 ½”). To get this done without requiring to clamp the wood, that is really tiresome, Andy composed an alternative of the old tool, that they known as a plankcutter’s holdfast. The planks originated from the upright pallets accustomed to transport furniture and could be available at most outlets selling sofas, beds, and bigger products. They’re also utilized by companies making or transporting glass and double-glazed window units, so browse around your neighborhood to determine what’s available.

» For that chicken house roof, we initially used 10 square meters (about 33 square ft) of salvaged and leftover 10mm-thick (1/3”) tongue and groove cladding, but lately we’ve been finding increasingly more thin pallet planks, that are light enough to complete the job. They don’t, however, are available in exactly the same lengths, so to make in the shortfall, Andy again offer make use of an old way of joining planks finish on, referred to as reinforced butt joints. What this means is less wastage but additionally less fire wood!

An email on how and where to locate untreated pallet wood: If you’re a new comer to the skill of scavenging, we produced a few articles: Collecting Pallets – A Couple of Guidelines and Collecting Pallets – How – Where – What. The what is directly from the where, and being aware of what pallet codes mean is paramount to locating loaded with free woodworking wood. Pictured above is really a block from the British pallet, debarked as well as heat treated. That will help you have the optimum quantity of useable wood, we have created the show below (also online here).

Really the only cost with this chicken house, aside from a couple of nails, screws, and 4 metal hinges, may be the cost from the roofer: huge duty tarpaulin, costing around 25 Euros ($35). This really is necessary if, like us, you live in a place where one can get heavy snow and rain. Many other materials involved would be the wood finishes, within our situation hemp and linseed oil. We used natural earth and mineral pigments and découpage.



» Saw

» Hammer

» Spanner for coach bolts

» Tape-measure

» Set square/tri square

» Spirit level

You can build this chicken house entirely with hands tools with the help of:

» Hands drill

» Screw motorists

If available, however, you should use the next:



» Electric drill

» Portable rechargeable drill

» Circular saw


The show below (also online here) shows the detailed steps involved with causeing this to be chicken house, together with a white-colored board tutorial at the start that provides you an introduction to the look. For individuals preferring, however, the chicken house has additionally been created in blog form and could be found here. You will find four blogs to pay for the chicken house project and also the links for that subsequent the first is given at the end of every publish.


How To Proceed: Set up

The following film (also here online) shows us demolishing that old chicken house and establishing the reason for home. Additionally, it shows the little trolley device Andy setup for moving the panels from the chicken house in to the garden, a really helpful tool if you’re handling this project by yourself. The show then takes you with the whole set up process.


A home is protected having a layer of organic hemp oil, that is nontoxic and very hard putting on. To produce some kind of homogeneity within the hue of the pallet wood, I personally use a mix of several earth pigments. For those who have not used at all these before, I’ve written a publish explaining the way they are created, and just how they are utilized to produce your personal unique colours.

The leading gable panel is decorated with découpage cut from paper napkins and it is applied utilizing a water-based acrylic varnish. Within the chicken house proven below and at the beginning of this piece, I cut letters from wrapping paper to accomplish my design as well as used earth and mineral colours to produce borders. I usually make use of this same varnish to complete from the panel, instead of oil, that could damage the paper.

Andy produced the doorway handle from the tree branch. It features a excellent feel into it and suits the chicken house and it is wooded setting.


Maybe you haven’t used tools nor done any DIY plus you’ve got right through to here and located everything just a little overfacing. Possibly you want to begin with something smaller sized and much easier. Think about this: When I write this, it’s Feb, and also the wild wild birds happen to be searching for nesting sites. Why don’t you make sure they are an all natural, untreated pallet wood and fruit crate home? (You can observe it simply underneath the apex from the chicken house roof within the photo below.) It is a good start and may add to greater things!

All the most effective and thank you for shedding by.

Sue and Andy xx


Had a question for Sue? Or perhaps a suggestion for locating pallets about this side from the sea? Publish your comments below and the conversation moving! You could also want to consider joining the Backyard Chickens group, where HOMEGROWN people share all sorts of advice, and when you are just starting to mull the thought of keeping the own hens, don’t miss Rachel’s intro to chickens. If you are thinking about attempting more construction projects, browse the 101s on creating a duck house, a multibin composter, an outside dining room table, along with a hoop house, in addition to ways to use bamboo. You could find more items to make, craft, prepare, preserve, plant, grow, and scavenge within the HOMEGROWN 101 library.



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