Our project used extra landscape timbers plus three 4×4 posts for foundations. We attached the full pallets with 3-inch screws and ran 2×3’s along the inside and middle to connect the pallets. This gave us a very steady support for placing a second layer of pallets cut to half size. We braced each corner with 2×4’s and also ran 2×4’s around tops of finished walls for strength. We then used a variation of 2×4 t-posts to construct the roof and attached trusses with hurricane ties instead of notching each board. Before applying the shingles (found at Lowe’s in the cull pile). I painted a waterproof undercoat then used ALL our empty bags of chicken feed as an additional measure.
- Total pallets used for coops and runs: 58
- Total number of 2x4s for all construction including runs and doors: 40 (culled prices were $1 each)
- Total number of 2×3’s to connect pallets: 16 (Culled prices were $1 each)
- Eight 1×4’s for doors (Culled is $5 for bundle of 8)
- Ten sheets cheap OSB ($6.89 each)
- Hurricane ties: 24
- 5lb box of 3 inch decking screws ($32)
- 5lb box of 1 3/4 inch decking screws (lots left over) ($30)
- Roofing nails ($12)
- 50ft roll 1-inch chicken wire (lots left over now) ($45 on sale)
- Ten 3/4inch PVC pipes and twenty-four connectors at a 45-degree angle ($30)
- Two packs cable ties ($2 at Wal-Mart)
- One 5 gallon bucket of waterproofing paint ($30 at Lowe’s in mismatched paint)
- Three full packs of shingles ($10 each at Lowe’s because they were open and we asked for a discount) IF you don’t ask, you don’t get!!
- Twelve landscaping timbers (we already had these, but they run about $4 each)
- Two 4x4x8 ($8 each)
- 1/2 gallon of yellow paint for fun ($10 because it was mismatched)
We estimated our total cost at approx. $450 for coops and runs (including gas for driving to pick up supplies). I used left-over OSB to build doors and some scrap 1×4’s for the windows. I also used scrap 2×4’s to build shelves for my tools and two roosting bars for the chickens.
Total construction time was two months. (please note that my sister and I both work full time and have additional farm animals plus two grandsons to care for).
We live in the mountains of Arkansas, but close to Hot Springs so there are many predators. The chicken-wire keeps the chickens in and protects them from hawks, but you will still need to keep their coop doors securely closed at night. The coops are dry, solid, no leaks or stress points, and the chickens are happy! Baby chickens are now free to hatch, we have a constant supply of fresh eggs, and we sell the organic free-range eggs (we let out the chickens at times when it is safe) for $3.50 per dozen.