When raising chickens for the first time in the city, there is the idealistic and there is the realistic. We got our first six chicks shipped to us from a website. We did not have a coop when they arrived. I decided they could live in a plastic bin in our basement and I would muster the troops to help me build a coop out of pallets.
There were many holes in my plan. I did not have any pallets, nor did I know where to get any. Also, I have no carpentry skills. Even if I could get enough pallets that were heat-treated (because the internet says that’s better for your chickens than other types of treated pallets), I do not know how to build with them.
After doing more research, it was evident that building with pallets is not free or easy. You need to buy wood as frames for the coop and the pallet wood acts as the siding. It would probably cost me $100 or more for all the supplies and there was no guarantee the whole thing wouldn’t fall over.
Because of that, I had to swallow my pride and buy the coop pictured above. I don’t like my coop. Hate it, actually. Ideally, I’d have a sweet coop made out of pallets (green and creative!), but I can barely use a drill. Instead, I have this coop. You can buy it on Amazon (here). I bought it used on Craigslist, risking infection to my chickens as I had no idea the health of the previous chickens. I wouldn’t recommend it. It is also flimsy with many holes that need to be covered, but that’s all I can do.
I have plans this spring to build a bigger, better coop. My father-in-law helped me with the fence, which has taught me a lot. For now, my chickens are safe and happy in my less-than-ideal coop.