Chicken Pallet Pen

I have 30 chicks coming by mail in one week and I figured I would just find a livestock water tank or maybe a large cardboard box to house them in while little. The problem was the livestock tanks used (and very used) were still quite expensive and the cardboard box was pretty flimsy and not re-usable. So, my lovely husband offered up the idea to use some of the free pallets that we have been getting for the past two weekends and make our own re-usable baby chick (poultry) pen. Yea! Great idea. Fortunately for me, he loves to build stuff! Yes, Kristopher, you love to build stuff...all summer long :) The size is 2'8" X 4'4" X 2'8". It is pretty light as well so I can move it around easily. I will put a strip of cardboard in the middle while my 30 chicks need the extra warmth and after a week or two will open it all up to them. The cost of my pallet pen was $20 for screws (which I now have tons of screws let for more projects). Check out the pics below to see the process!

*Note- I can re-use this as a large planter or compost bin.

 Cutting the nails off the pallets with a sawzall

Stack of pallet planks

   resided with planks tightly together to reduce drafts and escapies

meg with modern roots
5/12/2013 2:23:32 AM

It's about 3 feet tall. BUT you don't have to build it that tall. When they are little, they only need it about 2 feet tall.

annette engelbert
5/10/2013 2:09:21 PM

How tall is your box? I'm not that tall so if I have to reach in the bow I don't want to fall in. LOL

meg with modern roots
3/2/2013 3:42:25 AM

Hey Dave! I love them!! I have hit the pallet pit on untreated HUGE pallets. I have a lot of lumber now for my projects.

meg with modern roots
3/2/2013 3:36:49 AM

Thanks Sue! These have not been treated and we did not get any that were treated for the reasons you state above. This is natural wood and we even got several that were so beautiful with great striping which I plan to build planter boxes out of! Most of my pallets came from a furniture warehouse that were used 1X and all natural wood (several 2x4x8s etc). I did however see some on an ad that were treated and passed those up! But thanks for the clarification- I should have mentioned that ;)

sue wiggs
3/1/2013 4:26:44 PM

You have some good ideas about reusing wood (and any other materials on hand, I do it myself as much as possible), but pallets are generally treated wood and the chemicals (preservatives) that are released into the space that the chicks are occupying as well as foot contact with the treated wood could prove detrimental to the chicks' well being. For this reason you would not want to use this treated wood around any food source such as livestock, gardens growing food or compost bins whose contents are destined for a food garden. I break my broody hens by placing them into a small pool with water in it to cool the belly down. They will protest quite profusely at first and I just let them flap their wings and squawk, usually 20-30 seconds or so. I hold onto them with the breast in my fingers and my thumbs wrapped around where the wings attach (so they can have full movement). Once they realize you're not trying to drown them -LOL- then they will relax a bit , and I like to move them gently from side to side, almost like they are swimming. After a minute or so they will relax to the point that you can let go of them and they will usually take a few seconds before they realize they are free again and hop out of the water, or not. The whole point of this exercise is to cool the belly temperature. If it's too cool to hatch the eggs she will stop brooding.

nebraska dave
2/28/2013 3:54:02 AM

Hey Meg, those free pallets are a great resource for just about any kind of project. I have found that looking under Craig's list free will produce almost an endless supply of pallets. They can be remodeled into many useful things especially around a garden. Have a great pallet remodeling day.

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