pallet play pen for chicks

Yep, I said it, a play pen for chicks.  In prepping to leave town for vacation, I wanted something the Sisters could hang

completed play pen

out in during the day that would be safe, easy and cheap.  Ta~da—helloooo, pallets!

Thanks to a local store, I can pick up a few pallets whenever I need them.  With a few lying around, it made sense to use them for the playpen. I mean really–don’t they look like the old school wooden playpens that some of us of a certain age used to play in?!

So how to make a chicken play pen?

Materials: 

4 pallets

1 roll of chicken wire (due to the wooden boards being so close together and because the chickens are not yet staying outside at night, I did not use hardware mesh which was more expensive bec/ of its durability; if this were going to be a full-time coop, I would have invested in the hardware mesh.)

piece of wood that covers at least half of the playpen for protection from sun and rain

lattice (I used it bec/ it would provide more sun but also reinforce keeping animals (ie, Prissy, our cat and their mama) out of the play pen

three hinges

long sticks or dowels for roosting

extra boards to create an angle for the roof so rain runs off

chain and carabiner

Tools:

staple gun and staples

drill with drill bit and screwdriver head

heavy duty scissors or some other tool to cut chicken wire

Instructions:

1.  Each pallet has an “outside” and “inside.”  The outside is the flat side where the slats line up.  The inside has the three

chicken wire on “inside” of pallet

foundation boards.

2.  On the inside of each pallet, unroll a section of chicken wire that can stretch over the edges and protect all openings of the pallet.  Staple in place.  Repeat with all pallets.

3.  Line up back and side pallets–I found that the front and back wedged in nicely between the two sides. Screw pallets together using wood screws and drill.

4.  Take the front pallet and line up so that it fits to close but also can be attached to side pallet with hinges.  Screw hinges in place.

5.  Place wood on top of pallets where you want roof.  Put extra boards under front end of roof so water will run down and off the back.  I had mine overhang a bit so water wouldn’t run into the play pen.  Screw into place.

6.  Drape chicken wire across top front section from roof to where door meet sides.  Staple.

7.  Screw in some latticing or pieces of wood across it if you want to prevent animals coming in.

8.  Take your sticks or dowels and poke through holes in chicken wire and lay to rest on sides of pallet so that chickens can roost.

9.  Thread the chain through the chicken wire/pallets  at middle of door and side that is not hinged.  Use carabiner to

Rosie waiting for Mama

secure.

Because my chickens are used to foraging/free ranging out in the woods behind my house, I fill the floor with leaves and dirt so they have access to bugs, etc.  I change these out daily.

What I have found is that the play pen offers my tween chickens an opportunity to be out and about while I’m not here, and they love it.  Next up,  the coop!

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “pallet play pen for chicks

  1. My sister-in-law in Michigan keeps chickens, and she’ll appreciate your plan. No matter how watchful they are, the varmints still manage to get at them sometimes. I love how orange-y the yolks of farm-fresh eggs are, compared to the ones from the grocery store.

  2. Hey there I’m Rob’s sister in law and this plan is just what we need thank you so much! We have access to pallets as we have a manufacturing business and new chicks!!

    1. Awesome! Glad I could be of help. It’s not a great long term solution bec/ of size, but it’s great for little ones who just need some time outside. If you need any other pointers, just let me know. ~cameron

  3. I love this idea. Hmmm…. Now I just have to get up the guts to go asking for pallets. I always wondered where people seem to get them for free. Funny – I drive an Outback, too, so I’m glad to know they will fit! 🙂

    1. Scratchcradle–check out my latest post on pallets for other ideas. I got mine from a “box store” in a large strip mall area. Grocery stores and hardware stores are other good options.

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