DIY Pallet Duck House {& Pallet Dangers}

DIY Pallet Duck House from Yellow Birch Hobby Farm

Pallets are all the rage, aren’t they? In a wide movement of self-sufficiency (and thanks to Pinterest!), pallets have become a hot number, and for good reason. Why? Because you can make a billion things with them! Just type “pallets” into a search at Pinterest and you will be greeted with countless possibilities for every walk of life and interest. It’s pretty awesome.

I must, however, state a few warnings to you.
Pallets have been linked with exposure to Ecoli, formaldehyde {primarily from pressed wood pallets}, toxins, bacteria, mold, vermin and bird droppings, etc. Yes, there are potential dangers in handling pallets- do we really know where they have come from? The magical letters you want to look for on a pallet are “HT”, meaning “Heat Treated”. They’ve been dried in a kiln and no chemicals should have been used on the wood. 
Now, when considering a pallet project we must also consider where those pallets will be used. I have seen toddler beds made from pallets. My opinion? Not worth the risk. They’re cute…but not worth it. I also wouldn’t suggest using a pallet for a pallet garden from which you will be eating. We want our homegrown food to be organic and free of pesticides or other chemicals…chemicals that might be introduced from your pallets. BUT- the pallet flower gardens? Great! So many good ideas for those out there! And so many other projects that we can comfortably use these upcyclable {is that a word?!} little wonders for.
Consider today’s project: The Pallet Duck House. I knew that the pallets I was using would be stuffed with insulation and then sided on both sides. And painted. So even had I not found heat treated pallets, it likely would have been okay in this situation as the pallets themselves would have been enclosed and sealed away from the animals. Otherwise, using untreated pallets for your animal housing could mean you are taking a risk of them being exposed to a multitude of things. 
I began by laying one pallet on the ground and then securing one of the “walls” pallets to it by using various nails. I did not go out and buy anything for this project, so I used whatever nails I had. You want to have either level ground to work on or use something to level out the whole works like I did, using bricks. Do the walls need to be perfectly straight? No. Does the structure need to be perfectly square? No- and don’t expect it, especially with using pallets. 
Secure the back wall with a third pallet. You can see I had some adjustments to do. I used some bricks to bring up the front right corner and then had to remove and reattach the left wall. I’m no carpenter, I can tell you that much! But I was determined 😉
Attach the right wall. All was nice and straight by this point. {No level used or anything, just eyeballing it}.
Next came the roof and siding. My husband works at a lumber mill and had access to several 16-foot shipping crates {all made of heat treated wood!} which he cut apart and hauled home. We used boards from the crates for the siding. 
And even more of the shipping crate wood to create the roof. The space at the top would eventually be stuffed with insulation and sealed off. The slats of the pallets inside of the house were also filled with insulation {we had several bags of insulation that came with the house when we bought it}.
Shingles {from my brother} and paint. We did buy the red paint, but the white came with the house at well. We didn’t mind the multi-colored roof- we’re happy to get whatever we can and make it work! 
Siding the inside of the house.
Finally, a door. We didn’t have to build this- it came off of one of the crates. But building a door like this one would be pretty simple. Attached with hinges and a hook and eye latch.
We house five ducks in this one. We built a second duck house using a framed-up crate that we scored at our local lumber yard. All we had to do was insulate and side {both in and out}, add a roof and door. There was no securing separate pallets together, so it was nice and quick! It’s also longer and larger than the other and in it we house our other 7 ducks.

Thank-you for coming over for a pallet project today!
How do you use your pallets?

About yellowbirchhobbyfarm

Hi! I'm Erin, a 19th-century homesteader at heart. Here at Yellow Birch Hobby Farm we practice self-sustainable living by way of organic gardening, canning & preserving, raising a variety of livestock, hunting, foraging, and cooking from scratch. And here at our blog, we share it all with you! So glad you've found us.

6 comments on “DIY Pallet Duck House {& Pallet Dangers}

  1. Very cute and economical…and thanks for the warning about the toxins etc. One question tho about ventilation? It appears there is an opening on either side at the top? If so, is that covered with any type of hardware mesh or wire to keep predators out? I couldn’t tell from the photos. Thanks!
    And thanks for linking up this week to the From the Farm Blog Hop!
    Fresh Eggs Daily

  2. There are various companies that give pallets away, they look smaller than yours. I never thought about chemicals, I thought the wood was untreated, thanks for the heads up.

    I mentioned to my husband about using them to make our green house, but he shot that idea down. Green house is almost done, and looking good.

    Pinning to my chickens board, thanks for sharing on Tuesdays With a Twist, please join us again tomorrow morning.

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