5 Useful Farm Projects Made From Used Shipping Pallets

Monday, November 7, 2011

I’m always on the lookout for inventive ways to reuse materials to build what I need on our homestead. Years ago my sister and I had an agreement with a local glass company in town to haul away the packing crates that held windows and doors during shipping. A few weekends a month sis and I would drive across town in our pick up truck and load up what ever would fit in the bed. We would then use the wood from the crates to make feeders, fences and we even used some of the more substantial wood to build or repair our sheep barns.

Shipping pallets are used to transport a wide variety of consumer items, from cases of big box store groceries to home improvement supplies to televisions and stereos and radios, even livestock feed and supplies are all stacked and shipped on wooden shipping pallets.

We probably don’t think about how many times we see trucks unloading goods on a pallet, but it’s important that we begin to take notice of this huge use of natural resources and how we as homesteaders can benefit.

Why is it important?


  • Approximately 40% of all hardwood harvested in the U.S. is for making shipping pallets.
  • About two-thirds of pallets are used only once before being thrown out. (Approximately 150 million per year)
  • 1/4 of all wood in landfills is from used pallets.

You can help prevent deforestation and keep pallets out of landfills by finding creative alternative uses for them. Pallets can be found everywhere. Once you start looking for them, you’ll see them scattered all over your town or city.

Contact a local warehouse, supermarket, or any business that receives large shipments, and get permission to pick up their used pallets. Most companies are happy to give their pallets away for FREE.

For larger wood like 2x6s and 2x8s, contact local glass or door companies for their policy about giving away shipping crates.

Below are a few of our favorite pallet projects.

Compost Bins:

My very first compost bin was built with used pallets. It was very simple to make. I bolted together 3 pallets at the top a bottom to make a “U” shape, then hinged the forth pallet on the front as a door. The slatted spaces on the pallets provided great air circulation and the hinged door made it easy to remove the finished compost.

To make a multi-bin compost system simply add more bins on the side, making sure to stabilize them with wooden stakes or “T” posts.

Small Chicken Coop:

Chickens are not too particular about their housing as long as it’s warm, dry, free from drafts and protected fr om predators, they are happy campers. The partially finished coop below was made using several pallets for the floor, sides, nesting boxes and eventually the roof.

To make a simpler version that is adequate for a smaller flock of 3 to 4 hens use one pallet for the floor and four for the sides, hinging one to use as a door. The top can be made from another pallet or scrap materials like corrugated roofing, plywood or 1” x 6’s. Nesting boxes can be made from more scrap lumber or you can use wooden crates, cat litter containers or square buckets found a most donut or bakery shops. Use your imagination for this one.

Small Livestock Feeder:

Modified pallets can also make sturdy hay feeders for sheep and goats. Remove all the slats except those on the top and bottom. Use the removed slats to fill in the spaces on the back side. Now bolt the pallets together, side-by-side, at the top, middle and bottom to make a longer feeder or use just one pallet for a smaller feeder.

A welded livestock panel, purchased at a livestock supply company, or a cement reinforcing panel, available at most home improvement stores, is cut to size and placed on the inside of the feeder and nailed to the front slats. This allows animals to eat through the openings, but won’t let them climb into the feeder or walk on and soil the hay. You can attach hangers on smaller feeders so they can be hung on a fence. Larger feeders can be made stationary with “T” post supports.

Sheep/Goat Barn:

One of the best projects I’ve seen using salvaged pallets is a full sized sheep barn. The walls were built with pallets around a portable 10’ x 20’ carport, available at most home improvement or big box stores. 2’ x 6’s were laid out as the footing.

The carport was then bolted to the footing which was secured into the ground with rebar pins. This helps keep the carport form shifting laterally. The carports guideline anchors were attached high on the structure and placed several feet away from the building to stabilize it in high wind areas.

The interior walls were made by lining up similar sized pallets, the length of the carport, and capping them with 2” x 4’s. This project used 13 pallets, 5 for each side and 3 for the back wall. Once the walls were built they were fastened, top and bottom, to each carport post using flexible metal plumbers tape.

 The front of the barn was built using m more pallets and scrap lumber to mirror the shape of the carport opening. A salvaged door and windows were used for access to the barn and to bring in more light. The entire front was bolted to the wooden footing and fastened to the carport using the metal plumbers tape.That’s what I call farm girl ingenuity!

Stabilize the walls by screwing them together or use 2” x 4’s vertically on the front and screw it into the pallets. Dismantled pallets can be placed at an angle on top of the walls so the roof will be slanted.

Depending on the size of your shed, use a 2” x 4” or a 4” x 4” as a header on the front. At this point you can roof the shed with plywood, scrap lumber or salvaged roofing materials.

Firewood Shed:

Another great use for pallets is a firewood storage shed. Depending on the size of your wood pile, lay pallets side-by-side in either one row or two to make the floor. You can fasten them together by laying a piece of plywood over the top and screwing it into the pallets or you can screw them together from the underneath side as you lay out the floor. More pallets can be placed vertically around three sides to make up the walls of the shed. Leave the front open for easy access.

For more ideas on how to build with used pallets, Google “building with pallets”.

Your only limitation is your own imagination!

22 Responses to “5 Useful Farm Projects Made From Used Shipping Pallets”

  1. Julia says:

    These are great ideas. I’m going to show my husband the one for the firewood shed. We could really use it. Thanks

  2. chris @ backacrehomestead.com says:

    I love the chicken coop! Your compost bins look just like ours, you just have a bigger operation. We’ve been using pallets for our compost bins for 4 years or so.

  3. Hello Dear, are you genuinely visiting this web site on a regular basis, if so after that
    you will absolutely take nice knowledge.

  4. But beware it takes the smallest of things to turn them off.

    Tip #3: Set A Goal For Your Video Marketing Exploits.
    It is also an excellent idea to offer them a free
    report, e – Book, newsletter, video or audio iff they click your URL and visit your internet site.

  5. Adrienne says:

    We stumbled over here from a different web page and thought
    I might as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you.
    Look forward to finding out about your web page yet again.

  6. IT deprtments tend to think in isolation when iit comes to
    the I. But, is it enough to supply simply the answers to customers’ inquiries.
    During this phone call no attempt was made to excuse the
    complete lack of communication at the New York airport.

  7. I’ve been surfing on-line more than 3 hours today, but
    I by no means discovered any fascinating article like yours.

    It’s pretty price sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all
    site owners and bloggers made just right content as you probably did, the
    net shall be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  8. Nobody do noot want to spend money to a plumber that is not so good, and almost
    everyone value heir money so much. Wall mounted mirrors are available with wood borders that match your cabinet choice perfectly.
    Evven for antique fixtures, prices vary drastically.

  9. State monllc blogspot blog broadcaster NRK mentioned Saturday’s have a look at was the 1st time several in the youthful people
    nowadays experienced observed just one one more granted how the traumatic occasions a calendar
    month ago. He immediately set his sights on ownership of the store.
    And, of course, never-mind the fact that there had been nobody else to care
    for her mother, save perhaps in the kinds of “nursing homes” which numerous evidence serves to
    indicate are, among other things, too mortally dangerous, potentially,
    even to be called “human” KENNELS.

  10. This will hwlp your medical care provider recommend
    the right treatment for you. Your first reading wll generallly be higher than the rest.
    And based from the good reviews, it is a good brand to invest on.

  11. If the remote is with you and you are not controlling it, check the wiring.
    If there iss any problem with the safety sensors, the liight bulb
    on some openers will flash many times and the garage
    door will not close unless steady pressure is used to
    the wall button mounted inside the garage.

    The tension in the lift springs when released can snap back
    and cause serious injury or worse.

  12. These are very popular for smaller garages because they roll up and quietly into a tight roll just above the spot where the car enters the port.

    By and large, the springs are thee first ones which fail to function properly in garage doors because they are the
    most commonly used and most important parts of a door.

    Safety gogggles are also often recommended, depending on how serious the repairs are.

  13. These are just a few of thhe concerns you need to answer and will
    set you onn the right path. According to recent
    study conducted at 2004, the study revealed that
    the diet lead to 70% constipation of the subjects, 65% halitosis, 54% headaches, and
    10% hesring loss. “The side effects and complications during admission were delay in onset of the ketotic state (10.

  14. Do not think that the appearance of your body iss completely dependwnt on thee characteristics of food.
    It’s refreshing, you’ll get some sugar, but not nearly as much and it’s
    from fruit, not corn sweeteners. They do absolutely nothing but make you feel and look awful.

  15. If you want a brutally honest opinion of how your house
    looks, invite someone who is unbiased to do a walk through and make suggestions.
    Oil-based paints and finishes tend to become brittle and as the wood expands and
    contracts can crack. Modern Warfare 2: A Guide To Playing Multiplayer Online.

    My page: repair garage door spring Atlanta

  16. Keyword selection is important in evcery SEO campaign. With thhe right server
    technologies you can be abe tto create a website
    hit counter in a matter of minutes. This is probably the
    most popular way in making money with the website – and very likely the easiest.

    my weblog; site internet

  17. Unfortunately, this is often ignored or minimized by non-professionals.
    You will need to mix a cup of it in a gallon of water
    and then scrub the affected area two or three times until all the traces of mold have been removed.
    Mold can be cleanup up if done properly, but if done improperly you
    can make the damage worse.

    Look at my web blog; mold remediation San Diego

  18. Tip number four – here’s a couple tips that you might find useful,
    for earning money at home right away. When thee victim agrees and pays, they are
    given a subdomain of a sungle website with a generic name.
    Remarkably, Twitter haas becomee a haven ffor spammers who have been able
    to develop tools to allow them to message random people inn order to generate

    Feel free to surf to my weblog; Amazon affiliate link localizer

  19. Thanks for finally writing about > 5 Useful Farm Projects Made
    From Used Shipping Pallets | Suburban Homesteading –
    The Frugal Living < Loved it!

  20. It’s genuinely very complicated in this active life to listen news on Television, therefore I just use internet for that
    reason, and take the hottest information.

  21. Fantastic items from you, man. I’ve take into account your stuff
    prior to and you’re just too magnificent.
    I really like what you’ve got right here, really like what you’re stating and the way in which in which you assert it.
    You’re making it enjoyable and you still care
    for to keep it smart. I can not wait to read far more from you.
    That is really a tremendous site.

  22. Darlene says:

    I do believe all the concepts you’ve presented
    to your post. They’re really convincing and can definitely work.
    Still, the posts are very short for newbies. May just
    you please lengthen them a bit from subsequent time?

    Thanks for the post.

Leave a Reply