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Can You Use Pressure-Treated Wood for a Chicken Coop?

Can You Use Pressure-Treated Wood for a Chicken Coop?

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The purpose of this blog is to share general information and is written to the author's best knowledge. It is not intended to be used in place of veterinary advice. For health concerns, please seek proper veterinary care. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Taking care of chickens is something that you might really enjoy doing. Whether you’re taking care of chickens now or if you’re planning on getting chickens soon, it’s important to do your best to keep the birds happy and healthy.

If you plan on building a good chicken coop in your backyard, then there will be many things to consider. You want to determine the best spot in the yard for the chicken coop, and you also need to consider how to go about making it.

Is there a type of wood that is best to use for building chicken coops? Can you use pressure-treated wood to build a chicken coop or is that a bad idea?

Read the information below to learn about whether you can build a chicken coop using pressure-treated wood. You’ll also learn about some of the other common options that people consider when building chicken coops.

Is Using Pressure-Treated Wood Safe?

Wooden Chicken Coop with Chickens

The reason why it’s important to take the time to think before moving forward is that you want to know that using pressure-treated wood will be safe for the chickens. In the past, some people avoided using pressure-treated wood to build chicken coops.

This is because they assumed that whatever was used to treat the wood could cause harm to the chickens. It might have been the case in the past that pressure-treated wood was potentially harmful to chickens.

However, modern techniques for pressure-treating wood make things much safer. Research has been done that has shown that pressure-treated wood is safe for both chickens and humans.

If you come across information saying that pressure-treated wood is not good for chicken coops, then you should take it with a grain of salt. You see, techniques have changed over the years and it is now supposed to be very safe to build chicken coops with pressure-treated wood.

You’ll even find that there are many benefits to using pressure-treated wood for chicken coops. The chemicals that are used to treat the wood help to make it safe from pests.

You also won’t have to worry so much about maintenance issues if you use pressure-treated wood. One of the best reasons to go with this wood involves it being water-resistant for many years.

Combine this with the fact that pressure-treated wood is very cost-effective and you’ll have a very compelling case for going with this option for your chicken coop. Of course, there are other materials that you can consider as well.


Cedar is a good option when you don’t want to use pressure-treated wood for your chicken coop. This is a wood that’s going to be easy to find and it’ll last for quite some time since it has natural preservatives.

Anyone who is wary of using types of treated wood that contain chemicals will enjoy using cedar. It’s rot-resistant and you don’t necessarily have to use a sealant when you’re making a chicken coop with this wood either.

The only downside is that cedar is very sought after, and this means that it can be somewhat expensive. It isn’t going to be hard to find, but it’ll cost you a lot more cash than it would to simply use pressure-treated wood.

Regardless, you should know that it’s possible to build a beautiful chicken coop using cedar. It’s a great option to consider when you don’t want to use pressure-treated wood and some people find it to be more appealing overall.

Use Softwood Lumber and Sealant

Another option involves using standard softwood lumber. You’ll need to use a sealant of some sort to preserve the wood and ensure that it will last for a long time.

Some people will use standard sealants but others will paint the chicken coop with non-toxic paint. This can take a bit more time than using cedar, but the results will be very good.

You’ll find that using softwood lumber such as pine, spruce, or fir will be much more cost-effective than buying cedar. It’ll even be more affordable when you factor in the sealant or non-toxic paint that you need to purchase.

If you’re on a budget, then you should consider going with softwood lumber. You’ll get a chicken coop that looks nice, and you can make it stand the test of time by using sealant to protect the wood.

So long as you’re willing to put in a bit more effort, this is going to be one of the better options. For most people, it’ll be best to decide between using pressure-treated wood and softwood lumber.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to get good results when building a chicken coop. So long as you remember to use some type of sealant, this is going to work out nicely.

The Best Choice Will Likely Depend on Your Situation

Girl Holding Baby Chicken in Front of Chicken Coop

Telling you what the best choice is will be tough. What choice is going to be best for you might depend entirely on your situation.

Some people are going to need to be able to build chicken coops without spending much money at all. This means that using pressure-treated wood can be the most sensible option for many people.

Others might have a bit more cash to spend and won’t care about the higher cost of buying cedar. If you’re just looking to build something beautiful and you aren’t concerned about cost, then going with cedar is a sensible choice.

Using softwood lumber falls somewhere in the middle of the three choices that have been presented. It doesn’t cost as much cash to buy softwood lumber, but you will have to use a type of sealant since it isn’t naturally resistant.

It will take more time to build a chicken coop using softwood lumber simply because you have to go through the step of using a sealant. Even so, it’s a great option for anyone who wishes to avoid using pressure-treated wood and has to stick to a budget.

You have to take this information and apply it to your situation. Think about your needs and what’s going to work out best for you at the end of the day.

Final Thoughts

Building a chicken coop in your backyard is certainly something that you want to get right. It’s good to take the time to ensure that you’re using materials that will be safe for your chickens.

In the past, people thought that pressure-treated wood had the potential to harm chickens. However, in recent years, techniques have been developed that allow the wood to be treated safely.

Research has been performed that shows that pressure-treated wood is safe for chickens and humans. If you want to use pressure-treated wood to build a chicken coop, then you’ll be able to do so just fine.

It’s probably the most affordable way to build a chicken coop overall. It can also be very cost-effective to build a chicken coop using softwood lumber and some type of sealant.

Cedar is a popular option for building chicken coops, but it’s a bit on the pricey side. Even so, you can build a beautiful chicken coop using cedar that will be naturally resistant to weather issues.

Just take the time to go over the options and pick the one that suits your needs the best. You’ll be able to have a great coop for your chickens and you’ll be glad that you learned about the different types of wood that people like to use for projects such as this.

Keep reading: Why Do Chicken Eat Feathers?

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