Which wood is best for a chicken coop?

Outboard nesting boxes with siding on the Garden Coop.

Chicken coop with log roosts in run area.

Most chicken coops are made of wood. By choosing the best wood for your chicken coop — and protecting it — you’ll get the most out of the time and money you spend building a safe home for your flock.

The challenge is that all wood eventually rots. While our coop designs feature overhanging roofs to protect the structures and their occupants from rain, your coop will still get wet and be exposed to humidity, insects, and UV light. But fear not. You have a few options to protect the wood from the ravages of the outdoors:

  • Build with wood that’s infused with pesticides (pressure-treated)
  • Use a naturally rot-resistant wood (like cedar, redwood, or tropical hardwoods)
  • Choose a softwood (like Douglas fir, hemlock, spruce, or pine) and apply a nontoxic sealer or treatment
  • Choose a plywood designed for exterior use and stain or paint it

In this post, I’ll go through each of these options, weighing the pros and cons. I’ll start with my least favorite and end with my preferred approaches so you can decide what the best wood types are for your chicken coop project. For a quick overview of our 10 tips and takeaways click here.

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