Posts tagged with ‘Wood’


Is formaldehyde offgassing from plywood or OSB an issue in a chicken coop?

Friday, October 9th, 2009

I got this question from a coop builder a few months ago:

“A friend saw that I had bought OSB [oriented strand board] and mentioned that this was a potential hazard due to formaldehyde emissions. What are your thoughts on this? Am I better off returning it and going with plywood?”

Some background first. Formaldehyde is used in the resins (glues) of some manufactured wood products like plywood and particle board. The emissions the builder was concerned about are often referred to as “offgassing” or “outgassing,” which is the gradual release or evaporation of chemicals from a building material. If these vapors build up in an enclosed space, like a car or home, it could lead to a problem. But what about in a chicken coop?


Which wood is best for a chicken coop?

Friday, February 6th, 2009

Chicken coop with log roosts in run area.

[Post updated Dec. 2017] Most chicken coops are made of wood, and all wood eventually rots. Our coop designs feature overhanging roofs to protect the structures and their occupants from rain. But your coop will still get wet and be exposed to humidity, insects, and UV light. To protect the wood from the ravages of being outdoors you have a few options:

  • 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. For a quick overview of our 10 tips and takeaways click here.