Karen and her family in Maine used our chicken coop plans to put together this Garden Ark for their backyard flock. She made a few modifications to suit her needs — using wider lumber for the skids, adding handles, and securing the bottom for complete predator protection. (more…)
Posts tagged with ‘The Garden Ark’
One of the nice things about The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop is that you can move it around your yard or garden to focus your chickens’ grazing activity where you want it — just roll it across your lawn or place it atop your vegetable rows.
But what if you prefer to garden in raised beds? How can you incorporate The Garden Ark into your garden rotation so that your hens can graze, till, and help fertilize your garden before or after harvest?
In this tutorial, I show you how to build a raised vegetable bed that fits The Garden Ark design perfectly. (more…)
They’re here! Our new chicken coop hardware Quick Kits for The Garden Coop and The Garden Ark let you build your backyard chicken coop even easier and faster.
In one box you get all the screws, staples, nuts, bolts, washers, nails, roofing screws, latches, hinges, braces, and more that you need to build your coop. All that’s left for you to shop for are the bulky items: wood, roofing, hardware cloth, pier blocks (Garden Coop), and stain/paint. (more…)
The Portland non-profit Growing Gardens is raffling off a brand-new, fully built Garden Ark chicken coop. This mobile coop was lovingly put together by myself and the participants of a chicken coop building workshop I led for Growing Gardens earlier this year. We took great pride and care in building it, and if I may say so, it’s really a sweet little coop! (more…)
I’ve been wanting to do a post showing off a bunch of the pictures I’ve received over the last several months, so in the tradition of the Carnival parades I grew up with in New Orleans, I present to you this first ride of the Krewe of Coops!
Feathers instead of flambeaux. Clucking hens instead of marching bands. Eggs instead of beads and doubloons. Just pull up a ladder, gather the kids, and shout wildly as the floats go by. . . (more…)
* UPDATE (11/14/12): We now also offer a Quick Kit for The Garden Coop.
In one box you get all the screws, staples, nuts, bolts, washers, nails, roofing screws, latches, hinges, braces, custom-cut tubing, and wheels you need to build this modern mobile tractor design.
All that’s left for you to shop for are the bulky items: wood, roofing, hardware cloth, and stain/paint.
The Quick Kit is the perfect companion to The Garden Ark plans for a number of reasons:
- It’s got just what you need — the right parts in the right amounts. So you can dive right into your project.
- It’s priced at what you’d expect to pay if you bought these items locally.
- It includes only high-quality parts, so you don’t have to settle for what your nearby hardware stores might carry.
If you’ve already built The Garden Ark — or The Garden Coop, for that matter — please leave a comment and let me know if something like this would have come in handy for your coop build.
There are a number of reasons you’d want to build both coops: expanding your flock, giving your hens added mobility to graze safely, optional space to house broody hens or deal with personality conflicts (it happens!).
Besides, don’t they just look great together?
Here’s what Karen had to say about her coops:
I have a lot of friends who come over to see our chickens and just love The Garden Coop design. We are planning on adding on the exterior egg boxes this spring. We also built The Garden Ark for our two silkie hens who were having trouble getting along with the chickens in the big coop. I added a little door on the right side so they could have quick access to the yard. They are very happy and the coop is perfect for them. Thanks!
Thanks to Karen for sharing pictures of her chicken coops. Like what she’s built? Leave a comment below. And check out her portrait photography.
For the past few winters, I’ve wrapped our Garden Coop in plastic sheeting to keep driving rain and snow (mostly rain here in the Pacific Northwest) out of the run area.
I’d love to say I do this for artistic reasons, à la Christo, but it’s really all about practicality. Plastic film is inexpensive, easy to put up, and keeps your hens dry and happy. And in the spring, you can just take it down, roll it up, and store it out of the way.
There are other solutions, of course — sheet siding, acrylic panels, canvas, landscape fabric. Let me know in the comments what has worked for you. (more…)
Randy and Christy used The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop plans to build a beautiful white and baby blue chicken tractor for their northern California flock. They also added an ingenious gravity-fed feeding system (made of PVC pipe) and a bucket watering system that mounts to the rear of the coop.
Thanks to Randy and Christy for sharing their ideas and pictures! If you have experience with a PVC chicken feeder or bucket waterer on your chicken coop, leave a comment below. What has worked? What would you do differently?
Several months ago on the advice of a customer, I decided to make a DIY nipple waterer for our backyard chickens. Our birds were just chicks at the time, and keeping them supplied with fresh, clean water with their jar-and-saucer waterer was a frequent chore.
So I fashioned a simple waterer from a used plastic jug and a poultry nipple I bought online. The chicks took right to it, and the difference was remarkable.
No more spilled water. No more poopy water. No more worrying that their water had run dry.
When the flock graduated to the coop, their makeshift waterer went with them, and I started working on a more permanent solution for their larger space.
I got this note from a friend the other day:
John, just wanted to say thanks for The Garden Ark plans. I finally have it done and four hens happily residing. The plans were great. I made a few modifications though:
- I used poultry fencing instead of hardware cloth, for no good reason other than I’m a cheap bastard and I like little tiny cuts on my hands.
- Instead of clean, straight cuts made with a good saw, I decided to go with a more organic-wavy-line cutting style made with a jigsaw. I think I’m in a Frank Gehry phase.
- Instead of “reading all the text,” I often proceeded based on the photos and blind, baseless confidence in my abilities to intuit what you intended. Doors may be in the wrong place, extra 2x2s may not have been used, mistakes may have been made.
All in all, very happy. Getting three eggs a day. –Morgan
Bree built her Garden Ark mobile chicken tractor to fit perfectly atop the raised beds in her Portland, Oregon vegetable garden. And she trimmed the skid ends to work as handles. Here are some notes she shared about the project. . .
I have eight garden beds the same dimensions, and my plan is to move the ark along twice a year or thereabouts, fertilizing and composting in place. I tinkered with the dimensions slightly to have it match the footprint of the beds. And I reversed the egg door and double door sides so that the full panels would be on the south and west sides for better weather proofing and optimal chicken viewing.
The plans were great! Thanks so much for such detailed instructions. By the way, I found it much easier to work with the hardware cloth on the roll. I left it on the roll as I laid it out and stapled it, and then cut it after I’d secured enough to know it wasn’t going to start curling up on me. This was especially helpful for the longest stretch of cloth covering the front and top.
Finally, I’m proud to say that as a newly single mum, I did it all myself. Every bit. I had help moving it, and that was it. It really is possible for one woman who is reasonably handy to do this herself.
Thanks to Bree for sharing her ideas for building and personalizing The Garden Ark. If you’ve found this post helpful, let her know in the comments below.
Matt Allison of Cape Town, South Africa has posted this article about being the first in his neighborhood to start keeping chickens, adding a flock of four to his growing backyard garden. If things trend the way they have in many of the neighborhoods I’m familiar with, his neighbors will soon be following his lead.
I owe Matt a debt of thanks for pushing me to complete the metric version of The Garden Ark plans. He worked with me to review measurements, materials, and process. And his suggestions will help others avoid mistakes that I never would have caught. Most importantly, his coop turned out great, as you can see by the coop pictures at his post. Thanks, Matt!
Where in the world are you building our chicken coop designs? Leave a comment and let us know.
As far as I know, Blair was the first to use our plans to build a Garden Ark in Australia. I’m very grateful to him, actually, for staying in touch throughout the process, advising me on materials available in Australia, and helping lay the groundwork for the new metric version of that plan. (more…)
What can I say, I’ve always loved our chicken coop plans. But when I opened them recently on an iPad, well, I literally saw them in a whole new light.
The images are sharp and clear. The table of contents is clickable for easy navigation. You can zoom in and out on the diagrams and text. And you can perform all the page navigation gestures that are native to iBooks.
What’s more, you don’t need to download a special app (other than the free iBooks app) to be able to download, store, and view our coop plans — or any PDF file for that matter.
Just follow the simple instructions below, and have fun! (more…)