Make It Your Own: Bree’s Garden Ark, Portland, Oregon

This Garden Ark chicken coop was built to fit perfectly over the raised gardening beds.

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.

** UPDATE: I’ve since created this tutorial for building raised beds that are sized to fit The Garden Ark perfectly. Take a look! **

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.

Make It Your Own: Mary’s Garden Ark, Atlanta, Georgia

Easy to build chicken tractorThis Garden Ark in Atlanta’s West End neighborhood is a good example of how anyone can use our chicken coop design plans to create something wonderful. According to Mary, “I did it all by myself with no help. . . I had never used a circular saw before this project!”

Not only did the plans help Mary build the coop herself, they also gave her the skills and confidence to take the design even further. Her adaptations include. . .

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Make It Your Own: Tony J.’s hybrid coop

I had just finished putting the wheels on one of my first Garden Arks this past July, and as I rolled it out of the garage to snap a few pictures to add into the new plan, a neighbor happened to be strolling by with his baby and dog. He stopped to introduce himself, and we started talking coops (everyone does that, right?). Although this was the first time we’d met, it turns out Tony had been considering The Garden Coop design online. . .

Fast forward a couple of weeks. I started selling plans for The Garden Ark, and when my first sale came in, I was thrilled. I even thought about framing the PayPal receipt the way brick-and-mortar shops display their first dollar—alas, another tradition made less charming by e-commerce.

Then, just a couple weeks ago, I was surprised to get an email from Tony with photos of his finished coop. Turns out he was that first customer! He explained that he’d bought the plans for The Garden Ark, but wanted to bring in certain elements he’d seen on The Garden Coop.

The results are pretty cool. Read More