I hadn’t built one of these in several months, so I found myself having to relearn a few things as I went. Whenever I’d get stuck on a step, my daughter would gently remind me to “read the plan, Dad.” Now there’s an idea.
I can’t get over how much fun it is to build this coop. Everything happens in clear, logical steps and comes together nice and neat. By the end of building one, I want to move in.
This Garden Ark in particular was a full family effort. My son worked with me through the whole process. I may have more strength to work the tools, but he’s a natural builder. It won’t be long before he’s doing these on his own. He can still fit in tight spaces too, which came in handy a couple times.
My daughter got in on the coop project too, helping to keep me grounded, building the nesting box, and taking a turn with the power driver any chance she could get. And my wife came up with the color scheme and spent a few afternoons painting the henhouse siding and doors.
If you’re thinking of trying your luck in the raffle, here are a few details about this Garden Ark: It measures about 3′ wide by 6′ long by 4.5′ tall. It’s sized for three or four hens. It comes with a nesting box and perches, inside and out. It’s enclosed on the top and sides with 1/2″ galvanized hardware cloth. The lumber is treated with a non-toxic, eco-friendly wood preservative, and it’s got three coats of really nice exterior paint on the siding. The white polycarbonate roof panels are virtually indestructible and let through a beautiful glowing light. Pause for air. . .
The egg door and the double doors are barrel-bolted and lockable. There’s a sliding door for the henhouse access opening if you want to seal your hens in the henhouse at night. If you’re starting with chicks, you can use the henhouse as a brooder (the roof can be removed to make way for the heat lamp). There’s a pair of 6″ wheels on the back, so you can tilt and roll it fairly easily. And last but not least, it fits in the bed of a small pickup.
You can see this Garden Ark — and buy as many raffle tickets as you can afford to try to win it — July 17-24, at the Urban Farm Store (2100 SE Belmont, Portland). With every ticket, you help Growing Gardens as they try to raise even more $$$ than last year. In the meantime, save the date of the tour (Saturday, July 24, 2010) and tell your friends to do the same. And if you just can’t wait to have a Garden Ark all your own, you can always build one yourself!