The Garden Ark portable chicken tractor plans -





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The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop plans


The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop plans show you how to build an attractive portable chicken tractor for your small backyard flock.


With The Garden Ark chicken coop plans, you're just days away from having a coop that both you and your chickens will love. And you're that much closer to enjoying those prized garden-fresh eggs. . .


Key features of The Garden Ark:

  • » Keep up to 3 hens
  • » Ample ventilation and light
  • » Measures about 3'w x 6'd x 4'h (.9m x 1.8m x 1.2m)
  • » Move it around for grazing and/or fertilizing your garden (it has wheels!)
  • » Know your flock is safe with tough protection against predators
  • » Open floor for grazing, can be secured as needed
  • » Easy access through the dedicated egg door and larger double doors
  • » Can be incorporated with raised vegetable beds
  • » Fits perfectly in the bed of a small pickup
  • » Hardware Quick Kit available (U.S. only)
  • » Built with pride. . . by you!


About The Garden Ark chicken coop plans:

  • » 45+ pages of illustrations, photos, and step-by-step instructions
  • » Written for beginners, with simple cuts and techniques
  • » Includes full tool and material lists
  • » Features construction tips based on years of customer feedback
  • » Metric version is available
  • » Compatible with iPad and other PDF-friendly mobile devices
  • » Only $24.95 — satisfaction guaranteed



LOOK INSIDE THE PLANS! Download a free preview of The Garden Ark
chicken coop plans to see exactly what to expect.


Put your chickens right where they want to be.

There are many advantages to having a portable chicken coop, but foremost among them is that you can give your chickens new ground to graze, till, and fertilize — all while keeping them safe and sheltered.

The Garden Ark mimics the efficient, integrated design of The Garden Coop, scaled down of course for a smaller flock. You get the raised henhouse, plenty of light and ventilation, and an open floor that allows your chickens to snack on grass and bugs and work the soil.

Set them atop raised vegetable beds. Move them around the yard. Or just park the coop for a while (you can leave the bottom open or secure it for additional protection). The Garden Ark functions as either a permanent home or as a companion to a stationary coop. It lets you focus your chickens' activity right where you want it — and right where they most want to be.

See how others are customizing The Garden Ark:

Modern, mobile chicken coop built using The Garden Ark plans
Innovative chicken coop you can move around your garden
Barn red Garden Ark chicken coop
Randy's mobile chicken tractor

and more. . .


From shopping to cutting to putting it all together.

The Garden Ark chicken coop plans show you exactly what you need to get and exactly what to do with it. In just a few days, you can build a high-end coop at a much more modest do-it-yourself price.

The frame is made of two-by-two lumber and sits atop two-by-four skids. This is all wrapped with wood siding and 1/2” hardware cloth then topped with a translucent, polycarbonate roof. There's a roost inside and out, a single nest box and egg door, a sliding door between the henhouse and run, and large double doors for your own access for care and cleaning.



Make it your own.

The Garden Ark has been built by backyard chicken enthusiasts globally since 2009. So along with these plans, you enjoy the benefit of the knowledge, ideas, and examples of those who've built the ark before you.

Paint it your grandkids' favorite color, add natural wood roosts or a ladder, wire up a thermostat, set it atop veggie beds, modify it to keep bunnies — these are just some of the ways others have made The Garden Ark their own. What will you come up with?


See how others are making The Garden Ark their own.


Scroll down for more photos and for answers to common questions about this chicken coop design and our chicken coop plans. Click here to buy and download the plans. Or email us with any other questions.




Satisfaction guaranteed.




More views of The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop

The double doors on the side give you wide access to the hen house above and the enclosed chicken run below. They are easily secured with a barrel-bolted latch at the top and bottom. You can hang a small chicken feeder and/or waterer from the henhouse floor (or add a support to hold even more weight). Or you can just set the feeder and waterer up on a brick or block on the ground beneath the hen house.


Double doors give easy access to the hen house and run of The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop

Barrel bolts secure your hens from predators in The Garden Ark portable chicken tractor design


The egg door gives you access to the nesting box and to the sliding door between the henhouse and enclosed run. The sliding henhouse door allows you to close your chickens up in the henhouse at night, or any time. The entire coop is quite predator proof, actually, but with the sliding door shut, the hen house is practically impenetrable.

Also, the sliding door is designed with an offset at the bottom so that the tracks stay free of any straw, wood shavings, or other litter material in the henhouse. Every step of how to build this chicken coop is explained in the plans.


The egg door on The Garden Ark chicken coop makes collecting eggs easy

The nesting box on The Garden Ark is a cozy spot for your hens to lay eggs

The hens move freely between the run and the henhouse of The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop



Satisfaction guaranteed.



Add a pair of wheels to the back end of The Garden Ark portable chicken coop to roll it where you need it. The Garden Ark plan also describes what modifications you'd need to make if you wanted to attach even larger wheels.


Wheels on The Garden Ark make it easy to roll anywhere in your garden


Build raised vegetable beds that fit The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop perfectly, and incorporate your chickens into your seasonal garden rotation. See the free plans here. Building beds to match your ark gives you all the benefits of a chicken tractor — focusing the chickens' grazing, tiling, and fertilizing activity where you want it — along with the convenience of raised beds. Our free raised bed plans make it easy to build beds that lock together with your coop.


Raised Garden Bed for Chicken Coop


You can even fit The Garden Ark in the bed of a small pickup (or El Camino!), making it the perfect mobile chicken coop for the truly mobile chicken keeper. . .


The Garden Ark chicken coop fits nicely in the bed of a small pickup truck

El Camino with Chicken Coop

(El Camino photo courtesy of customer Nelson J.)


Most first-time chicken keepers start with just one coop, of course. Yet as you get further along in the practice of keeping chickens, there are several reasons you might want a second coop around — to expand your flock, brood chicks, separate a chicken (a broody or sick hen, for instance), or add a walk-in coop to the function of your mobile tractor.

Whatever the reason, The Garden Ark looks smashing alongside The Garden Coop, The Garden Loft, or The Basic Coop! We also offer a discount when you get mulitple coop plans (or kits) at the same time.


Garden Coop and Garden Ark Chicken Coops


We designed The Garden Run enclosure series with all our coops in mind. For The Garden Ark, it offers the distinct advantage of letting you dock your mobile tractor to a larger secured area. The Garden Run plans also include instructions for adding a pop door to The Garden Ark, so that the ark can remain mobile when it's not attached.



Dock your Garden Ark to The Garden Run for a larger secure chicken yard.


There is also a roof design (with rafters) in The Garden Run plans that, while intended initially for those modules, just so happens to fit the ark perfectly! Something to consider if you want to mimic the style of The Garden Coop.

Here's a sketch of The Garden Ark (right) with the alternate roof style. It's docked to a Garden Run half-height module, which is in turn docked to a second half-height module, also with the roof. . .


Sideways roof with rafters on The Garden Ark


» See more photos and videos of The Garden Ark and our other coops.




Satisfaction guaranteed.



Questions about The Garden Ark:


How skilled do I need to be at building?

It would help for you to have used a circular saw and a cordless drill before. You should also know how to use a tape measure. And a hammer. If you have those skills down and you work safely and patiently, you should have no problem building The Garden Ark.

All the cuts are straight. . . and only a handful are not at a right angle. There are no complicated joints either. An extra pair of hands may prove useful from time to time. This is a great project for building confidence in your DIY skills. You can do it!

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How much do the materials cost?

Prices will differ by area, by store, and by the quality of your materials. I'd estimate around $270-320 USD. Add in your local sales tax.

Here's an approximate (2014) cost breakdown by category, in USD:

        • » Wood, $100
        • » Hardware (fasteners, hinges, staples, bolts, etc.), $100 (see optional Quick Kit)
        • » Roofing, $50
        • » Hardware cloth (galvanized wire mesh), $35-50
        • » Wheel assembly, $20
        • » Paint, stain, or sealer - Cost varies

I also offer a Quick Kit for The Garden Ark (U.S. only) that includes everything you need to build the coop except for the bulky stuff (wood, hardware cloth, roofing, paint, etc.). Wheels are included as an option. It's priced competitively with what you'll find locally, but it's pre-shopped and pre-packed in one easy box. It also ships free with no sales tax added.


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How long does it take to build The Garden Ark?

If you've read through the plan and work at a comfortable pace, it can be done in about 5 or 6 days. This estimate includes time for shopping a few stores, sanding, cutting, sealing/painting, and assembling. If you make adaptations, it may take a little longer.

As with any project worth doing, hopefully you'll learn some things as you go along. There's a good mix of steps too. That is, there are steps that are easy but give you a dramatic result. There are some that require more attention to detail, like the doors. Then there are those steps where you are just so excited to see it all coming together that you get into a groove and go, like installing the wire mesh or the roofing panels or whatever finishing touches you dream up.

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What tools will I need to build this chicken tractor?

We designed The Garden Ark chicken coop and plan for someone with beginner-level skills. The cuts are all straightforward (no tricky angles to measure), and the tools are pretty common ones that you likely either have or can easily borrow or buy. Here's the list from the plan:

  • » Tape measure
  • » Pencil
  • » Circular saw
  • » Handsaw
  • » Pair of sawhorses
  • » Hammer
  • » Cordless power drill/driver, with various bits
  • » Adjustable wrench
  • » Two clamps (3" capacity)
  • » Sandpaper, power sander optional
  • » Paintbrush
  • » Wire snips
  • » Leather work gloves and eye/ear protection
  • » Combination square or speed square for marking crosscuts. (See picture, above right.)
  • » An extra pair of hands, on occassion

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Satisfaction guaranteed.



What are the approximate dimensions of The Garden Ark?

The coop measures about 3'w x 6'd x 4'h at the frame. Add a half foot or so all around for the upper dimensions, including the roof overhang. It offers 7+ sq. ft. in the henhouse and 15 sq. ft. in the run. Click here for metric dimensions and questions specific to the metric versions of our plans.

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How many chickens will The Garden Ark house?

The Garden Ark will house up to 3 standard breed hens, or you can customize it or add on for more. This number is based partly on the minimum space recommendations in Barbara Kilarski's book Keep Chickens: 2 sq. ft. per hen in the henhouse and 4 sq. ft. in the run. As designed, The Garden Ark offers 7+ sq. ft. in the henhouse and 15 sq. ft. in the run.

As with any backyard flock, it helps if you have only hens (no roosters) and that they have all been raised together. And if you have an extra fenced-in day run to provide, your flock will appreciate all the foraging/grazing space they can get!

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Is The Garden Ark suitable for cold cllimates?

Yes. More than anything, chickens need excellent ventilation and fresh air — all year. Damp bedding or trapped moisture and condensation from their exhaled breath can encourage mold and disease. The henhouse section of The Garden Ark offers refuge from even bitter cold snaps. It's open-air at the top, but you can easily slip in a panel to regulate the amount of ventilation.

Keep in mind too that most medium and large egg-laying breeds are cold-hardy, bred over generations for success in cold climates — all prior to the advent of electric heat!

For lots more information on preparing your chicken coop and flock for the winter, see the winter-tagged posts at our blog, Coop Thoughts.

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How secure is this coop against predators?

The predators and pests you have to deal with will vary, but let's stick with two for now: rodents and raccoons. Rodents will look for any hole to crawl through to get to the chickens' food, and they can squeeze their bodies really small to do it. The Garden Ark is a mobile tractor, so it is completely enclosed, top and sides, with 1/2-inch (13 mm) hardware cloth, yet open on the bottom so your hens can graze where you put them.

That said, you can close off the bottom as you wish — park your chicken ark on a pad of concrete or pavers at night or build an easily removeable bottom cap. Or simply take in their food.

Raccoons are another story. They will dig, pry, and even undo a latch to get into your coop. Unlike rats and mice, they don't want your chicken feed. They want your chickens. That's why it's important to staple the hardware cloth properly and to use the right kind of latch on the access doors and the egg door. There is also a sliding door between the henhouse and run that you can close at night. If you take these steps, the henhouse can be fully locked down quite easily, even if you choose to leave the bottom of the run open. In many cities and suburbs that require a permit to keep chickens, a predator-proof design is a must.

Again, it's very easy to build one of these removeable bottom caps to seal off the run floor completely. This will allow you to keep the door open between the henhouse and the run, so your chickens can come and go as they please — something any chicken keeper will tell you is a huge convenience.

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Does the plan include instructions for a nesting box?

Yes. The plan does include specs for one nesting box, perfect for 3 or 4 hens. If you wanted another for any reason, you could probably add one. If you're interested in adding external nest boxes to your chicken coop, see our free exterior nesting box plans for guidance.

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How do you clean out the henhouse, and how often?

Cleaning the henhouse is done simply from the double doors on the coop. Just brush the litter down into the yard and add fresh bedding. How often depends on the season and how often your chickens roost in the henhouse. You can paint the henhouse floor or top it with a layer of vinyl flooring to make cleanup easier.

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What about cleaning out the yard?

Move the coop to a new location to clean out the old spot.

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Is the coop suitable for raising baby chicks also? Can I use it as a brooder?

If the weather is warm enough, and/or you can provide ample warmth with a heat lamp, you can use the henhouse part of the coop as a brooder for chicks.

We've done this, and it workes quite well. We set the coop outside under a covered area, removed the roof, partially covered the henhouse section with plywood, added a heat lamp (mounted above a hole in the plywood), and blocked off the side of the henhouse by the double doors (to prevent the chickens from jumping or falling out when we opened it).

You could also fashion a brooder from a cardboard box, set it up in the garage, and keep your chicks in there until they are fully feathered.

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Satisfaction guaranteed.



Can I get the lumber pre-cut at my local hardware store or big-box retailer?

In my experience, the cuts a hardware store will make for you are often not the most precise. Also, there are many cuts in this plan, and while they're simple to do with a circular saw, you'll need to do them on site as you assemble the coop. That said, you can certainly get the store to make some cuts for you so that your materials will fit in your vehicle.

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Can you send me printed plans instead of the eBook (PDF file)?

We only offer plans as eBooks in the PDF format. This lets us get them out quickly (and always in perfect condition), and it keep costs down for everyone. Some past customers whose computer setups were not ideal told me that they forwarded the file to a friend or relative to view and print. You'd be surprised how much help a dozen fresh eggs will get you.

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Will the plans work on my iPad (or other mobile device)?

Yes. Because The Garden Ark chicken coop plan eBook comes as a PDF file, it is fully compatible with your iPad or other PDF-friendly mobile device. Learn more at this post on our blog.

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Is there a metric version of the plan. And do you accept international orders?

Yes to both! You can learn more about our metric plans for The Garden Ark and The Garden Coop here. All our other design plans are universal (feet/inches and mm). You can purchase your chicken coop plans on PayPal using most international currencies and credit cards. Click here to buy and download the plans.

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We're happy to answer any other questions you might have about our chicken coop designs and plans.

Just click here to send us an email. If you currently have The Garden Ark plans, click here to see answers to additional FAQs for current customers.



Satisfaction guaranteed.







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