Girl sits in front of small mobile chicken coop with three chickens inside
Girl sits in front of small mobile chicken coop with three chickens inside
Free chicken tractor plan preview
Barrel bolts secure your hens from predators in The Garden Ark portable chicken tractor design
Double doors give easy access to the hen house and run of The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop
The egg door on The Garden Ark chicken coop makes gathering eggs easy
The Garden Ark chicken coop fits nicely in the bed of a small pickup truck
Girl stands next to a small green chicken coop you can move around your yard
Boy puts chicken into a small chicken tractor from plans
Wheels on the back of a mobile chicken coop

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.

$24.95

Consider adding:

Hardware Quick Kit for The Garden Ark Mobile Chicken Coop

Get your shopping done faster, get exactly what you need, and focus on building a sweet little mobile coop for your chickens. (U.S. only.) Shipping is included!

Optional Wheel Kit for The Garden Ark Mobile Chicken Coop

This pair of 6″ steel hub wheels and axles allow you to tilt and roll The Garden Ark mobile chicken coop from spot to spot in your yard. MUST be purchased at the same time as The Garden Ark hardware kit. (U.S. only.)

Description

With The Garden Ark plans, you’re just days away from having a mobile 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 mobile chicken coop design:

  • 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:

  • Instant download
  • 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
  • Purchase includes both U.S. (feet/inches) and metric (millimeters) versions
  • Compatible with iPad and other PDF-friendly mobile devices
  • Satisfaction guaranteed
  • Click here for free plan previews: U.S. | Metric

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 mobile chicken coop mimics the efficient, integrated design of larger walk-in coop designs, but is scaled down 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 coop 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.

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 half-inch 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 mobile chicken coop design has been built by backyard chicken enthusiasts around the world 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?

A place for everything

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.

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.

Take your chicken coop for a spin.

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.

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.

Or park it over a veggie bed.

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.

The perfect first, second (or third) chicken coop

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 another 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 our other coop designs. We also offer a discount when you get multiple coop plans (or kits) at the same time.

Dock your ark to a backyard chicken “space station” by adding The Garden Run plans.

We designed The Garden Run enclosure series with all of our coops in mind. For The Garden Ark, it offers the distinct advantage of letting you dock your mobile chicken 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.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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!

Estimate $350–$475. Prices will differ by region and by store. If you get what’s on The Garden Ark materials list new at 2022 Home Depot prices, you’ll pay around $475 USD pre-tax. This may come down as lumber prices stabilize. Or it may increase a few percent each year.

Here’s an approximate (May 2022) cost breakdown by category, in USD:

  • Lumber, plywood, and siding: $200 (Prices increased during the pandemic and may yet come down.)
  • Hardware (fasteners, hinges, staples, bolts, etc.): $125 (see our optional Quick Kit to save on this)
  • Roofing: $70
  • Hardware cloth: $35 (May be worth comparison shopping for. Check with farm/feed stores or wire distributors in your area. Often you’ll find a deal on Amazon too — see our Buyer’s Guide for links.)
  • Wheel assembly: $35 (add to our optional Quick Kit to save on this)
  • Paint, stain, or sealer: Cost varies

We also offer a Hardware 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. This chicken coop hardware kit is 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.

What will save you money on your chicken coop for sure is having a clear idea of what you’re building, not overbuying, and not mis-measuring and making costly mistakes. A solid, time-tested chicken coop plan will help you with that. 

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.

We designed The Garden Ark mobile 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
  • An extra pair of hands, on occasion

The coop measures about 3’w x 6’d x 4’h (0.9 x 1.8 x 1.2 m) at the frame. Add a half foot or so all around for the upper dimensions, including the roof overhang.

It offers 7+ sq ft (0.65 sq m) in the henhouse and 15 sq ft (1.4 sq m) in the run.

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 add The Garden Run modules or have an extra fenced-in day run to provide, your flock will appreciate all the foraging/grazing space they can get!

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.

If you’re in an especially hot or tropical environment, consider adding ventilation in the henhouse walls. We generally recommend keeping the hens’ access to the run open at all times no matter what climate you’re in so your chickens can enter and exit the henhouse as they need to. 

The predators, vermin, 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 half-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 removable 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 a removable wire bottom cap 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.

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 blog for free exterior nesting box plans.

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.

Just move the coop to a new location to clean out the old spot.

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 works 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.

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.

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.

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 devices. 

Yes to both! So whether you work in feet/inches or millimeters (or a combination of the two), our plans have you covered.

You can purchase your chicken coop plans using most international currencies and credit cards. 

Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
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Dave S.
Learned a lot

It came out a lot better than I ever thought I could accomplish on my own--and in large part due to your extremely thorough instructions which didn't assume any prior woodworking knowledge and had plenty of illustrations to reinforce the text. Thanks for the encouragement. Not only will I have a home for our chickens, but I will have a lot more confidence tackling other woodworking projects now. I've learned a lot of valuable techniques and advice working through your plans.

K
Ken O.
Plans and hardware kit were well worth it

We finished our Garden Ark with a few deviations. I really appreciate having well documented plans to work from. Looking at all the different ideas was overwhelming, and your designs stuck a chord. Getting the hardware package from you was well worth it in time saved pondering and scheming at the hardware store.

L
Liora L.
Lovely plans

Thank you so much for the lovely plans. This was my first construction project of any kind. My dad bought most of the supplies, a gift for my birthday, only to have his garage burn down a couple of days later, supplies included. The bright part about the fire is that it motivated me to do the work on my own, find my own tools, figure everything out.

Ordering & Delivery

It is your responsibility to make sure that any project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation. The information and plans offered on this site are offered AS IS for information and entertainment purposes only.

The Garden Coop LLC makes no warranties or representations of any kind concerning the accuracy, suitability, or safety of the information contained on the site or in the plans. By using the information or ordering the plans you expressly acknowledge having read and understood this disclaimer and the waivers contained in it, and you agree to hold The Garden Coop LLC, its owners, employees, and agents or anyone else who has been involved in the creation, production, or delivery of this site or the plans harmless from any damages or injuries of any kind to you or any person that might result from your use of or reliance upon the information or from any errors, omissions, or other causes.

Uses and permissions

Unless otherwise noted, The Garden Coop LLC is the legal copyright holder of the content on this website and in the plans. Content is intended solely for the use of the purchaser, and may be printed for personal use only.

No images or content from this website or the plans may be published, resold, shared, or distributed without written consent from the copyright holder.

Keep in mind that we’ve priced the plans for personal use only. If you’d like to build our designs to sell, please contact John, the designer, directly. If you feature a coop or run built with one of our designs (even if modified) online or in other marketing materials, please use your own photography, credit the design as “Built using design plans from TheGardenCoop.com,” and link to the web address (TheGardenCoop.com).

Thanks! And contact John with any questions.

Once your payment is processed, you should be taken to a “thank you” page that has a secure download link to your plans. You will also receive an automated email from us containing your download link(s). Click on the download link and save your plans to a memorable location on your computer or device.

If you have an active spam filter, please add “info@thegardencoop.com” to your safe senders list before purchasing. If your confirmation/download email does not appear within fifteen minutes of your completed purchase, please check your junk mailbox.

Still nothing? (This happens very rarely.) Let us know, and if possible, include a phone number or alternate email address where we can reach you.

** TEMPORARY SHIPPING NOTICE: Our next shipping date for tangible items (hardware kits, waterers, veggie feeders, etc.) will be 10/27/22. Thank you for your patience! **

We ship our chicken coop hardware kits via USPS Priority Mail. Please allow 1–2 days for processing and 2–3 days for delivery.

We ship poultry nipples, brooder bottles, veggie feeders, and coloring books via USPS First Class. Please allow 1–2 business days for processing and 2–3 days for delivery.

We ship bucket nipple waterers via USPS Parcel Select or Priority Mail depending on cost, which varies by destination. Please allow 1–2 business days for processing, 5–7 days for Parcel Select, and 2–3 days for Priority delivery. 

International orders will incur additional fees, and delivery times will vary based on destination and carrier. 

We want you to have the best coop and products for you and your chickens.

If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, let us know within 30 days, and we will arrange a return and refund.

For digital downloads (e.g., coop plans), email to let us know that you would like a refund, and we’ll send instructions. 

For kits, waterers, and other tangible items, please open and inspect your items right away! In the event that your item arrives with parts missing or damaged, you must let us know by email within seven (7) business days of receipt. In the case of damage, attach a photo to your email clearly showing the extent of the damage, if possible. We’ll make it right or arrange a refund.

You may return items to us in new, complete condition within 30 days of purchase for a refund of the purchase price, less our initial shipping costs. You will not be charged a re-stocking fee, but you are responsible for return shipping costs.

Email us first to let us know that you’d like to make a return, and we’ll send you further instructions. We’ll issue your refund once we’ve received your item.

Make sure to follow all manufacturers’ instructions when using tools, materials, or equipment — and use the appropriate protective devices when building, such as work gloves, eye and ear protection, boots, etc. Secure your work as you build. Know what you can handle physically as well, and work within your limits.

Remember, do-it-yourself doesn’t have to mean all by yourself. Share the fun of building with your friends, family, and neighbors!

See what others are building with these plans:​