An updated version of this post is available over on my suburban green living blog, Green Change: [Chicken Ark Plans](http://green-change.com/2008/11/17/chicken-ark-plans)
When thinking about a coop for our chickens to live in, we wanted something practical, non-permanent, and space-efficient. Looking around the net, the [‘chicken ark’ or ‘chicken tractor’](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tractor) concept seemed the best for our needs.
To get some idea of the number of variations on the basic chicken tractor, check out this [chicken tractor gallery](http://home.centurytel.net/thecitychicken/tractors.html).
There are heaps of resources for building chicken arks:
– [Building A Chicken Coop](http://cb1508.chickcoop.hop.clickbank.net/?tid=PR) (downloadable chicken coop plans to buy)
– [Catawba Coops](http://affiliate.catawbacoops.com/idevaffiliate.php?id=136) (lots of photos in the gallery, and downloadable chicken ark plans for sale)
– [chicken ark plan](http://www.organicgardening.com/pdf/coop_plans.pdf)
– [ark construction photos](http://www.confederatecolonel.com/articles/ark/ark.shtml)
– [the Cadillac poultry ark](http://www.al.com/specialreport/mobileregister/?arc.html)
– [the ALS chook shed album](http://www.aussieslivingsimply.com.au/photogallery.php?album_id=141)
– [BackyardChickens.com tractor photos](http://www.backyardchickens.com/chickencoops4-chicken-tractors.php)
– [Turn Old Pallets Into A Chicken Tractor](http://www.instructables.com/id/Turn-Old-Pallets-Into-A-Chicken-Tractor/) (includes video)
There are commercial options, too:
– [McCallum Made Chicken Tractors](http://www.thechickentractor.com.au/shop.htm) – one of the best in Australia
– [Forsham Cottage Arks](http://www.forshamcottagearks.com/poultry-housing/cat-prod-forsham-chicken-coops.htm) – UK (see also [this demo video](http://www.backyardfarming.com/boughton512.wmv))
Of course, none of these were exactly what we wanted :-). There were lots of good ideas, though, and we got a good sense of the features we wanted in our own ark. After a few nights spent researching and sketching, measuring and planning, we came up with our final design.
To be continued…
So how’s the chicken ark coming along?
We’ve recently got four Isa Brown chickens. They’re point of lay, so will hopefully start ‘earning their keep’ in eggs soon.
There’s a bit of a chicken keeping revival going on in the UK at the moment. I suppose down to a few reasons, but I think it started with the celebrity chef’s campaigns earlier in the year.
They highlighted the plight of battery chickens and encouraged people to buy organic or free range.
This couple with the rising cost in the shops and the supposed downturn in the economy has meant that more and more people are trying to become a little self sufficient in more of their food needs.
Anyhow, posts some photos of your ark… We ended up buying one as the one we made didn’t turn out too good!
I really enjoyed both those shows, Hugh’s and Jamie’s. They haven’t really had a huge effect here in Australia that I can see, although more people are slowly moving back towards having their own vegie patches and chickens often follow on from that.
I’m working on a couple of follow-up posts. Shouldn’t be too much longer…
Ahh, we’ve recently had friends move from the UK to Melbourne…
They’re talking about getting some chucks – you guys have much more space than us, I suppose it isn’t too much of a consideration – for us Brits with postage stamp gardens it’s a little different!
We have family living near Adelaide – they moved in the 60’s they have a small holding. When they say small holding, it’d actually be a pretty big farm by our standards over here! It’s a couple of hundred acres.
We’ve got our names down for a council allotment, they reckon it’ll be 18 months before we’re given a veggie patch. Until then we’ll just have to make do with what we can grow in the garden.
Yeah post the images when you get them – I’m jealous of people who have decent DIY skills. ‘Handy Andy’ I’m not. LOL!
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