When thinking about a coop for our chickens to live in, we wanted something practical, non-permanent, and space-efficient. We were only planning to have 3 or 4 chickens so we didn’t want to build anything too big or expensive, but we needed to protect them from neighbours’ cats and keep them comfortable.
Looking around the net, the [‘chicken ark’](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tractor) (or ‘chicken tractor’) concept seemed to best meet all our needs.
To get some idea of the number of variations on the basic chicken tractor, check out this chicken tractor gallery.
I found oodles of resources for chicken ark plans – some of the better ones were these:
– [Catawba Coops – urban coops for urbane chickens](http://affiliate.catawbacoops.com/idevaffiliate.php?id=136) (lots of great photos, plus you can buy downloadable chicken ark plans)
– [Building A Chicken Coop](http://cb1508.chickcoop.hop.clickbank.net/?tid=GC) (downloadable chicken coop plans to buy)
– [chicken ark plans](http://www.organicgardening.com/pdf/coop_plans.pdf)
– [BackyardChickens.com tractor photos](http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chicken-tractors-mobile-chicken-coop-designs)
– [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, if you aren’t that handy or don’t have the spare time to build a chicken ark yourself. Check out my post Where To Buy Chicken Tractors.
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 own chicken ark plans.
Stay tuned for a follow-up post later in the week…
Oh, and don’t forget – if you are looking for chickens to buy, have a look at my [Where To Buy Chickens](http://green-change.com/illawarra-chickens/) page.
Ally and Rich
Nice work Darren! Lucky chooks to have such a great home! Sustainable Illawarra is running a workshop on backyard chook keeping this weekend- do you mind if we print off the photo you posted as an example of a chicken tractor?
Have you managed to find a supplier for Australorps yet?
Ally and Rich 🙂
That picture isn’t my chicken tractor, it came from Wikipedia. It’s licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 1.0, though, so you can use it as long as you give credit to the creator, Steven Walling (see the hover-text on the photo for how I attributed it).
I’ll email you a couple of photos of our tractor tomorrow that you can use as well. It’s useful to see a variety of different styles. I’m hoping to draw up my plans and post them here sometime soon.
Oh, and no, I haven’t got the Australorp yet. I’ve found a few places to get them, but none that are close-by that have them right now.
Thanks for the links! I’m going to pass them on to my husband, who is planning our chicken tractor at the moment.
Thanks Schelle. I’m going to subscribe to your blog feed and keep checking for your tractor!
I like your blog, by the way. Your profile is very similar to me – right down to being a Leo! I noticed you had some photos from 7 Mile Beach – do you live nearby? I’m in Kiama.
This is my first time on your blog and I enjoyed reading your good article.
Howie @ Chicken Coop Plans
Hi, thanks for the extensive list of chicken ark designs. I’ve got my own chicken coop already but have been thinking about building another chicken coop and this came in really handy.
Can’t see any easy access to clean, etc. Also, the wood is not treated or painted. Not going to last long sitting on the ground.
@orginal phantom: I’m not sure which of the linked tractors you’re talking about, or if you’re referring to the photo. It’s not mine, it’s a creative commons photo to illustrate the concept of a chicken tractor. But I agree that those are flaws with many of the tractors I see on the net. You can see why none of the plans I found were suitable for me :-).
Thanks for this wonderful article! We’re just finishing our plans and I hope to have both our chicken tractor and rabbit tractor ready for when the snow is all gone. so many good ideas and ways to make our plans better!
I know this is an old post, but many of the links are now dead.
@Jenn: Thanks! Do you have any photos or anything of your tractors online? I’m always curious to see what other people have done. I’ll check the links and fix up any dead ones – thanks for the heads-up.
Haha I’m far too embarrassed to show anyone my first attempt. Thrown together in an afternoon, and with a partially broken saw and three kids running around…not pretty. But it worked for the summer and kept the animals in and fairly safe from the dogs that roam our yard.
Thanks again for all the resources!
@Jenn: No worries, I understand :-). I’ve updated the links above as well – some had changed URLs, so you might like to have another look at them.
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