How to Build A Chicken Ark Coop
Features Needed in Chicken Coop Design
Building a chicken coop with ventilation just under the eaves, dark low nesting boxes and a higher roost for the hens to hold onto satisfies their woodland instincts. Other features like a chicken run, slatted flooring and a hinged pop hole door that makes a ramp makes the hens more comfortable. Installing a light in the winter keeps the hens laying eggs and a flap over the nesting boxes makes collecting eggs easier.
Materials List for Building a Chicken Coop
Materials needed for Chicken Coop Ark. A Chicken Coop Ark is a triangular style chicken coop house with handles.
- Roll of heavy duty galvanized wire
- Wire cutters
- Gloves to protect hands
- Hinges: Eight (two for “pop hole”, two for nesting box door, two for ventilation shutter, two for poultry keeper door) An additional set is needed for making a frame door for chicken run.
- Bale of chicken wire (for making runs and lining the floor of hen house and run to prevent rodents)
- Timber for making a frame for chicken run (Triangle shaped 12 feet long by 4 feet)
- Galvanized nails for slatted floor
- Galvanized screws
- Felting nails needed for roof
- Wire staples
- Eye and hook latches (pop door, nesting boxes, poultry keeper’s door)
- Pegs (for securing chicken run bottom)
- 2 inch wide timber (for roosting perch)
- File (for sanding any edges off roost)
- Mesh (for covering ventilation slats)
- 1 ½ by 1 ½ inch timber for frame of chicken coop
- Set of 2 inch Slotting brackets for securing perch
- ½ inch ship clad for sides
- 1 x 1 inch timber for making slatted floor
- Sheet of exterior grade plywood (for making dropping boards for floor, nesting boxes and floor of hen house and two sets of handles.
Assembling Exterior and Interior of Chicken Coop
Make two triangular end frames of the ark with 1 ½ by 1 ½ inch timber and attach together at top with a connecting roof lintel with galvanized screws . Cut out a square floor using the exterior grade plywood and cover with chicken wire on both sides, turn over the frame and attach it to the bottom.
Cut out a dropping board and place onto floor.
Make slatted flooring using 1 x 1 inch timber and space 1 inch apart and make a frame around edge and place on top of dropping board.
On the long side make a square poultry keepers’ door frame, attach to roof lintel and floor. Make a door out of ships cladding and attach hinges to door frame. Finish covering side with ship cladding.
Just under the eaves on both small sides leave a 4 1/2 square inch gap (six birds require this much total ventilation inlet area) Then cut out two pieces of ship cladding to make a ventilation hole shutter that covers this gap in half. Cover the open gap with mesh. Cover the other side without the door with ship cladding and attach the shutter.
Where the entry door will be for the chickens to get in and out leave a 12 inches by 10 inches “pop hole” space when attaching the ships cladding. Make a door out of the exterior plywood to cover this gap and hinge the door at the bottom onto the cladding, so it can serve as a hen ramp. Put small strips of wood across the interior of door, leaving enough edge space for the door to close. This allows the chickens to be able to grip their way up the ramp.
Make slanted down nesting boxes 10 inch by 12 inch by 12 inch for every three hens. Make individual dropping boards for each nest. Make a hinged flap above the nesting box and attach to the side opposite the poultry keeper’s door and make a frame to hold it in place and attach to the roof lintel and the floor. Attach slotting brackets length way across 18 inches off floor. Cut out perch and attach to slated brackets . Place perch into position. Finish attaching ship cladding to close the side. Cut out and add handles, one on each side at both ends of the ark, to facilitate moving the ark as needed to fresh grass to prevent the build up of parasites.
Making a Chicken Run & Further Resources
To make the chicken run make a triangular shaped frame 4 ft by 12 foot. Use wire staples on frame and tie wire mesh with galvanized wire at 18 inch intervals to keep mesh taunt. Line the bottom with chicken wire as well for added security. Stake the wire mesh to the ground with pegs on outside of frame.
Free Chicken coop plans has information on coops and how to make your own feeders and Poultry Allotment.org is a good resource on keeping chickens.
Seymour, John, The Complete book of Self-Sufficiency, 1996
Bland, David, Practical Poultry Keeping, 1996