Our chickies chillin'

Our chickies chillin’

I’ve seen quite a few designs for chicken arks online and in books and magazines. Some of them are quite elaborate, some are just too expensive. So Nora and I came up with a great design for a fairly inexpensive ark. The great thing about it is, it does an equally good job of keeping the chickens in and the predators out. The key is having 2 feet of skirting around the edges so varmints can’t dig underneath. We just throw old fence posts over the skirting to keep it down. It’s been a couple of years and we haven’t lost a bird to a predator yet.

The design uses 8′ pressure treated 2x4s, about ten of them. I made a plus-sized one for our turkeys, and it works really well. It’s the same height and width but 12′ feet long.  Apologies in advance for my amateur drawing skills. I’m obviously not an artist.

Here are a few optional things I didn’t include in the design:

1. A roost. I have 1″ doweling (you can use an old broomstick) that I bought for next-to-nothing at a yard sale. I attached it with plastic “U” clamps with screws.

2. Laying box. In a couple of our arks, we just use covered cat litter boxes. It gives them some nice privacy and we fill them with wood shavings.

3. Tarp. OK, I’ve tried everything and only one thing works. A high-quality tarp. Don’t spend money on a crappy blue one. It’ll be in shreds in one year. Get the uber-thick one and attach it with strong wire to the base. If you attach it to the chicken wire, you’re asking for a strong wind to rip the wire to shreds.

Here's a closer view

Here’s a closer view

The door on this design drops open and you can walk on it. How do you keep the chickens from all running out? Hey, that’s what they invented chicken scratch for. Better that they get fat on scratch than I get thin chasing them around the yard.

Smiling House Chicken Ark Design

Smiling House Chicken Ark Design

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