Chicken Ark on Forsham Design

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dealhound, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. dealhound

    dealhound In the Brooder

    Feb 2, 2008
    Central North Carolina
    I have just completed my first movable chicken Ark. I made it using whatever pictures I have been able to glean from the web of the Forsham 903 Ark. I also used some inspiration from the pictures posted by Newchickenmom&kids on this site of her custom Ark. I made it to the exact dimensions of the Forsham 903 as posted on the Forsham site. The details I grabbed from wherever I could!

    It looks great and I have just put my 10 week old Buff Orpington pullets in it to get acquainted. I hope that it works out well over time and that I didn't screw up any pertinent details. I wish I had gotten to see the real thing.

    This is a side view of the ark. The ark is heavy because I used treated deck planks (1x6). They will probably last forever, but they ain't light!

    This is an end view of the ark. You may notice the rope tied to the end that I use to pull up the ramp, for moving and confining the birds either up or down.

    Another picture of the same thing with the doors removed.

    This is a picture of the side of the ark with the door removed, showing the inside area. There are two nest boxes on this ark like on the forsham 903. Since my Buffs are not yet laying, I have tacked a temporary cover over the nest box area on each end to prevent them from nest roosting. This will be removed when needed and after they have already gotten into the habit of roosting on the removable roost pole. Also note that the ramp is pulled up into the closed position.

    This is a more detailed view of one end (and with two of my Buffs in the picture).

    A shot underneath, now with the ramp down.

    And a last shot of the ark with chickens in and my guineas about the outside.

    It is always interesting to try to make something you have never seen in use. It is kind of like the blind man trying to describe the elephant. It may turn out there are things I missed. Anybody with experience with a forsham ark? Couple of things that I am not sure of is how do you keep the litter from falling out of the door? Is there a rail on the forsham? Or do you just accept litter falling out? What mechanism is there for pulling up the door. I used a rope and a boat cleat. Is this close? The carrier handles on each end need to be trimmed into shape, something I still plan to do.

    I would appreciate any feedback from members. What have I missed?


    dealhound (Tim)
  2. nccatnip

    nccatnip Songster

    Aug 5, 2007
    Piedmont area NC
    Tim, I really like that idea and you did a great job. How do you plan on moving it? I would love to do something like that.
  3. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Songster

    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I'm about to build something similar, using fiberglass roof panels to hopefully make it light. I'll post pics when I'm done.
  4. dealhound

    dealhound In the Brooder

    Feb 2, 2008
    Central North Carolina
    Well it is very heavy, because of the deck flooring construction, but two adults can move it short distances around the yard with relative ease. A Florsham wheel set would be nice, but they alone cost $129 plus tax and shipping. Then you could move it like a wheelbarrow. :)

  5. mattmatts-momma

    mattmatts-momma Songster

    Jan 13, 2008
    Nice pictures! Looks Great! My husband is also planning to build me one of these, hopefully soon. I think he is planning on using cedar boards for the roof, those are pretty light.

    I think we are going to add wheels using axle bolts to the bottom of the frame. The wheels should make it easier for me to move.

    Would you mind sharing with me some of the sites you used as your reference? I have the dimensions of the Forsham Arks. Did you find anything else?
  6. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Songster

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    Looks Great! Great work!!!

    I am concerned about treated wood?

    I am sure somene wwho knows a bit more than will look in!
  7. schroader

    schroader Songster

    Jan 11, 2008
    Beaver Dam Ky
    how big is that thing? How big is the roost portion?

    I like it.
  8. dealhound

    dealhound In the Brooder

    Feb 2, 2008
    Central North Carolina
    Hi All,

    EGH - Thanks for the nice comments. I expect the second one would go faster than the first!

    MattMatts Momma - I of course went to the Forsham Website to get the actual dimensions, see there product line and whatever other pictures I could. Then I did some google searches and found a few other pictures of forsham arks and other tractors that allowed me to see other angles. Best of all, I found a video of a ark being used. I will include links below - Video - an interesting site - pictures of a forsham being assembled. - another custom ark.

    RChicks - not really concerned about the treated wood. I think that now that cyanide is not being used, it is much more benign. But maybe I am wrong? Any experts out there?

    Shroader - It is the same dimensions as the listed dimensions on the Forsham website for the 903. That is 90 inches long with a roost of 65 inches. Says it is big enough for 8 hens? Maybe, maybe not. Time will tell. Mine will free range a lot, so that will take some stress off. The bottom, screened section is about 25 inches headroom.

  9. Moselle

    Moselle Songster

    Jan 17, 2008
    It's a beaut! I love the simplicity of the design. Honestly, dh just started building my coop (a different model) but honestly, I may eventually build one like yours too. Oh, the tangled web we weave! Soon we'll have chicken arks, tractors, coops, and you name it covering our small yard! [​IMG]
  10. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    Excellent workmanship and innovation on details you weren't sure about! Wheels on one end would definitely improve the useability.

    Mainly I just wanted to say: What is that? Sunshine? OMG! (Sorry we've been a bit deprived here in WA state).

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