Two-level A-frame from repurposed chain link fence top rail

By Zorak · Jun 27, 2014 · Updated Jul 1, 2014 · ·
  1. Zorak
    One of my coworker's neighbors upgraded his fence from chain link to cedar, so my friend found himself in possession of a pile of thin walled galvanized steel pipe. He had no plans for it, so he gave it to me. Meanwhile, our mutual friend wanted to start a small backyard flock. He also bought a welding machine. We put our heads together, and came up with this:
    Obviously, this shot was from before he put wire on it. The footprint is about 4' wide by about 10' long. The wheels are from a rusted-out Western Flyer wagon. It is very sturdy, but it can be picked up easily by two people. This one also has a raisable ramp.

    The upstairs section is about 6' long.

    This is the frame before we added the floor and detachable sides. The crank handle above the gate raises the ramp for locking the hens in during relocation/moving. The rest of the frame was fabricated from 3/4" and 1/2" EMT.

    A simple mechanism: turning the crank winds the sash chain around the "drivetrain". Inserting the pin locks the ramp.

    Same end finished out. Cedar fence for sides, plain hinges, and window locks.

    Open sesame.We put a similar door on the opposite end, for ventilation, but covered the opening with hardware cloth.

    We started with a plywood subfloor. We used repurposed plywood, keeping with the spirit of of the project. The actual floor is a shallow galvanized steel drip pan.

    This is a drip pan from the automotive section of Wal-Mart. The dimensions of the coop interior were set with the intent of using this for a floor so the hen wrangler could just pop off one of the sides, pull out the pan, shake the pan contents into a flowerbed, then put it all back together after hosing it down.

    The edges were hemmed to keep in strict OSHA compliance for egglayers. The frame of the ramp is visible in the opening.[​IMG]
    The sides were a sandwich of repurposed paneling , new foam board, and new vinyl roofing. These hangers were adapted to make it all work.

    This is the inside detail of one of the sides.

    This one has been going strong for a few years now.

    [​IMG] Here's a photo from today. The coop was finished with poultry wire attached with with nylon zip strips. I tried to talk him into putting tricycle tassels on the handles, but he opted for a more understated look.

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Recent User Reviews

  1. Nardo
    "Nice fence rail tractor"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Mar 15, 2019
    Great job and write up. Be good to see the inside of the coop itself.
  2. Anonymous
    "Chicken tractor: nice progress pics and write up!"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jul 8, 2018
  3. chickens2eat
    "Lots of details, nice job"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jul 8, 2018


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  1. Mountain Peeps
  2. Zorak
  3. limaro
    Impressive! You really know what you're doing.
  4. Zorak
    Thanks! The inspiration for the ramp was a well known chicken tractor design, but I really wanted to come up with a crank handle. More fun that way.
  5. crazyfeathers
    Wonderful job, I love the retractable ramp.

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