A-frame chicken tractors

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hallerlake, May 31, 2010.

  1. hallerlake

    hallerlake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seattle
    Has anyone used the A-Frame chicken tractors? Do you like/dislike them? I'm just starting out with my first pullets (4). The A-frame looks like an attractive, inexpensive way to start out.
     
  2. clothdiaperingmom

    clothdiaperingmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a really simple one that I built purely out of recycled things. Cost was free. Im still trying to figure out how to move it. (Please disregard all the crap strewn about the yard. I tored down the shed and havent built a new one yet!)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I have another Im working on that has a coop, nest boxes, and roost up top. I like the design, the ability to make use of all the underneath for a run and still have a coop with all the amenities up top. Im still working on it, taking me longer then I thought it would. But will be worth it in the end.

    Ive actually thought of making a 16 ft long, 8 ft tall a frame. But I rather like the idea of a larger separate coop and run though because I can get in with the chickens.

    Good luck.

    ETA: fix spelling
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  3. mgw

    mgw Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Eastern Wa.
    i just finished my a frame tractor on sunday you can see it on my BYC page. maybe it will give you ideas good luck.[​IMG]
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    That's the first "coop" I built. I always refer to it as the A-Frame, because tractor it ain't. I had NO construction skills (and the photo probably shows it) but I learned a lot. Now that I have other coops (more on that another time), the A-Frame works really well as an integration coop.
    [​IMG]

    When I don't have "adolescent" chicks living in it, it's open to all the chickens. My layers love it and it's part of my egg-gathering route each day. Everybody uses the downstairs penned area for afternoon naps, and dust baths when it's raining and the rest of the run is mucky.

    It's a great first coop. There's no room in the upstairs (of mine) for roost bars, and the bottom, penned area is a real bear to get into when I had to capture a chicken for any reason. I didn't make the door to downstairs big enough for my .... hips.... to get through very easily and the height means I have to belly-crawl into it. I found I used a length of stick to sort of scare chickens into one half, then towards me so I could grab legs to catch 'em. And THEN skootch back out with said captured chicken.

    But that's probably design flaws in mine; other plans may make cleaning and moving things around down there easier. Be SURE to make one corner solid wall, not just hardware cloth around the whole thing. Chickens are not smart enough to run and stand in the very center of a space, they like corners. If they go to a corner, a raccoon or pair of raccoons can keep them there and pull a bird apart through the wire.

    Spiders like the upstairs corners and the chickens love hunting them. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    They are seemingly easy to build, especially to those who have not built much stuff before (in reality, a box-shaped coop is not much of any more difficult to build, nor is it any much more expensive per square footage enclosed). Also they are "cute" in an oddball, chalet-style kind of way.

    I think that about sums up all their virtues.

    On the down side, they are a great waste of space, not at all chicken-friendly compared to box-shaped or hoop designs (very minimal usable floorspace), next to impossible to ensure adequate warmth and air quality during wintertime in cold-winter areas, and many A-frame designs are hard to ventilate adequately.

    The walk-in size ones may have *something* to be said for them, but if you are considering a typical reach-in size A-frame, honestly there are a lot of other designs that will really serve the chickens much better and be just about as easy to build.

    JMHO, good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. hallerlake

    hallerlake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seattle
    Thank you for your responses. I've never grown chickens before. If I enjoy it as much as I think I will, I can always invest in a bigger coop, Keeping the original as an auxiliary coop. My coop is supposed to arrive tomorrow or the next day. I'm so excited.
     
  7. suzeeg

    suzeeg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2010
    You might check out my BYC page. :celebrateFairly inexpensive and moveable coop. Just don't give up.[​IMG]
    Quote:
     
  8. suzeeg

    suzeeg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    chick out my BYC page, you might get some ideas from that.[​IMG]
    Quote:
     
  9. harleyhappy

    harleyhappy Out Of The Brooder

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    I recently (a few weeks ago) built my first coop. I considered an a-frame, but decided I would get more room with a small square ark. I bought the plans at http://www.thegardencoop.com/ and I was very impressed with the quality and detail of the plans. I think I made the right decision, although I am already thinking of getting more hens next year, in which case I will need a larger coop. Here is a picture of my coop, there a more pictures on my BYC page. Good Luck!

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/59325_dscn3209.jpg
     
  10. hallerlake

    hallerlake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2010
    Seattle
    That's a nice looking coop! Thanks for sending the picture.
     

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