A frame or square tractor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by scoopy82, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. scoopy82

    scoopy82 Songster

    Dec 19, 2010
    Victoria - Australia!
    I would love to keep a breeding trio of chickens (haven't decided on breed yet) but cant keep a rooster with my other hens or close to my house as the neighbour complains. So I am planning on building a tractor to keep the 3 in and place it down in one of my spare paddocks. I know I will have to make it out of weather/waterproof materials, it will have to be fox proof, lightweight and on wheels so I can move it around easily, I already plan on being able to secure it by attaching it to a star picket driven into the ground. But I havent decided wether the design should be A frame or square so I was hoping someone here can enlighten me as to which shape would work best? I hope to make the coop section 3x4 foot but ideally 4x4, with a run coming off this but not sure of the size this will need to be. I will include 2 nesting boxes and perches etc, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Either one should work for a trio. The problem I find with the A-Frame is that you don't get nearly as much usable room at the top. The triangular A-Frame design is stronger than a rectangle, but the fitting at the corners can be harder.

    If you are collecting the eggs and hatching them somewhere else, I don't see a need for two nests for a trio. One nest should be plenty. That should reduce the weight and give you a bit more room.

    I don't know what standard sizes Australian building material comes in. Here it is 4 foot and 8 foot dimensions, so those are usually good dimensions to base your building on. Less cutting and waste. For me, a 4' x 8' with a raised coop at one end for sleeping and a nest box fairly low so they want to sleep on the roosts instead of in the nest box would be great for a trio. We all have different conditions. Depending on your turf and your weather, you'll have to determine how often you need to move it. If it is wet weather, you'll need to move it more often than if it is dry.

    You'll need to cover enough of it to keep the feed dry, but most of the rest can be wire. The raised coop should give shade. You might want to incorporate the nest and a bit of something solid so you give them a corner where the wind is blocked. Mine hate wind.

    Good luck!!!
  3. kichohana

    kichohana Songster

    Dec 28, 2009
    Johnston County, NC
    I have a tractor for porting my girls about the yard for "bug patrol". It's 6ft by 8ft base on wheels so I can drag it around. The sides and top are a "hoop" - wire panels arched over the top - so it is neither a-frame or squared at the roof. Mine is only about 24-30 inches at the tallest point, but I do not need access to it's interior. In the summer I put a tarp over half for shade. If I wanted it more weatherproof, I could attach some polycarbonate or corrugated roofing panels. I don't have any pictures of it on my page currently.

    If you do a BYC search for "hoop house". BYC member ChevygirlBeth has the best (imo) thread about building her hoop house. Inspired me to build mine in a smaller version. Good luck! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  4. claudicles

    claudicles Chirping

    Mar 26, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    I'd go for square. The main advantage of A frame is you use slightly less materials so it is cheaper and a bit lighter to move. Square gives the chooks a bit more space to spread their wings. I have two rectangular tractors and one triangular. It is easier to weather proof the rectangles as I just put poly carbonate roofing over the open bit. Most A frames tend to have a longer sheltered area to make up for the difficulty covering it. But you have to think about where the food goes. Ideally it is the oposite end from the nesting box/ roosts, so you need both ends covered..... Or you can just put a tarp over it. Even though A frames tend to be taller it still isn't easy to stand up in them. My vote - rectangle with the roof on hinges so you can have access to the whole area without laying in chook poo.

    I bought mine. PM me if you want the details. I checked out a few types.

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