Advantages of the A-frame design

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Doughpat, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. Doughpat

    Doughpat Chirping

    Jul 29, 2008
    Hi all--

    I'm having "some frustrations" building an A-frame ("ark") type chicken tractor. Those dang angles are tricky, especially when you: A.) suck at detailed work, B.) have only a jig saw C.) are in a hurry and D.) on a tight budget. So as dusk fell, I threw my crappy angled cuts into the "use for smaller projects" pile, and decided to reconsider the rectangular cube design.

    Before I totally abandon this plan--I must ask: why the appeal of the A-frame? To rephrase: Anyone want to make me feel better about being lazy/untalented and building a cube? javascript:insert_text('[​IMG]',%20''); Maybe I just liked the aesthetics of the ark....reminded me of a high altitude mountain lodge, but with chickens instead of Swedes. So what gives?
  2. Siamesesage

    Siamesesage In the Brooder

    May 28, 2008

    understand your frustration with angles.. grin.. we cheated.. we on tight budget also.. the first one, we used abandoned a frame from yard swing.. (you see them all the time on for free!) See pics below..To conserve room, we added the nesting box on the outside of the a chickens larger area to wander AND gives easier access for egg collection.[​IMG][/img]

    The 2nd and 3rd ones we made..we bought the metal frames you use to make sawhorses.. available at most hardware stores. Less than $10.00 for set of 2.. so..just add four legs and top board .. we used recycled 2x4s..
    then we braced across the A on both sides with 2x4s....then along the length of the sides..

    Trick on angles if you go from outside of A on each end.. attach board then just use jigsaw to cut excess board off.. grin.. works great, much less frustration!

  3. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    * We had originally planned our run to use maybe 8 of the steel fence posts set in at an angle and topped/connected via use of PVC elbows. Only problem is that it is not really a moveable run design. May still go with it once we get re-located.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
  4. fowltemptress

    fowltemptress Frugal Fan Club President

    Jan 20, 2008
    Go ahead and go the lazy route and build the cube. It wastes less space. I really can't think of any advantage the A-frame has that traditional right angles can't top.
  5. Anny

    Anny Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    I think one advantage to the A frame is less material. Since it only has the 2 walls rather then walls and a roof, you know.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    An A-frame uses only marginally (if any) less of most materials than a box would -- remember you are overbuilding in some dimensions, plus unless you use small pieces of siding for the triangular ends there is waste there as well. The main thing it uses less of is 2x4s or whatever other lumber you are making the frame of, but really, it is not like that kind of lumber is expensive or hard to obtain [​IMG]

    Honestly, A-frames have mostly DISadvantages, especially to the chickens who really can't use nearly as much room as the structure might *seem* to have, both vertically and horizontally.

    Don't feel bad at all about building a box style coop or tractor, really. You'll be better off that way anyhow [​IMG]

    Have fun,

  7. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    Quote:Well said, I completely agree.

    The only advantage of an A-frame is strength but that only applies on a much larger
  8. Doughpat

    Doughpat Chirping

    Jul 29, 2008
    Yaaaay. To the cube, Batman!

    Actually, I thought of another reason to go square. I really want to be able to sit (cross-legged, on the ground) with my ladies in their run, but with walls that slope in....thats an uncomfortable angle! Now the only question is--how tall should it be? I guess this is where you start running into cost/weight issues more than anything. I think I'm shooting for about 40".

    Thanks all, your advice is wonderful. I love the internet!


    Mcminnville, OR
    2 Silkies, 1 RIR, 1 poo-covered bicycle
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Er, "a little bit taller than you when you're sitting crosslegged", of course [​IMG]


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