Chicken Tractors (A-Frame Shape)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by StrawberryHouseMouse, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. StrawberryHouseMouse

    StrawberryHouseMouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2009
    Cleveland, Tennessee
    I noticed there's not a lot of A-Frame chicken tractors listed on BYC's Coop Design page. So here is what I'm wanting done. n.n Please post photos of your A-Frame Chicken tractor. I'm going to build one that holds around 8 chickens max. Large ol fat girls. So I will be making it 2 story. (Nests and roosts on top, netted run with water and food on bottom) Hope I can get some good photos of how its done cause I suck at building.
     
  2. codybird

    codybird Chillin' With My Peeps

    346
    3
    131
    Apr 7, 2009
    Near Myrtle Beach
    Some pics of mine are on my Mondo Chicken Condo thread.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,108
    3,312
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I'm a structral engineer by training and trade. The A-frame is a more rigid structural shape that a rectangle. Putting triangles in rectangles is one way we add rigidity to buildings. Putting a flat sheet of plywood on a frame will greatly increase the rigidity due to the triangular stress lines formed in the plywood. A-frames will normally have a lower center of gravity than a rectangular one, which helps in high winds. There are some reasons to build A-frames.

    However, you will find you do not get a lot of usable space at the top of the A-frame due to the angle of the sides with your floor.

    Also, when building, you have to figure out the angle at the top where it forms a peak when cutting and fitting your wood used as bracing. The angle at the bottom really isn't that hard to manage. You can use flashing to prevent leaks with the triangular top, but that add one more complexity. A rectangular tractor may wind up a little easier to build due to having square corners instead of angles and should be plenty rigid with your coop walls and floor.

    Just a thought.
     
  4. thegoogers

    thegoogers Chillin' With My Peeps

    224
    0
    119
    Oct 6, 2008
    Cleveland, TN
    We built an a-frame run with a "hen house" attached for a grow out pen. It has done alright but when I redo the grow out pen I will make a rectangle style run. The angles are a pain but the worst part is the "dead" space in the top of the tri-angle. Plus I can't get in the run hardly at all. Also I haven't found a way of keeping rain out except for to cover the entire a-frame with plastic. Then after a rain I have to go out and peel back the plastic to let it dry, otherwise it is a wet stinky mess in there. With my experience I will build a rectangle run with a solid top - either metal roofing or painted/sealed plywood and wire on the sides.

    We live in Cleveland TN as well. If your interested let us know and you can come by sometime and see the 3 coops we have built. One is a-frame type, another is 4'x8' & about 6' tall and the last one is 8'x16' with runs on both ends. The last one is not finished yet but I'm slowly working on it.

    Good luck!
     
  5. codybird

    codybird Chillin' With My Peeps

    346
    3
    131
    Apr 7, 2009
    Near Myrtle Beach
    My design is a 12" flat top A-frame that allows you to have useable space all the way to the top.

    At about 75 degrees vertical instead of 90 degrees, the bottom pen is useable all the way to the edge of the wire.

    Bottom footprint is 4' X 8'.

    I have 78" of roosting length, 16 square feet on the second level,
    32 square feet on the ground floor, and three nesting boxes at least 12" X 12".

    Tractor height is about 5 feet 5 inches high.

    If I add a 8' x 4' x 3' wire run connected to it I will have 64 square feet of ground area.

    I will have a dropping board under the roost to allow removal and cleaning from the end opposite the nesting boxes.

    The botton of the entire wire meshed second level can be covered with boards or linoleum during the winter to keep them warm.

    I have a 1 inch gap at the top under the roof line to aid in ventilation during the summer.

    Understand that no chickens have actually inhabited this structure yet, but the structure is sound and I think it looks good on paper. I have assembled this with screws so I can revise and adapt as needed.

    Six 3 week olds are going outside to their new home Saturday. They will let me know what I need to change.

    8 standards might be cramped in this I think. I'm hoping my six will fit.

    This forum has invaluable info, free for the taking.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  6. GardeNerd

    GardeNerd Chillin' With My Peeps

  7. StrawberryHouseMouse

    StrawberryHouseMouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2009
    Cleveland, Tennessee
    I really like your's codybird. Does it have 6 nests? Can't tell if both sides have 3 or not. I was needing something simular to that with 6 nests (I have 8 birds to go in it) a roost at the top and then just running space at the bottom. It doesn't look too hard to make. I am sure a lot of people want rectangle cages but for my need, I need something with a lot of space for the chickens with out taking up a lot of space in my yard. I might try the triangle version but make it rectangle since I can't measure angles very well.
     
  8. thegoogers

    thegoogers Chillin' With My Peeps

    224
    0
    119
    Oct 6, 2008
    Cleveland, TN
    Nice work cody bird! An a-frame with a twist, very cool,

    Stephanie for 8 birds you should be fine with 3 nests. I have 4 birds in one coop with 3 nests and they all use the same one. Others may chime in as well but I bet 3 would be just fine.
     
  9. StrawberryHouseMouse

    StrawberryHouseMouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2009
    Cleveland, Tennessee
    Ok so using Codybird's cage as inspiration I worked up something on my own. Now Im no where skilled at making angles but a friend of mine said he would help me cut the wood (He works at lowes) in the right shape if I brought the plans in to him so I sketched up a little idea.

    lol don't laugh at my crapy sketches. ( can you tell I love barn looking pens? - my silkie pen is barn shaped too.)

    [​IMG]
     
  10. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

    831
    11
    163
    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Hello! I've posted a few pictures in my thread entitled: European style chicken tractor finally finished! (Pics!). Feel free to check it out and good luck on whatever it is you end up going with!

    I wanted to add one note about the overall a-frame design. It's true that the small top on the a-frame does not provide a lot of space, but if you live in an area where it gets cold during the winter months, it may be to your advantage that there not be a lot of air space in the girls' sleeping quarters. A small space they can warm up themselves without the benefit of a heat lamp or plain old light bulb. That's an energy saver right there.

    There's the obvious plus also that one less side to put on your tractor means less boards to buy, and thus, less money spent. Just my 2 cents on the topic! [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by