Do you like your A-Frame tractor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by roosterroost, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. roosterroost

    roosterroost In the Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2010
    Hello! We are newbies to the backyard chicken game, and in need of a coop for our 5-week old chickens. Due to our yard, existing sprinkler system, and city location, we are planning on utilizing a chicken tractor, rather than a permanent coop. Since we do not possess the talents or equipment necessary to build a chicken tractor of our own, we have been planning to have one built for us by a local carpenter. Initially, we gave him plans for a more rectangular structure, but the cost to build was a bit of a sticker shock. We have seen the A-frame style chicken tractors or arks for a lower price and are wondering if anyone has utilized them.... We are in MN, so our winters are very cold. Per what we have seen on craigslist (regarding a similar style tractor), it can be quite weather tight for our chilly winters. Anyone have a portable A-frame style tractor (with coop space on the top, the bottom being the run area open to the grass)?? Or will I wish we would have just spent the money to build the rectangular style portable coop/run??? Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  2. Zahboo

    Zahboo Simply Stated

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    Hope Mills, NC
    I didn't, when I had one. Yes, it's simple and low lying, but half of the space can't be used because it's too low. I would do a rectangular one with a slight roof instead, so that you can use all the floor. Also, little roosting space. Mine was 4x8 and 2' at the peak, nice for starting, broodies and such, but I resold it. But that's not the style your talking about. I heavily considered the catawba coop this go round. I went against it. If you look at the youtube videos of the inside, that's a tight fight. I thought that even for my bantams. I decided to go with a taller coop, so I designed a portable shrunken down design of the playhouse coop.
     
  3. Sportsterjeep

    Sportsterjeep Creekside Acres Farm

    Jun 1, 2010
    Mill Hall PA
    I have two and love them. made mine big, 8 foot studs for sides then 3 full sheets of OSB for the top living quarters. It's heavy though, you can lift it and move with 1 person on either end, but I prefer to hook it to the four wheeler. That takes all the work out of moving it, oh, and mine doesn't have wheels, just skids.
     
  4. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    Howell Michigan
    I wanted to build a chicken ark for some of my bantams but didn't like the fact that most I had seen offered very little room. Instead of bringing the A-framing members to a point I opened it up and created substantially more room. I posted pictures of it on this thread https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=306941&p=182
     
  5. sharol

    sharol Songster

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    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    I love your take on the Ark concept. That pointy roof and lack of a place for a roost kept me from trying this, and you overcame that problem. I copied your instructions into a Word document for future reference (I hope that was OK.) I don't have much for carpentry skills, but I might be able to do this one. I have the sneaking suspicion that my 7 girls may chicken-math into a few more as time goes on, and my Hen Hoop will really only house 6 comfortably.

    Quote:
     
  6. woodlumn

    woodlumn In the Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2009
    Virginia
    I built an a-frame but if I was going to do it again, I would not go that route. Yes, you might use less materials, but you're also getting less usable space. The footprint is about 6'x8' and it's about 6' high and I could probably only keep about 5 or 6 birds in there.

    Ventilation is a little trickier with the a-frame. I built in a ridge vent, soffit vents along the length of the floor on either side, end windows, one big window on one wall, and all four sides open up. It has a trap door ladder which unfortunately is responsible for a good amount of wasted bedding.

    If you're just looking to build a little tractor, I'd go with something basic and rectangular. How many birds?


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  7. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    Quote:
    Framing was quite simple. I cut the 2x4 uprights 5' long with 22 1/2 degree angles at each end. Attached them to the 1x12 on top and treated 2x4 on the bottom.

    Woodlumn, nice looking ark. If you look at the pictures of the interior of my ark you will see how the addition of a dam around the floor opening eliminates losing shavings.
     
  8. woodlumn

    woodlumn In the Brooder

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    Aug 3, 2009
    Virginia
    Thanks, Opa. Your tractor is very nice looking too!

    Yeah, I'd thought of putting a low barrier around the opening but I've been lazy about it. I should do that this weekend. Thanks for the nudge!
     
  9. Freckle Face Farm

    Freckle Face Farm Songster

    Jan 1, 2009
    Florida
    I love mine had it for almost 2 years and still love it....
     
  10. roosterroost

    roosterroost In the Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2010
    We currently have three chickens, but are considering adding more in the future. (City limit is 6...) The original rectangular coop design I considered would definitely be weather-tight for our winters and offer some more chicken space... I am also wondering if I wouldn't regret the A-frame at some point and wish I had spent the extra money for the rectangular one. The rectangular one would also take longer to get built; the carpenter would be working it around his full time job, so it could be 3-4 weeks until we have it. I could get the A frame in about 2 weeks. Our chickens currently are about 5 weeks and really eager to get more space. (They are still in a really large plastic type container with a wired cover.)
     

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