How tall should an A-frame be?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by happyhens, Feb 5, 2009.

  1. happyhens

    happyhens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How tall should an A-frame be at its peak? This will be for both standard size and bantam chickens. Overall dimensions I am planning to be 6' L, 3' or 4' W and not sure how tall yet. 2 of the 6 feet should be the housed roosting/nesting area. Sound ok? I am planning to start building this weekend, supposed to be in the 40's and 50's F*. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  2. brooster

    brooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2007
    northwest Ohio
    i would make it as tall as it is wide, the angles will be eaiser then too! All the same 60 degrees!
     
  3. happyhens

    happyhens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess that would be the best way to do it. Thanks for the tip. Sad, but I may not have thought about that on my own LOL. So how about final tractor dimensions- 6' L (with the sheltered roosting area 2' L) x 4' W x 4' tall?
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2009
  4. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:If you make it as tall as its wide its not 60 degree. A a-frame that has 4ft sides and all 60degree angles is roughly 3ft6in high. I just got done planing a coop with those dimensions for some bantys i want to hatch.
     
  5. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:THe floor run dimensions are 4x6 which means you have 24sqf and if you make a sleep/nest/roost area 18in of the floor it should give you about 12sqf
    http://home.centurytel.net/thecitychicken/tractors.html
    look at the first one with the red wheel thats what am going for.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    First let me say I am not a fan of A frames. They really don't offer the chickens very much indoor space, and not all of the space is comfortably useable by the hens b/c of the steeply sloping sides. Also they are the hardest kind of tractor to keep chickens in during cold winters and maintain acceptible temperature/air-quality. OK for mild and pleasant climates I suppose but even so there are better designs. The ONLY advantage of an A frame is that it gives you the illusion of easier construction. (It is largely illusory. It does not use much less material than a box-type tractor, you use a lot more roofing, you waste more material b/c of the angle cuts, and a rectangular box is not at all hard to build in the first place). Well and it looks kind of stylin' in a 1970s scandinavian sort of way I guess [​IMG]

    That said. Be careful about making an A-frame too wide! Remember you will have to reach across the lower pen part in order to access the inside of the top for cleaning etc. I STRONGLY suggest you do a mockup before actually cutting any lumber, to see how comfortable/problematic a given design will be for you. You can just tack some 2x4s together with a single nail, don't cut them to length just overlap them, you know? Or mock it up with cardboard leaning against household furniture, or whatever. Also the wider it is, the greater % of the chickens' floor space is not really useable by them i.e. the more you are limiting their indoor area.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  7. happyhens

    happyhens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:THe floor run dimensions are 4x6 which means you have 24sqf and if you make a sleep/nest/roost area 18in of the floor it should give you about 12sqf

    Would 18" L x 4' W be big enough for the sheltered part? This tractor is going to be my silkie breeding pen. So it is for bantams foor now, but I may put standard size chickens in there later on.
    I just got done cutting up most of the wood, hopefully I can get the frame done tomorrow!
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:THe floor run dimensions are 4x6 which means you have 24sqf and if you make a sleep/nest/roost area 18in of the floor it should give you about 12sqf

    Would 18" L x 4' W be big enough for the sheltered part?

    You'll lose some square footage remember because of the angled walls. So for that size sheltered part, the *ground level* useable space is more like 18" x 3'3"-3'6" which is around 5 square feet. If you put a roost across the widest dimension of the space, 18" above the ground, you will only have about 14-18" of useable roost space. Put it lower and you'd have a leetle more roost length but of course then they couldn't use the space underneath it very well.

    I would say this is real real minimal for 3 standard size hens (you'd have to go with the lower roost), or maybe 4 banties if they are very friendly with each other and don't want lots of space. And it wouldn't work somewhere with actual winter.

    Sorry, JMHO,

    Pat
     
  9. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Quote:I'm not a fan either. I have mild weather, but it rains in cause of the slanted sides. I would never build one again. I thought it was so cute when we first built it. But now I could scream, so I will be taking it apart and building something different, probably a square coop with the yard underneath.
     
  10. callie

    callie New Egg

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    I built an A-frame. I can walk inside it standing up right. They have done very well with it. We made ours 16x8 ( ft). We used electrical condiut for the frame with treated lumber for the bottom. Drilled holes in the lumber to insert the conduit into. Dh used a bender to get the angles right. The conduit is bent so that there is a foot before the supports start to angle towards each other. We made the door from conduit also (there isn't a good way to latch the door). Chicken wire is our cover. We put a tarp, 6 ft wide, over on end, part of the sides and along the interior of the tractor. This makes a small enclosed space inside the tractor with roosts for them. We left about a gap of 1 foot off the ground for the hens to get under and onto the roosts. The tarp goes over the wire. Dh fashioned some clips out of PVC to hold the tarp onto the condiut over the chicken wire and then fastening wires criss crossing the tarp to hold it against the wire when there is wind. The only problem we have had is that the tarp frayed along the top where the wire was sharp. If I had to do it again, I would use aluminum/tin pieces for the covered area. I use it to raise chicks, let a momma set in peace or as a breeding pen. We made it able to be taken apart, which is a good thing as we are moving.
     

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