There are many architectural designs for chicken coops. However, the A-frame chicken coop is among the easiest to construct. As the name indicates, the frame is shaped like the letter “A”. Basically, it’s triangular in shape and very easy to build and with all of the materials ready, it can be built within a day.
Also known as a chicken tractor, A-frame tractor or simply a portable chicken coop, a well designed A-frame coop will not be expensive to build. It should accommodate multiple perches, a nesting area and a place to eat and drink.
If you have decided on an A-frame coop, you need to take the following into consideration.
Fresh air is very important for your chickens’ health. It provides the needed oxygen to the chickens and also circulates out the stale air. A wire mesh A-frame coop usually provides adequate ventilation.
If your goals are healthy birds and good egg production, then you’ll need to ensure that your chickens are housed at a comfortable temperature. Consider the amount of sunshine available in your yard. Chickens have delicate sleep cycles, and the sun is the best way to get them in a good rhythm. The beauty of an a-frame chicken coop is that it can easily be moved into (or out of) the sun, depending on the temperature and the season.
Number of chickens
How many chickens do you want to house in the chicken coop? You have to provide enough space for every chicken to have access to perches, a nest and to the designated eating and drinking areas. You also have to consider the number of eggs you expect to get from the chickens. A 5′ x 8′ A-frame chicken coop will satisfactorily hold 4 chickens which is often all a family needs to provide eggs. Ideally the chickens should be able to free range during the day if at all possible.
Ease of Cleaning
Your chicken coop should be easy to clean and maintain.
Mobility of the chicken coop
Building an A-frame chicken coop with handles makes it easy to move your chicken coop around in the yard, to move it under or from under trees, to change its orientation in relation to the sun or even to bring it closer to your house.
The Basics of Building a Chicken Coop
- Clear the space for the chicken coop. Select your site on a light elevation so puddles will not affect the coop after a heavy rain. Next, calculate your coop size. On average, a hen needs at least two square feet but four square feet would be better.
- Design your own chicken coop or you can download these A-frame chicken coop plans. This coop has one large door to allow easy collection of your eggs plus a separate entrance door. With your design ready, purchase all the necessary materials from the list provided with the plans.
- Cut the wood to proper size. On the ground, place 4 pieces of wood to form a rectangle. Screw all of them together in order to create the coop’s base. At every corner, lean posts at an angle of 45-degree; this creates an A-frame. All the posts should have a length of about 6 feet.
- Connect the A-frame end posts with a piece of wood to give a tent-like structure that has a triangle at both ends. The door should be on one of your triangles. Next, you’ll need build a square door frame. Attach the frame inside one of your triangles.
- Cover the entire exterior of the chicken coop with a chicken wire and then secure it with fencing staples.
- Finally make your door. This can be done by cutting a small piece of plywood; this piece should be ¼ inch smaller the space you left for your door. Attach your door using a simple hinge and a secure bolt latch.
Both of the following chicken coop plans have proved popular with our readers. You can either build your A-frame coop yourself or arrange for someone to build it for you.