How To Build An A-Frame DIY Chicken Tractor That Will Last: Our Chicken Tractor Story
Are you curious about the journey behind our DIY A-Frame chicken coop tractors? In this post I am going to share with you why we decided to design and build our own unique A-frame chicken tractor for our backyard hens. Lastly, I'll share with you how you can get your hands on our A-frame chicken coop tractor build plans so you can build one for your backyard or homestead!
My very first flock of backyard chickens clocked in at seven beautiful hens. After researching and reading as much as I could on how best to raise laying hens, I decided to let them free-range because pastured chickens are the happiest and healthiest.
Why? Being able to forage for bugs and grubs allows them a diverse diet, lots of sunshine, and never ending entertainment. Keeping hens on grass also provides us the healthiest eggs possible thanks to their higher beta-carotene, choline, and omega-3 levels. It was win-win in my book.
So after a few weeks of free-ranging my very first flock, imagine my dismay when I came out to check on my girls and found feathers and blood everywhere. My heart sank as I did a headcount and found two of my girls missing. A hawk had been through my flock and thus began the conundrum that most backyard chicken owners face. Do you let your hens free-range and take the risk of a predator attack or do you keep them cooped up and safe and limit their diet and their happiness?
I choose to risk it, but it came at a cost that didn’t just concern my hens’ safety. It came at the cost of my peace of mind. Since I worked from home, I was able to keep an eye on them, but my anxiety for their safety kept disrupting my day. I checked on my hens every 30 minutes, doing head counts, or calling them over for treats. While the constant monitoring definitely improved the relationship I had with my hens, it was starting to wear on me. I’m sure as a fellow chicken momma or papa - you’ve felt this same anxiety and responsibility for your backyard flock.
I decided I needed to find a solution that would keep my hens safe from predators, but would also offer them the benefits of free-ranging on grass. What I needed was an A-frame chicken coop tractor.
When I started researching A-frame chicken coop tractors I quickly realized three crucial things:
Hubby Of The Year goes to my husband for these A-Frame Chicken Coop Tractors!
My wonderful husband watched patiently as I continued to get more and more frustrated, all the while letting my flock free-range. Then, I lost two more hens and a rooster to a pernicious hawk. I was at the end of my rope. I admitted to him in tears that I might as well throw in the towel completely. I wasn’t cut out for owning hens because my heart couldn’t take losing them nor could it take keeping them cooped up like prisoners for their own safety.
He then sat me down and asked, “What would you build if you could do it completely from scratch?”
I thought for a moment and told him to get me a pencil and paper. Then, I started to draw out what I saw in my head. Using his decade of experience as an engineer, he helped me design the basic idea I had. We talked through all the basic predator scenarios we had encountered and how best to mitigate them with our design. We also talked through my daily workflow with feeding, watering, and gathering eggs and made further design tweaks that would make my life as a chicken momma a heck of a lot easier.
Using this pencil and paper design, my husband went to work on CAD and drafted the designs within a 3-D model. A trip to Menards and one Amazon order later - we set to working building our very first Mobile Chicken Tractor. The build took us about 20 hours in total and we learned a lot along the way, making further tweaks to the design so that the next build would be even easier.
Welcome to the Mini + Medium + Mega A-Frame Chicken Coop Tractors!
The Mini Chicken Tractor
The Medium Chicken Tractor
The Mega Chicken Tractor
In creating our very own A-Frame chicken coop tractor design, we solved multiple issues for ourselves...
After building three of our very own chicken tractors, we kept getting asked for the plans. We realized other chicken owners would benefit from our unique and durable design, so that's why we created the A-Frame Chicken Tractor Build Plans.
To date, over 4000 mobile chicken coop tractors have been built around the world using our build plans!
5/17/2020 10:20:14 pm
Love your tractor and interested in it
5/27/2020 12:35:40 pm
How much do each of the 3 different sizes weigh when completed?
5/28/2020 05:24:48 am
Probably about 150-200lbs. Remember though with our design, pulling and pushing is easy!
5/28/2020 07:17:41 pm
How does this work in snow? I live in Michigan and we have found it very handy to have a covered chicken run to keep the bad weather out
5/29/2020 06:44:22 am
Hi Niya! Click the read FAQs button at the bottom of the post and that will take you to the section where we address this very question!
3/16/2021 07:52:27 am
Can the bigger one be made to be shorter? I love the concept but 7ft seems a bit tall
7/27/2020 09:18:03 am
Hi Ruthie, yes, If you head to my Instagram profile and check out my highlights I have examples @kelseyjorissen.
8/9/2020 06:36:40 pm
Hi! Great looking tractor!
8/10/2020 05:38:44 am
We recommend adhering another strip of hardware cloth to close the gap in that case!
3/3/2021 07:42:44 pm
Do you have problems with the hens escaping from under the sides?
9/25/2021 09:35:26 am
Only if you have pullets in there. Full grown hens stay in just fine!
9/11/2020 04:30:48 am
I live in Texas were the summers are hot! My concern is that there is not enough ventilation and the coop will be too hot using steel material. Any suggestions?
9/11/2020 07:04:14 am
Hi Rhonda, great question! The white steel paneling actually reflects the heat of the sun. We've have multiple customers build our tractors in growing zone 9/10 with no issues!
10/3/2020 06:03:10 pm
Do you close these up any further for winter to retain heat? We’re in West Virginia.
10/5/2020 05:25:22 am
Yup! Click the FAQ button at the bottom of the post to learn how we winterize. :)
11/19/2020 05:57:04 am
They look good but are they good enough for winters?
11/20/2020 09:47:05 am
Hi Dave - yup! Check out to FAQ section by clicking the link at the end of the article to learn more.
12/7/2020 07:35:49 am
Great stuff, it looks like there's no door to open and close daily, raising and lowering a ramp instead? I am looking for plans that can accommodate an automatic door. Could this be modified to use an automatic door?
12/7/2020 07:51:05 am
Hi Ruth - yes you can! I am creating an additional FAQ that answers this question. Click the button at the bottom of my blog post so you can read on.
3/4/2021 12:03:16 pm
I live in South Florida. Do you think there would be enough air flow?
3/5/2021 11:58:30 am
Absolutely! The air flow from underneath the roosts and up through the circular vent at the apex of the roosting area is great.
3/31/2021 07:51:39 pm
We live in Interior Alaska with temperatures from 60 below to 90 above 0F. We are very interested in the mega coop on our acre of property. Do you have any recommendations for accessories/improvements to a tractor coop for our neck of the woods? We are accustomed to heat lamps and heated water bases. I am about to pull the trigger on your mega coop plan and was wondering if you have any suggestions.
4/3/2021 09:16:03 am
Hi Russ! Honestly I don't think this design is a good fit for your climate. We recommend no more than 20 F at night unwinterized and with it winterized (with our suggestions listed at the ink below) we recommend no more than -10F.
5/2/2021 12:01:26 pm
Is there a place in your plan for the chicken food that will keep it out of the rain?
9/25/2021 09:36:28 am
We have tips and tricks in the guide that address this very question!
7/15/2021 09:18:58 am
Thank you for these wonderful plans! Can’t wait to build and try out your terrific design. Blessings on you for many more gifted inspirational ideas….👍♥️
11/2/2021 11:31:16 pm
Hi I live in the sacred valley of Peru. I want to do the mega for my turkeys. How many could safely be housed? They free range in the day but are housed at night. Our land is rented so we cant build permanent structures
2/7/2022 05:38:51 am
We are in Australia and have small to medium venomous snakes, large pythons, wild dogs, quolls(ruthless acrobatic marsupial vampires) and monitor lizards. Our previous coop was 13k with concrete floors and steel large gauge mesh. We love your tractors and are contemplating building one but concerned about weight. Do you think we could make this coop with Australian hardwood but incorporate the steel mesh necessary to protect our girls from larger predators? We planned to use electric chicken mesh to give our girls more room to roam and have alpacas and dogs to surrounding to further protect the flock? We keep a couple roosters for alarms as well. Your designs are awesome- truly impressive and easy on the eye and solid. Great work!
2/7/2022 08:04:04 am
4/1/2022 10:30:00 am
Would this design be suitable for raising meat birds? Based on the numbers you provide, you designed this with egg layers in mind.
6/20/2022 12:58:47 pm
Do you guys have problems with chickens pooping in the nesting boxes since the roosts are the same height as the nesting boxes?
6/20/2022 05:15:40 pm
We did before we added a diagonal roosting bar! With all three sizes we include the option to build a diagonal roosting bar inside the roosting area. :)
9/30/2022 06:24:33 pm
Hello! I am very interested in your designs. Could we use plywood instead of steel? If so, would we have to tweek the measurements some?
10/7/2022 10:42:03 am
Yes! Although it might not hold up to rain and snow as well as tin. :)
2/17/2023 01:39:46 pm
Hi! I'm super interested in this plan, but was hoping to know how the free range tractor do with odor? I live in suburbs and worry about the smell. Thanks so much!
2/18/2023 08:47:08 am
Hi Amanda - We share some great tips and tricks to help keep the smell down in the plans. As long as you move your hens 1x a day the smell isn't too bad. Your neighbors will definitely not notice it!
3/11/2023 11:35:45 am
Hello! My husband and I want to buy these plans, but he's worried about maybe needing specialized tools to deal with the tin roof. Would you be able to tell me what tools are needed before we buy the plan?
3/13/2023 08:54:56 am
Hi Shannon! You would need a tin snips or a nibbler to cut the tin. Both tools are not that highly specialized - the nibbler makes the job even easier in our opinion!
3/27/2023 07:15:28 am
Hi! I am trying to purchase the mega coop pdf, but I am having some difficulty. Would you be able to help me obtain that? Thank you!
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