There are so many cute and stylish chicken coop plans out there. Some look like cottages, and others are simple. But one might have caught your eye, the A-frame backyard chicken coop. This coop is different from the rest, and it has you wondering, “Why an A-frame chicken coop?” Surely there has to be some advantage to these coops that you aren’t seeing. Today, we are going to explore why these coops could be the perfect one for your flock. And we will look at any downsides that come with them.
Pros Of A-Frames
The first thing we will talk about is all the benefits of having an A-frame. This list will give you the exact reasons to answer the question, “Why an A-frame chicken coop?”
Easy And Cheap
The first pro for this coop style is that they are easy and cheap to put together. Most people can put together an A-frame coop for under $200. If you are handy with tools, you can build these coops within a day. But if you aren’t too savvy, don’t be discouraged. With a little help from a friend, you should be able to have the coop done within one weekend.
Can Find Plans Online
The fantastic part about these coops is that you can find simple plans for free online. There are countless tutorials and YouTube videos on how to make an A-frame coop. You will never sit there and wonder what comes next. So many people make these coops that you are bound to find a video that explains the process better for you.
Easy To Clean
One perk of the A-frame coop is that it’s easy to clean. You never have to worry about cleaning out the bottoms of the run because this is all grass. And if it should get dirty, all you need to do is sweep out the coop and spray it down a little. But these deep cleanings are few and far between as long as you are spot cleaning every couple of weeks. Most chicken owners don’t need to deep clean, but a few times a year.
Easy To Move
A-frame tractors are popular because it is easy to move. These coops are lightweight and effortlessly moved by one person. But, they aren’t so thin that you can knock them over easily. Some designs even come on wheels to make it even easier to move, like an actual tractor.
Since these coops are so lightweight, your backyard chickens can have fresh grounds daily. New foraging areas will give your chickens the rounded nutrition they need and simulate a free-range diet. You can even landscape to have different grasses and flowers growing to feed your chickens. Fresh and varied foods will help your chickens produce the best-tasting eggs.
Scientists say that the strongest shape in nature are triangles. So it only makes sense that the A-frame is just as secure. These coops hold up to strong winds and pressure. They rarely break and maintain their structure well. Rectangular frames are so light and bulky that the wind can knock them over, which leads to escaped chickens.
We mentioned that your backyard chickens would have fresh foraging that simulates the free-range. But your chickens will also have some other benefits such as being mentally stimulated and being happier. A chicken who is at peace will give you the best eggs and meats.
Using a tractor style coop gives you the benefit of free fertilizer all over your yard. Chicken fertilizer is some of the best for anyone who has farm animals. Chicken feces are the highest in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium than any other animal. These elements are the best for manure to make your yard thick and lush.
Having an A-frame will also allow you to keep your yard beautiful. Chickens are notorious for digging up grass if left in one area. But, since this frame is mobile, you can move your flock to a new area daily. Relocating them will give them new things to eat and allow time for new growth to take root.
Keeps Hens Safe
Another benefit of the A-frame is that it will keep your hens on your property without sacrificing beauty. Keeping your chickens on your yard can also prevent them from wandering off or into a neighbors yard or street.
Great For Small Flocks
The A-frame is excellent for the person who has only a few chickens, and a large amount of space. Your chickens will love being able to explore different areas of the yard without being overcrowded.
And finally, our last answer to the question “Why an A-frame chicken coop.” The A-frame style is perfect for mild climates. If you live in a temperate climate, your chickens will never overheat or get too cold in the winters. You will never have to worry about how your chickens are fairing in the weather in mild climates.
Cons of A-Frames
Now we need to talk about why an A-frame might not be suitable. These negative sides don’t apply to every situation, so read them with an open mind. You can even modify your coops to solve a lot of these problems, and we can tell you how.
Some of these A-frame chicken coops have poor ventilation. Chickens need ventilation for several things. For one, it helps heat escape during the summer months. But ventilation is also necessary during the cold winter months. Chickens produce a lot of moisture, and without ventilation, the moisture will accumulate inside your coop, essentially freezing them. Ventilation is also needed to keep smells and ammonia from building up inside. Ammonia is one of the leading causes of respiratory illnesses in chickens.
Many users who get free plans online can install their own ventilation. You can do this by drilling holes into the tops and sides of your coops and covered by chicken wire. The chicken wire will prevent any mice or rats from getting into your coop. And to finish it off, you may want to install seasonal flaps over the vents so that you can control how much ventilation is needed. These covers should be thick and draft-proof to keep your chickens warm in the winter.
Unfortunately, with chicken tractors, they are rarely entirely predator-proof. You don’t have to worry about predators from above, but the ones that can burrow. Most of these predators like to do their hunting at night when they are less likely to be seen. So keeping a watchful eye isn’t always doable. If you live in an area where there isn’t a risk of predators, this will not be an issue for you.
Some people find that having a designated area for chickens at night is the best solution to this problem. They can move the tractor to an area that has a more protective barrier from burrowing creatures. This area can have a concrete base or buried chicken wire to prevent anything from getting under.
Too Few Nesting Boxes
Depending on the size of your A-frame, some of these designs have too few nesting boxes. It isn’t very often that you see every chicken in the run foraging about. Your chickens are usually dispersed between the nesting boxes, perches, and in the run. But at night, every chicken will need a nesting box to sleep inside. Even if your chickens choose to share a box, they need to have one available to prevent fights.
With some designs, it is easy just to add more nesting boxes. But other models you will need to make the entire coop larger to accommodate all of your backyard chickens. If you are tool savvy, this shouldn’t be an issue. Otherwise, you might want to have a chicken keeper friend help double-check your math and plans.
Floor Space Utilization
One thing to consider when getting an A-frame coop is floor space. Since A-frames are so narrow on the sides, your chickens are highly unlikely to be able to use all of the floor space in the run. When calculating how many chickens can fit in the coop, only count the floorspace where a chicken can stand up straight. This is the area where your chickens are likely to spend most of their time and get the most use.
The only thing you can do to remedy this problem is by getting a slightly bigger coop than you might think necessary. But if you make your A-frame too large, it will be challenging to move around.
Not Ideal For Large Flocks
Since the idea of the A-frame is to move around, they aren’t ideal for larger flocks. For someone who has a large flock, it can be impossible to make a moveable frame that is big enough for all their chickens. But if you love the look of an A-frame tractor, you might be able to design an A-frame stationary.
Why An A-frame Chicken Coop?
Because these coops have so many wonderful benefits and the Pros outweigh the Cons. They don’t only benefit you, but also your chickens. And a happy chicken produces more eggs of the highest quality. You can remedy what little things that might be a downside to an A-frame easily.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!