This will be a brief overview (with photos) of the basics behind building a Chicken Hoop House. If you have any questions or comments, just let me know (email@example.com).
The base frame is 8' x 8' and needs to be as solid as possible since you'll be dragging these hoop houses around for years to come. I screw everything together and as you can see, there are also corner braces.
The 'hoops' are 16' x 50" cattle panels that are nailed to the frame using fence staples. The trick to getting the panels bent and stabled into place, is to use a couple of T-Post (see photo below).
As you can see in this photo, the wheels are alread attached. I've done it both ways (wheels on before the panels and after) and would recommend that the wheels go on first, so you don't have problems drilling out the holes for mounting them after the panels are mounted.
The rest of the framing is pretty straight forward, but how you install it will make it easier to move the the hoop houses, since you can push or pull them.
The back of the hoop house has an upright post and the top bracing comes from a 1"x3". The 1"x3" slides through the cattle panel and gives the post a solid bracing.
The door is about 30" wide and the hight is about 52" (not specific) ... but the top door brace adds some support to the hoops. The trick is the staple the hoop to the uprights of the door frame. Once it's all put together you can push on this door frame to move the hoop house or pull it by attaching a rope in the front near the 2 corner braces. Note to ... at this stage the interior of the hoop house is lined with chicken wire (1" mesh). I use the 2' or 3' rolls. Staple it against any wood and use small tie wraps to attach it to the cattle panels. I also put chicken wire across the back (top) as the back of the hoop house will open for venting.
Something we learned after the first hoop house was the importance of having the 'bumpers'. We took an old truck bed liner and cut it into strips and screwed it to the frame. This bumper helps you from running over smaller chicks or even the larger chickens later ... it also provides some insullation from wind to keep the shelter warmer on cool nights.
The door is pretty straight forward, but make sure when you hang it that you leave at least an 1 1/2" or so on the bottom to make it easy to open it. I use the clasp latches, since they lock well, but also you can run a small wire through the frame and unlock them when you go inside the hoop house.
The roof tarp is 16" x 12", which is the right length to go over the cattle panels, but too long, so you can see that we fold in the extra on the back side.
The back tarp is 8" x 6" and is screwed into the fram on the bottom / tie wrapped in the middle and the top can be opened for ventilation by using screws for the tarp eyelets and tie wraps to hook over the cross brace. You'll also see the rope that is around the bottom of the tarps. It helps hold the roof tarp to the frame near the back as the end is folded in.
If you use the hoop house for 'day old chicks', you'll need to install what I call a fine wire mesh along the bottom of the hoop house on the inside as the chicks can get through the 1" chicken wire mesh.
When it's all said and done you've got a very sturdy structure that is quick versitle. We've had hail storms / 50 mile an hour winds, etc... and had no trouble keeping everyone safe and sound. With our 'First Day on Grass' model we start our baby chicks in these and then just keep adding shelters as they grow. So ... for us, this is 'beyond the chicken tractor' since the complete life cylce of the chickens is on grass and they enjoy a truly open environment to run after bugs / pretend to fly / etc....