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Drop down chicken door?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Is a drop down chicken door a feasible thing, or do I need to have a door coming out of the wall?  Just wondering if having a drop down door, or a hole in the floor with a perch underneath would be easy enough for them to get into.  Thanks

Hoping to get chickens again soon, in the meantime I have gotten a couple pregnant Shetland Ewes.  You can check out all my shenanigans at Homesteaddad.com
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Hoping to get chickens again soon, in the meantime I have gotten a couple pregnant Shetland Ewes.  You can check out all my shenanigans at Homesteaddad.com
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post #2 of 18

I really don't know... just thinking about it.... it seems like you'd need to frame the opening out with a sort of "lip" of boards sticking up into the coop to keep the bedding material from all falling out the trap door. Otherwise I don't see why not. I'll bet someone on here has tried it....

post #3 of 18

Here is a pic of my dropdown door.

There is a lip around the inside as a stop for the door to close to. The only problem is  that stuff gets caked in the bottom where it hinges, have to scrape out once in a while to be able to close the door.
http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc236/palabeco/DSCN1452.jpg

post #4 of 18

Seachick makes a very good point about the floor litter dropping through any kind of floor door. You will be amazed at how much chickens kick the litter around.

I was facing the same question about a week ago, and was thinking at that time that the drop down door would double as a ladder. After hearing about the litter in the hinge area problem as palabeco mentions, I opted for the guillotine style door.

I am very happy with that style of door. The big advantage is I can open the door to the run, without going into the run. I simply mounted a pulley above the door, ran a rope through it and down to the door, and back out to the outside of the run. I put a long spring on it to help close it up tight when it I lower it, and a hook on the outside of the run to fasten the rope to when it is opened. If litter does get on the sill, a quick wipe and it's clear, no picking bits out of a hinge. I mounted a ladder separately, using a chain and a couple of screw in cup hooks, so I can move it out of the way when cleaning the run area.

post #5 of 18

I have the drop down door that acts as a ladder on my coop and it works really well.  My girls spend only a very little time in there - they are out in the run all day long, and even in bad weather only go in to get a snack.  They'll stand under the coop, when it rains hard.  My coop is elevated about 18" off the ground and has a 1/4" wire floor.

I don't have the litter issue because of the wire floor and elevated coop - but I'm in a pretty warm climate here, so insulation is not a big issue as it is for those in more northerly climates.

Arlee453 is Susan, mom to  (in no particular order...) 4 humans, a big-ole bunch of chickens, chicks, etc, 7 dogs, 3 cats, parakeets, peafowl, a few ducks and 1 neglected husband...
Visit my blog/webcam webpage:
Chick-N-Cam:  http://arlee453.camstreams.com/
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Arlee453 is Susan, mom to  (in no particular order...) 4 humans, a big-ole bunch of chickens, chicks, etc, 7 dogs, 3 cats, parakeets, peafowl, a few ducks and 1 neglected husband...
Visit my blog/webcam webpage:
Chick-N-Cam:  http://arlee453.camstreams.com/
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post #6 of 18

I *think* that tororider meant a door in the floor, actually, like a trap-door type arrangement on a coop raised up off the ground.... can you clarify, tororider?????? But many of the same issues (ie hinges getting fouled) would apply. Maybe I misunderstood....


Edited by SeaChick - 2/21/08 at 12:42pm
post #7 of 18

to keep my hinges clean, I have a ramp and the door hinges at the top.  There is a lip to keep litter inside, and door has a spring loaded latch, so door will stay shut at night.

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Yes, Seachick.  I meant a door in the floor, dropping straight down almost like a hole for a firemens pole, if that makes sense.

Hoping to get chickens again soon, in the meantime I have gotten a couple pregnant Shetland Ewes.  You can check out all my shenanigans at Homesteaddad.com
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Hoping to get chickens again soon, in the meantime I have gotten a couple pregnant Shetland Ewes.  You can check out all my shenanigans at Homesteaddad.com
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post #9 of 18

I thought of using a drop down but was afraid if I got sick and couldn't come out early in the morning they would have to wait. 
I live alone. So I made a sort of swinging door.  I do not need to tend to that.  I live where there are lots of predators and so far so good.

If you always do what you've always done: you will always get what you always got!
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If you always do what you've always done: you will always get what you always got!
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post #10 of 18

I thought about this a lot when I was designing our tractor. I eventually voted against it, because it would have taken up SO MUCH FLOORSPACE, not just for the opening itself but for the arrangements that would be necessary to minimize litter loss. (And you would still lose significant litter, I am quite positive).

I am hard-pressed to think of a situation in which it would be a better idea than a door coming out the side of the coop, even if the door in the wall required a more extensive series of ramps or perches to let the birds down to ground level.

JMHO,

Pat

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