A Coop Door


In the Brooder
11 Years
Jan 28, 2008
Farnsworth, TX
I am finally ready to cut the chicken doors for my coop. I'm planning on using hinge-top doors and was wondering if they need to be framed out. One door will be cut in 3/4 in. plywood, the other in 1/2 in. I know sliding door are usually framed, but I don't know about hinged.

Let me know what I can do. Thanks for your help.
I think you'll be a lot happier with them if you frame them. Gives the hinges something to hold onto, if nothing else. Should help hold the plywood together, too. (No, I'm no carpenter!)
A door hinged from the top is going to be roosted on by a chicken sooner or later when it's open. Whatever you design to hold the door open in that position, be careful that a roosting chicken can't dislodge it and make the door slam down shut.

I have a pop door hinged on the bottom in our raised coop, and the open door makes a sort of platform for the chickens as they fly up to go inside the coop. In another coop, I have a chicken door hinged on the side so that it opens inward, and I latch it open so that it can't accidentally blow close in the wind and block the chickens out of the coop.
I hinged mine and it works fine. You should put a frame on the cut out board to minimize draft and cold I think. On the possible "roost" problem if the door opens up, I just put another slide lock on top of the door to the coop to keep it pretty flush to the wall. The slide lock will also insure it will not come down on a bird by accident. It is pretty easy to do this way too. Here is a pic that may help. Pics are far away, but you get the idea. I just used 1x4 screwed to the board I cut out, and used 1 1x4 across the whole to screw the hinges too.
Hope this helps.
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I agree you are better off framing it. I'd be concerned that the plywood would warp if you don't. Something solid to hold the hinges is something else to consider. You could use nuts and bolts through the plywood if you want but screws are easier to put in or take out and redo if you get it wrong the first time. Not that you would ever do anything like that.

Remember, this is a route a predator might try to take to get in. You want it pretty solid.

I hinge mine at the top and use a carabiner to hold it open during the day and lock it at night. Mine is flush against the wall when open and chickens do not perch on it.

One thing I'll mention, get the hasp big enough for whatever you lock it with to fit without binding. I got mine a bit too small and it is aggravating.
Thanks for your help. I'm no carpenter either. In fact, I'm trying to master making pocket cuts with the circular saw with varying luck — it would help if I could cut a straight line, but I can't. One last question: Do I need to frame around the opening on the inside of the coop (i.e. between the studs)?
Only have to put a board above the hole in the wall to attach the hinges too. All I did it took the cut out pc of the wall, trimmed another 1/2 inch on one side and the top. The cut doesn't need to be that staight, the frame will fix that. Then, I used the 1x4 planks, and screwed them into the pc I cut out of the wall leaving 2 inches or so over the edges of the cut out pc. The overlapping of the boards will stop wind and all blowing in the door. Look again at the pics I posted earlier for you. If you need an closer up pic, let me know and I will go take one for you. It is really easy and works well. With the slide hinge locks, predators will not be able to open it. Especially because it is in the enclosed run. I did the same type door on all sides of my coop for additional ventilation. Good luck.. R
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Ah! I didn't think of that. You're right, of course. Nothing to perch on there.
Mine hinges on the top, and its simply the piece that was cut out to make the hole, fits perfect

None of my birds have ever tried to roost on it, and it doesn't/hasn't warped and the hinges hold fine in the plywood. I did frame up the hole between the plywood and studs as my coop is insulated.

However, it would be nice to have the door framed out like newbie. I would like to use a carabiner like Ridgerunner but the plywood isn't strong enough to hold heavier hardware. The door has closed in strong winds!

Luckily these are things I can still add.

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