Almost complete coop - hoping for chicken door input.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kellyjeanne, Sep 14, 2016.

  1. kellyjeanne

    kellyjeanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    61
    15
    61
    Jul 19, 2016
    Atlanta
    My Coop
    I'm almost finished my coop - I'm done all the big stuff, and now am working on the finer details. The last big part I have left (other than finishing with the HW cloth) is my chicken door.

    This is my coop as it stands - obviously still needs work.

    [​IMG]

    This is looking down the run at the chicken door area:
    [​IMG]

    I'm concerned that I may have left the door hole too large, but I like being able to stick my head and shoulders through, even though there are other access points for cleaning. I am now trying to figure out what to do about closing it down.

    I live in Atlanta, and so although it's a major city, we have a lot of tree cover and so we have tree rats. I have a 6 foot stockade, but the feral dogs in the neighborhood could get over it, in theory. I've seen coyotes not that far away and I know that there are possums, raccoons, and armadillo around to be wary of...in addition to rat snakes...and so I feel like even though the run will be fairly secure (and I'm burying the hardware cloth and probably going to put gravel or pavers over that.... I really want to make the chicken door something that you can open and close from the outside, but that is also secure....and there's no electric back there. I was reading on another thread about the "hinge lock" for a vertical sliding door - I was also thinking about doing something that opens like a regular door with a heavy spring to keep it closed? But I don't know if that's secure enough.

    I'm basically looking for advice on what to do - which might include making the door opening smaller - I also figure that when I frame something in it will get a bit smaller.

    TL;DR: door help, pretty please.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
  2. limited25

    limited25 Chillin' With My Peeps

    776
    83
    136
    Mar 10, 2016
    Oklahoma
    Hi, Not completely sure I know what you are asking ("closing it down" and "stockade") but will give you my best answer.

    I wouldn't make the door smaller. Like you said, you can stick your head and shoulders through, and it looks to me like one hen could not block the doorway while the next hen stands behind her waiting to get in. That is how our hens are anyway, lol. A wood piece opening / closing like a regular door would work fine. I cannot see what kind of latch you have on your people door, but basically anything that a raccoon could not open would be good. We have a latch that has a little hook type shape that comes down over a bar when it is closed, and has a hole at the bottom which we use to put a padlock through. Keeps all predators out. It is easy to use and I don't think it was expensive.
     
  3. kellyjeanne

    kellyjeanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    61
    15
    61
    Jul 19, 2016
    Atlanta
    My Coop
    6 foot stockade- the fence around my yard.

    I'm looking for advice on how to make a door to the coop part that can be opened and closed from outside the run without electricity and that will be secure from predators.

    The run door will have some sort of latch, but I haven't decided on what kind yet, I'm less worried about that because that will only be opened occasionally vs the coop door that will need to be opened and closed daily. I've been reading about a variety of options, but I'm not mechanically skilled or a very skilled carpenter and so I feel intimidated about these. I fear that a regular door type door even with a heavy spring could be opened by a racoon and I want an additional layer of security for my ladies.
     
  4. limited25

    limited25 Chillin' With My Peeps

    776
    83
    136
    Mar 10, 2016
    Oklahoma
    What I am thinking of wouldn't require much work ... certainly nothing compared to the amount of work you've already done. Will get a picture of it, but will have to wait until son comes over to help me maneuver my pictures so I can post it.
     
  5. yogifink

    yogifink Chillin' With My Peeps

    415
    153
    141
    May 16, 2013
    Pinebluff, nc
    My Coop
    I looks like you have done a pretty good job on the coop/run exterior. If you have to add more attention though, I would add it there by making certain nothing can get into the run and therefore into the coop from the inside. It's inevitable that you will not close the interior door at points; weather you go on vacation, get home after dark, just plain forget, or when the novelty wears thin.

    But, if you really want to do it: I'd go for a sliding door. Think barn or pocket door. Should be pretty easy to build with some wooden tracks. Could open and close with some sting and a pulley.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
  6. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    111
    1
    51
    Apr 10, 2015
    Long Island, NY
    I have a sliding door on mine that is attached to a long stick that I push and pull to open and close. I use a hook and screw eye to latch it closed. Since the hook is 4 feet from the door any predator would not know to undo the hook then go to the door to slide open.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
  7. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    111
    1
    51
    Apr 10, 2015
    Long Island, NY
    [​IMG]
     
  8. kellyjeanne

    kellyjeanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    61
    15
    61
    Jul 19, 2016
    Atlanta
    My Coop
    Thanks for all your feedback. I like the horizontal sliding door, but I'd have to go into the run in the morning to unlatch it and at night to relatch it - I really was hoping for something I could operate from outside. The vertical slider seems ideal for this, but I don't think I have enough space to make that work, I only have about a 10 inch clearance over the opening I made, although I could shrink the opening down and make more room. That's why my other thought had been to have a door that opens like a regular door but on a heavy spring to make it close when released, I just don't know how to racoon proof that.
     
  9. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    111
    1
    51
    Apr 10, 2015
    Long Island, NY
    My latch is on the outside of my horizontal sliding door. I rarely step into my run. I'll attach a picture in the morning when there's light.
     
  10. kellyjeanne

    kellyjeanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    61
    15
    61
    Jul 19, 2016
    Atlanta
    My Coop
    Thanks everyone for your input - I ended up doing a vertical sliding door anyway, after all that. I had to close the opening down a bit in order to get a door that I could raise high enough to let chickens out, but it has all the functionality that I want.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by