Clean out door for the chicken run - how big?

Chad Oftedal

Songster
Premium member
Dec 29, 2017
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Woodinville, WA
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My chicken run is going to be "L" shaped where it wraps around two sides of my 8x8 walk-in coop. On one end, I'm going to put in a gate/door where I can enter the run. I will use this entrance for both daily entrance, and when I need to do clean up (i.e. run a wheel barrow in and out, etc). I plan to do the deep litter method, and the run will be covered. The height of the run is 78" because my roll of hardware cloth is 75" high, and being 73" tall myself, it works out great!

The setup is that I have 2 4x4 posts cemented into the ground. The outside dimension for these two posts is 67". The inside dimension is 60". So, I have 60" in which to utilize for the gate. My plan, since the whole run is pressure treated framing covered in hardware cloth, was to make a door covered in hardware cloth. If I just did a simple design that maximized space, I came up with a door that was 53" across. I'm worried that is too big, and I'd need some pretty beefy hinges to keep from sagging.

Any ideas on a size that has worked well for you? I kind of feel like I could make any size given that I have up to 60" to work with. I'm just curious what others have found to be big enough for their cleaning needs, but yet structurally sound so that they didn't have sag issues.
 
Last edited:

jthornton

Crowing
Aug 30, 2017
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Poplar Bluff, MO
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For a wheelbarrow door I'd go at least a foot wider than your wheelbarrow. I don't see anything wrong with a 53" door if you brace it enough and put enough hinges.

This is my door to the run, I used 3 regular door hinges I had laying about. Notice the bracing I added to hold it all together. I should have put a kick board inside to contain the chips... maybe one day.
run-01.jpg

JT
 

ewerbos

Songster
May 14, 2016
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Gaithersburg, MD
I am just about to make a door for our run, and I was planning on making it about 6' total, but was thinking of making it into two doors. The left part will have the static part of the gate latch and two sliding latches on the inside at the top and bottom to keep it in place most of the time (to be opened only for large moving), and the right will have the moving part of the gate latch and will be what we typically use. I'm sure it's possible to make a large door, but I think I would find it annoying to open all the time.
 

Chad Oftedal

Songster
Premium member
Dec 29, 2017
186
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146
Woodinville, WA
My Coop
My Coop
I am just about to make a door for our run, and I was planning on making it about 6' total, but was thinking of making it into two doors. The left part will have the static part of the gate latch and two sliding latches on the inside at the top and bottom to keep it in place most of the time (to be opened only for large moving), and the right will have the moving part of the gate latch and will be what we typically use. I'm sure it's possible to make a large door, but I think I would find it annoying to open all the time.
Hmmm. This is a really good thought!
 

Macchickenman

Chirping
Apr 10, 2018
34
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80
Building a big door is ok if you stabilize w a diagonal... HD sells hardware and cable that you can use and attach from the upper end at the hinges and then down diagonally to the lower end of the other side of the door... the hardware has a cable tightener so you can keep this tight and so the door won't sag..
 

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