Coop Door Necessary?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hikingdad, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. hikingdad

    hikingdad In the Brooder

    Jan 17, 2014
    I just really started to seriously investigate the necessary things for having chickens. I plan on getting my first chicks this spring. Anyways, in my investigation I found I need a coop. I also saw many coop designs! All of them have doors and some with automatic doors. I'm wondering, if the coop has an entirely closed in pen/run (not sure the proper terminology, sorry) then why does there even need to be the door? I mean you've got the coop with a little door that they naturally go into at night, and if their pen/run is totally enclosed and safe, then why the door? Why not let them naturally self regulate. Keep in mind I'm a TOTAL newb to this, and I really appreciate any and all help!

  2. Primo

    Primo Songster

    May 1, 2013
    Technically you do not have to have a door. In the south many people have 3 sided coops. If you live up north a door will provide draft protection. It's not the cold that gets them, its the wind
    1 person likes this.
  3. The door isn't necessary but it has come in handy a few times. I've closed it if i need to work on the run or if I want to separate birds while I am checking them for mites, or to lock them in the run while I clean the coop, if the run is really ,muddy. So its not necessary but it does come in handy, without the door you just have to get creative if you need to block it.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    IMO it really depends on how predator proof your run is.

    Locking them in my coop at night, which is entirely lined with 1/2 hardware cloth, gives me peace of mind that they are protected whilst I sleep.

    My run is only hawk proof, tho it will stop or seriously slow down (I think/hope) most other predators when the chooks are out during the day.

    Read thru the predator forum, it might convince you.

  5. kazula5

    kazula5 Chirping

    May 22, 2013
    Our run is totally enclosed in hardware cloth. The only time I close the coop door is if it is going to get really cold at night. We have everything from coyotes to raccoons, hawks to rattlesnakes in the area and nothing has gotten into the run in the last 7 months.
    1 person likes this.
  6. donnavee

    donnavee Songster 9 Years

    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    I rarely close the pop door except on very cold nights during the winter. Nothing has ever gotten in the secure run, but as someone else indicated, sometimes you might want to close the door to either keep them out or in. Cleaning the coop is one of those times when they all want to come in and 'help" so being able to keep them out makes the work go a lot faster.
  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging 6 Years

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I don't have pop doors, just human sized doors with hardware cloth windows. My run is not secure enough for overnight predators, so the doors are opened and closed daily here. I don't have bears (yet) so don't have electric around the run and coop. I have a concrete foundation and floor for the run and coop, which is wonderful! Most of have had losses over the years to predators, and find out the hard way that things need to be beefed up for safety. Make everything larger and sturdier, you'll be glad you did it that way. Mary

  8. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    If your run really is Fort Knox ie: covered, made of hardware cloth, not chicken wire, and has an apron around it to prevent digging...then you can probably get away with not having a pop door to close them in. Many people find out their run is indeed NOT Fort Knox when something like a weasel finds some small way to get in or a coon rips apart wire to get in. It's amazing what predators can and will do to get in and get dinner.

    My run is in no way secure enough for nighttime so I just close that little pop door. My coops are very secure so I sleep well at night knowing my girls are safe.
  9. hikingdad

    hikingdad In the Brooder

    Jan 17, 2014
    Thanks everyone! I plan to build a pen and coop that use hardware cloth all the way around with a rock/boulder perimeter. Will likely build on a door, but leave it open most times. I guess time will tell, and I really appreciate the responses.

  10. Predators is a big reason to have a pop door, so they can safely be locked up at night. I didn't have any losses for over 1 1/2 years then I lost 2 in 1 month. I don't have an auto pop door opener yet so I open it before I go to work in the morning and sometimes it is still dark.

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