Coop door to run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MendonMan, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. MendonMan

    MendonMan Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2012
    I'll be new to chickens this spring with a flock of 3-4 hens. Concerning the small door that is between the coop and the run. Do you have to open and close it every day? I see automatic ones, etc. Is this just for extra protection from predators? Assuming you've attempted to make your run and coop as predator proof as possible, can the door be left open in moderate weather?

    I don't see very much written about this topic. I see plans all having the door and I see where the chickens go out in the AM and in in the PM. But little on whether it's an option to open and close or not. Nor does it ever say you have to.

    Does it get opened at dawn? When you can in the AM? Must you close it when you see them go in the coop at night right then or can you wait?

    May seem like dumb questions but hey, people have front doors and then always use the side on their house. Or have locks on the front door and never lock it, etc.

  2. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    If your run is super secure, you can get away with leaving it open all night. Our run has 2" x 4" wire and I think some small critters can get through that so we close ours. Usually dh opens it in the morning whenever he can. He farms so sometimes it's still dark out and sometimes it's getting light and they're waiting to get out the door. We usually close it right after they go in but sometimes we go somewhere while it's still light out and get home way past dark, like 10 pm, and close it then. So far so good. We have ours set up so that we can close it without going into the coop or the pen. Next summer we'll be using an auto door opener while on vacation and I'm really nervous about it.
  3. MendonMan

    MendonMan Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 31, 2012
    Thank you for responding. My coop and run will hardware cloth throughout and includes a 12" hardware cloth apron.

    I was just a bit confused with the door thing. I've seen ducks go into a coop at night after being out in a pond all day. No door was opened or closed. It was just an opening. I've seen them full size for people to get in and out and smaller like for a dog. They marched from the pond, up a hill at dusk and into a pen and then further into a coop. The pen was then shut.

    So it got me thinking. All the various fowl that go into sheltered or enclosed spaces and chickens need to have a little door opened and closed everyday?

  4. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    I would say the "pop" door has two purposes. One is keep predators out, if necessary. My run is secure enough that I leave mine open. Two is to keep the bad weather out. We have severe winter in my area. In very windy, wintry nights, I would close the door.

    Actually, we would close the door sometimes when we are cleaning the coop or run and the chickens are getting in the way.

    It would be wise to design the pop door so it can be operated conveniently.
  5. coonhoundmama87

    coonhoundmama87 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 26, 2011
    I don't close my doors but I also don't have really much for predators that could get in. If you have a lot of predators it's not a bad idea to close it.
  6. Capvin

    Capvin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2011
    Lake Placid, FL
    My entire run is covered with a solid roof to keep out rain plus the walls are all hardware cloth. I think it would be very difficult for any predators to get in there so during the summers and nice weather I just leave the pop door open all of the time. For winter, even though we are in Florida, it can get cold at night so I like to close the pop door at night so I have an automatic door that opens right at daylight and closes about one hour after dark. This has worked for me but you must be sure that your run is predator proof.
  7. carladababe

    carladababe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2010
    Dixon, Missouri
    In my chickens coop, the door into the run is open 24/7 during the summer because it gets so hot. We close it at night during the winter to keep the chill out, opening again in the early am. The run itself is totally enclosed in welded wire sitting on top of cement, so I'm not to worried about predators. I do keep the window in the coop open only so much because the screen seems easy to rip open and gain access. [​IMG]
  8. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    I'm all for closing it at night. When chickens go to roost they become helpless. If a rat, mink, or other small predator were to get to them and chew on them they wouldn't move. I don't like that there could be even mice running around the coop at night. My run is extremely secure. It's got 9 gauge chain link with 1/2 " hardware cloth over it. I still prefer closing the coop up at night. I did end up getting an automatic door. I got tired of running down to open up the coop at the crack of dawn.
  9. joan1708

    joan1708 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    DFW - mid cities, Tx
    I'd like to see the pulley systems people use to open the door from the out side. I put on on my pop door and it opens it fine. The problem is when I let it down it doesn't close all the way.
    this is my pop door before I added a pulley
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  10. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.

    I have an interior door that I couldn't put a proper latch on. My husband had a great idea, he ordered some magnets. It slams shut now. I have to be careful that I don't catch a chicken in it. Of course, you could use fewer magnets. Here's a link:

    I've since put them on the outside baffles so they close and stay closed during high winds.

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