1. huntingpharmaci

    huntingpharmaci New Egg

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    Feb 15, 2014
    First time user here! I am in the process of building a coop and have a question about the coop door that the chickens pass from the coop to the run. I have seen some designs that have a coop door with a rope and pulley with access on the outside so that the owner can control the opening. I can see this advantageous when it comes to cleaning or feeding. If I don't build this type of door, will I regret it later? I'm just trying to determine if it is worth the effort.
    BTW, I picked up 4 chicks yesterday and they doing great. I hope to hear your opinions.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Northwest Arkansas
    There are many different ways to handle that door. It depends on your access and how you manage the chickens. You’ll find there is no one opinion that we all share and that we all do things differently. It’s not that one is right and all else are wrong, it’s more which suit our unique conditions and personality best. Civilization as we know it will not change depending whether or not you put a pulley.

    I have not used the pulley system. I personally like walk-in coops and runs so I can better see what is going on. My coop is 9’x12’ and the run is 12’x32’ so they are not small. I’ve used a door that is hinged at the top, a guillotine door that slides up, and a guillotine door that slides to the side. They all work for me. Some people don’t even use a pop door but instead use the people door. If you don’t have good access to that door a pulley system may be a good thing for you.

    One advantage of the pop door over the people door is that the smaller pop door lets in a lot less rain, so the coop can stay drier. In some climates or if the door is sheltered from blowing rain, that may not be really critical. If you are building a coop with one or more walls wire like some do in warmer climates, it certainly isn’t critical.

    Whatever door you use, you need to make sure the wind doesn’t blow it shut or it accidentally gets closed during the day, locking the hens away from the nests or away from the food and water. You also don’t want it to slam shut with a hen standing in the way.

    Pop doors can serve as a way for a predator to break into the coop. It needs to be strong enough so a big dog or raccoon can’t rip it off. That means frame it well, use materials that can stand up to punishment, and use robust hardware. Also, if you use a hasp, get one big enough to handle the lock you are going to put on it. I made that mistake and had to change the hasp out. If your pop door is inside a run that you consider predator-proof, you might not even need a door, but I find a decent pop door is another layer of protection. If you use a pulley system, how do you secure the door so a raccoon can’t just lift it up and go on in?

    I like the pop door about a foot or more up on the side of the coop. That keeps the chickens from scratching the bedding out of the coop through it. Adults have no trouble going through a door that high and it really doesn’t take long for chicks to be able to use it with a broody, but you can build steps or make a step with bricks or pavers if you want to make it easier for chicks.

    One problem I have with the guillotine type door is that the door itself can warp, especially when the weather is wet or if the sun hits it and it gets hot. That’s another reason use reasonably substantial material for the door. I add 1”x2” strips to it to brace it against that warping. And I leave a little extra room in the slide part to cater to some warping. I use two of them so it can be handled.

    Where are my manners? Welcome to the forum!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Ren2014

    Ren2014 Blessed Beyond Hope Premium Member

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    [​IMG] You'll find lots of information here and great advice. Happy to hear your chicks are doing well. I'm trying to decide on a coop door also. Are you considering an automatic door at all?
     
  4. huntingpharmaci

    huntingpharmaci New Egg

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    Feb 15, 2014
    No, I think I am going to have an "open door policy" for my chicks. lol... The run is completely roofed so I don't think rain will be an issue. I can see a problem with the chickens kicking the bedding out. But I can put a lip at the bottom of the threshold to trap the betting. I would hate to install a pulley door and forget to raise it, leaving the chicks in the coop all day. Also I don't want to install an automatic system.
    Thanks for the greetings.
     
  5. Ren2014

    Ren2014 Blessed Beyond Hope Premium Member

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    I like that policy:)
     
  6. Scott H

    Scott H Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Just make sure your run is completely predator proof if you are not going to have a door on the coop. Predators will wipe them out in a night if it is not. Just a matter of time.
    Also, you may need to lock them in for a week or so so they know where to roost.
     

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