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Do you leave you chicken access door open?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Wynette, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Hi there - I've been searching for some info. on this topic, but haven't found anything yet. I'd like feedback on whether or not you leave your coop chicken access door open during the day in the winter. I do leave it open during the day now, but I'm concerned snow will blow in during the winter. What are your thoughts? Here's a pic of my chicken access door before the coop was done (chicks only 8 weeks in this pic):


    Here's a couple pics of my coop being built:




    I've got 5 Ameraucauna pullets, a black X link pullet, and an Ameraucauna roo. The coop is 4x8, and maybe 5' high.

    Any feedback would be much appreciated. Thanks, everyone!
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    Yes. They need fresh air, even in winter. If you're in the middle of a blizzard, you could keep them inside, but they still need a little ventilation even then.
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    My coop does have an opening approx. 4" wide underneath the eave of the coop that runs the entire length of the coop. I've been wondering if I should just leave it open over winter for circulation, or if I should stuff some sort of insulation in there?
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member 11 Years

    You probably should leave it open, at least partially, even in the dead of winter. The respiration produces moisture that needs to get out or you'll have a damp atmosphere inside the coop, leading to air quality problems and frostbite.
  5. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    Our plan is to leave the chicken door open, but keep the giant window (2.5ftx2.5ft) closed. We're going to cover the run in clear plastic w/some holes for ventilation.

    I figure if they are cold, they will go into the coop themselves.

  6. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    Does rain get into your coop if you leave the window open?

    We have an awning over the access door. It's more for shade than anything else (it helps keep the inside of the hen house cool), but it also provides very good protection against rain. I'm guessing it'll do the same for snow. We may angle it down a bit for the winter season, but I'm planning to keep it open.

    Can you angle your door down over the opening? Right now it looks like it's perpendicular to the wall. Maybe you could add some suspension wires, rather than propping it open??

    Edited because I had another thought:
    Maybe you could build a little vestibule to use in the winter. That would keep snow out, right??
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2007
  7. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Songster

    Aug 18, 2007
    Southeast Texas
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2007
  8. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Our access door faces east, since we don't really get any weather from that direction.

  9. jab91864

    jab91864 Songster

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    I have a awning over the "chicken" access door. I also tack up an empty feed sack (the white shiny kind that sort of repels water somewhat) over the door about 3/4 of the length top toward bottom. It allows ventilation but keeps the wind down some.

    It doesn't take the chickens long to adjust to it being there and since they can dip their heads downward and see under it and look in or out of the coop I think it makes it easier for them to adjust.

    I just pull it up out of the way when I decide it's time to lock the access door and then it falls back over the door out of the way.

  10. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    You've all given me an interesting idea. First, my door does angle down a bit now (I have a light chain on it that I can hook to an eye bolt above the door). When I talked to hubby this past weekend, he said maybe we should put an awning over the door that's wider and longer, and made my little landing bigger. Plus, we found, at Home Depot, this inexpensive plastic floor runner stuff (I think it was $1.88/ft.) - he said we could cut it to length, and hang it over the sides (probably wouldn't be necessary to hang over the front) of the awning.

    But after reading your feedback, I just got to thinking that maybe there's a way to cut it in strips and hang it in the actual doorway, and they'd need to push it aside to get in & out. If we attached it to the inside of the hole, then maybe we wouldn't need the awning. Hmm.....will have to give that some thought! I'm not sure if they'd push through it to get in & out or not. What do you think?

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