do you need a chicken door on the coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dustoff79, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Dustoff79

    Dustoff79 Songster

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Antonio, Texas
    I plan on free ranging my chickens. I will close them up at night and let them out in the morning. I am wondering if I need a separate door for the chickens. I plan on having a "dutch door" where I can leave the bottom 1/2 open during the day and just open the top when I want to go in the coop. what are the issues if any?

  2. chickflick

    chickflick Crowing

    Mar 10, 2007
    Don't you have a run for them?? Issues, it's a big opening and anything could get in....a "pop" door is smaller and may protect them from a larger predator. Hope you have a run, tho. I let mine free range also, but when I know that I'm not going to be home for several hours, I always put them in the run. Just safer that way. When I'm home and can keep an eye on things, they're out free ranging.
  3. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014


    I used to leave the gate propped open a bit on my run so that they could come and go as they please. One day a dog manage to push it open the rest of the way and snatch 2 of my chickens out of it. He was too big to get into the pop door.

    Now I have a pop door on my coop that is open to the fully enclosed small run 24/7(sometimes I like to sleep late) The huge main run has a pop door that is 3 ft in the air up a ladder and just barely big enough for my big fat black sexies to make it through.

    Guess it kind of depends on whether or not you have critters in your area.
  4. Dustoff79

    Dustoff79 Songster

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Antonio, Texas
    No, i do not have a run, I am on 4 acres surrounded by horse fence (2"x4"x4' wire mesh) it keeps the dogs out and the horses in. I plan on them being out all day and locked up at night.

  5. spook

    spook Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    North Central Florida
    I don't have a pop door, I have the door I use. If any preditor wants chicken for dinner , it will not have a problem with free ranging birds.
    I do not have room for a door, yet the pen I have takes in the whole front of the yard and I walk through one gate and up to the hen house door.
    If I want to let them out into the garden etc free ranging, I open the gate and they come and go as they please.
    The only problem with free ranging is that you have no control where they go. Mine ended up at the neighbors, through the woods, acrossed the bog and what a pain in the butt it was keeping track of them! So we put up 3' fence, the cheap plastic stuff you can get at wallmart and fenced in 1/2 acre plot for them. They keep content! Good luck, no you do not need a door.
  6. pkeeler

    pkeeler Songster

    Jul 20, 2008
    I would think the biggest issue would be people getting into your coop and stealing eggs, chickens, and/or equipment.
  7. cthrash1

    cthrash1 Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Somerset, KY
    My large coop and the smallest one(holds the freerange chickens) have hatches, the midsize coop just has a big door I prop open in the morning and close at evening when the chickens go to bed. They aren't freerange though but they do have a large run. Soon to be expanded so when I open their gate they'll think they have freedom.

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