Does coop need a door at all times?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ASD Dad, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. ASD Dad

    ASD Dad Chirping

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    Mar 15, 2018
    Upstate, SC
    Hello - we're in the process of finishing off converting part of a new garden shed into a coop. First time chicken owners...

    They will have 40 sq feet for 6 birds with large double doors opening out into an enclosed run. Run is simply cattle panels for walls with chicken wire attached to keep smaller critters out. The coop back wall that separates it from the rest of the shed is wood with 1/2" hardware cloth.

    Wife had the idea of just using one of those magnetic screen doors for the main door out to the run. She said we can close off the double doors if we really need to keep them in but didnt think it would be necessary most of the time.

    I personally think that is a bad idea. I think we need another framed wall where the doors are that would also be screened with 1/2" hardware cloth and have a simple door to get access into the coop that is also screened with same cloth. With both doors closed the only ventilation is a 12" x 12" window and a upper vent. I cant keep the second set of doors open since I keep my tools and mower in there.

    I was thinking we can keep the coop outside solid doors open 90% of the time and just close them up in the winter or if a bad storm rolls in like today where rain is blowing sideways. Rest of the time they can stay open with the second screened door keeping them inside.

    Main predator besides neighbors dog and maybe our dogs would be hawks. Very rarely see coyotes, havent seen a raccoon, possom or fox. We do have copperheads among other various non-venomous snakes but they are also rare. Lots of hawks though!

    Her main reason for not having a full framed wall up front was simple cleaning. No bottom board means we can just sweep everything straight out the door with nothing in the way. She also likes to keep things very simple.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    1. You will need at least 6 s.f. of ventilation in your coop. That includes during the winter months.

    2. Your coop must be able to be closed off to prevent access to predators. That means covering all openings with 1/2" hardware cloth. If the run is not also covered with hardware cloth including top, sides and skirt, you can't plan on the run being predator proof. IMO, if the run is not predator proof, the only way to keep your chickens alive is to shut them securely in a predator proof coop every single night.
     
  3. ASD Dad

    ASD Dad Chirping

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    Mar 15, 2018
    Upstate, SC
    1) With coop double doors open there is 28 sq feet of open air. I can close off one in winter and still have 14 so no issues there.

    2) top of run is not covered other than hawk net.

    Guess I will be building a front wall and extra door. No big deal for me, wife may not be happy but we'll make it work.

    Question - what do all the free range people do? I see tons of homes and farms around here with chickens all over their property with the only "coop" a covered lean-to style roof with nesting boxes. Are they playing a numbers game where they have more birds than prey can eat? Dumb luck? Honestly just curious. I have no issues building anything out of wood or metal but I also like to K.I.S.S.
     

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