Doggie doors on the coop??

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JessesGirl, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. JessesGirl

    JessesGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2013
    Western Iowa
    I love this site. I logged in to see what I could find out about winter readiness and there was an article on the front page about making your coop winter ready! Highly recommend you read it!

    My question: My coop used to be an outbuilding housing cattle feed. It's has full sized double doors and is divided in half by a wall. I have girls on both sides so I have to have both doors open at all (awake) times. I close them at night. Once winter hits, this isn't going to be an option because any heat in the coop will be lost. I've considered various solutions but the easiest seems to be installing a doggie door which can be locked at night to prevent nocturnal visitors. But would the chickens use it or would they consider it a wall?
     
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Many, many coops have "pop doors" for the chickens, not unlike a doggie door. Open during the day, with nothing covering the opening, closed at night.

    I use automatic chicken doors on my coops, so I don't have to get up at dawn or be home at dusk every day. One door I bought (when the make I wanted was out of stock) requires electrical power and utilizes a timer; I hate it. The other doors I have use batteries AND light sensors to open/close at dawn and dusk.

    Some folks have used clear flaps cut into strips (similar to the cold barriers in refrigerated cases) and report success with their chickens learning to move the flaps aside to go through the opening.

    I hope I have understood your question and provided some helpful information.
     
  3. JessesGirl

    JessesGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2013
    Western Iowa
    Thanks gryeyes, that does answer my question! I'm going to give it a try. If it doesn't work, I will convert to a regular pop door.
     
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Chickens aren't going to go through a dog door.
    They aren't intelligent enough to learn to push it open
     
  5. JessesGirl

    JessesGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2013
    Western Iowa
    Bear Foot Farm, you might want to google "will chickens use a pet door" lol apparently they will :)
     
  6. res

    res Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've used a doggy door on both my coops. Love them - no issues whatsoever. Easy to install, looks great, works great, predator/weather proof when closed.

    However, I did have to remove the clear plastic flapper on both doors. The chickens just never would use them, and I tried. For days. Just wasn't gonna happen.

    I wouldn't recommend using any smaller model than this size. I originally used the next smaller size, and my hens had to *squeeze* thru one wing at a time.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    According to Google, some will and some won't
    I'm still betting the majority won't

    Quote: If I understand you correctly, you're saying you installed the door, but have to leave it open (removing the flap) or they won't use it?
     
  8. res

    res Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes and no. There are 3 parts to the door - the frame, the flapper thingy, and then a solid locking panel. Yes, I had to remove the flapper thingy. I tried for days to get the hens and rooster to go in and out. I showed them how. I put water and food on one side only, hoping hunger/thirst would drive them to use it. Never happened. So you are correct, they would NOT use the doggy door WITH the flapper.

    The flapper is attached to a swinging hinge at the top by 3 nuts/bolts. Very, very simple to remove, and it doesn't leave any sharp edges or anything dangerous to the chickens.

    There are some models of doggy door that are sold with ONLY the flapper, and no locking panel. OP - Be sure to get one with a locking panel if you intend to close the chickens in at night and keep the predators out. The panel slides into a groove on the outside (or inside - depending on how you mount it) of the frame. It has a spring loaded pin that you pull/push to lock it in place. I'd say it's pretty much 100% predator proof... It is super simple to open/close each day. The bottom groove of the doggy door that holds the locking panel does get clogged with gunk - you can either clean it out with a screwdriver occasionally, or you can shave the bottom lip off the locking panel, so that it does not have to set down in that groove.
     
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    One of the posts I read here on BYC indicated the clear plastic flapper was removed and replaced with slightly lighter-duty, flexible, clear plastic cut into three strips. The person pinned two of the flap strips up for a week, so the birds could shoulder their way through the doorway. Then a second section was allowed to fall into place for another week. The chickens pushed their way through, and when the third strip was released on the third week, the chickens had learned to push the flaps apart to enter or exit through the doggie door.
     
    barred2rock and sn0wwhite like this.
  10. pegm

    pegm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was wondering about something like this as winter approaches. Like in the supermarkets when they go into the cold storage there are those plastic strips they just walk thru that keeps the cold in/heat out. Good idea!
     

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