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Drop down chicken door?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tororider, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. tororider

    tororider Songster

    Feb 6, 2008
    Southeast MI
    Is a drop down chicken door a feasible thing, or do I need to have a door coming out of the wall? Just wondering if having a drop down door, or a hole in the floor with a perch underneath would be easy enough for them to get into. Thanks
  2. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I really don't know... just thinking about it.... it seems like you'd need to frame the opening out with a sort of "lip" of boards sticking up into the coop to keep the bedding material from all falling out the trap door. Otherwise I don't see why not. I'll bet someone on here has tried it....
  3. palabeco

    palabeco Songster

    Oct 29, 2007
    S.W. PA
    Here is a pic of my dropdown door.

    There is a lip around the inside as a stop for the door to close to. The only problem is that stuff gets caked in the bottom where it hinges, have to scrape out once in a while to be able to close the door.
  4. bills

    bills Songster

    Jan 4, 2008
    vancouver island
    Seachick makes a very good point about the floor litter dropping through any kind of floor door. You will be amazed at how much chickens kick the litter around.

    I was facing the same question about a week ago, and was thinking at that time that the drop down door would double as a ladder. After hearing about the litter in the hinge area problem as palabeco mentions, I opted for the guillotine style door.

    I am very happy with that style of door. The big advantage is I can open the door to the run, without going into the run. I simply mounted a pulley above the door, ran a rope through it and down to the door, and back out to the outside of the run. I put a long spring on it to help close it up tight when it I lower it, and a hook on the outside of the run to fasten the rope to when it is opened. If litter does get on the sill, a quick wipe and it's clear, no picking bits out of a hinge. I mounted a ladder separately, using a chain and a couple of screw in cup hooks, so I can move it out of the way when cleaning the run area.
  5. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    I have the drop down door that acts as a ladder on my coop and it works really well. My girls spend only a very little time in there - they are out in the run all day long, and even in bad weather only go in to get a snack. They'll stand under the coop, when it rains hard. My coop is elevated about 18" off the ground and has a 1/4" wire floor.

    I don't have the litter issue because of the wire floor and elevated coop - but I'm in a pretty warm climate here, so insulation is not a big issue as it is for those in more northerly climates.
  6. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    I *think* that tororider meant a door in the floor, actually, like a trap-door type arrangement on a coop raised up off the ground.... can you clarify, tororider?????? But many of the same issues (ie hinges getting fouled) would apply. Maybe I misunderstood....
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2008
  7. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    to keep my hinges clean, I have a ramp and the door hinges at the top. There is a lip to keep litter inside, and door has a spring loaded latch, so door will stay shut at night.
  8. tororider

    tororider Songster

    Feb 6, 2008
    Southeast MI
    Yes, Seachick. I meant a door in the floor, dropping straight down almost like a hole for a firemens pole, if that makes sense.
  9. Churkenduse

    Churkenduse Songster

    Jan 1, 2008
    I thought of using a drop down but was afraid if I got sick and couldn't come out early in the morning they would have to wait.
    I live alone. So I made a sort of swinging door. I do not need to tend to that. I live where there are lots of predators and so far so good.
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I thought about this a lot when I was designing our tractor. I eventually voted against it, because it would have taken up SO MUCH FLOORSPACE, not just for the opening itself but for the arrangements that would be necessary to minimize litter loss. (And you would still lose significant litter, I am quite positive).

    I am hard-pressed to think of a situation in which it would be a better idea than a door coming out the side of the coop, even if the door in the wall required a more extensive series of ramps or perches to let the birds down to ground level.



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