guillotine pop-doors?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by frog522, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. frog522

    frog522 In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I just finished building my coop pop-door, which turns out to be guillotine style. It has locks to hold it in the open position and locks in the close position. I don't know why it didn't occur to me earlier, but the second I finished the pop-door I thought, "what if in the off chance one of my chickens walks underneath and I accidentally lose grip of the pop-door and it goes crashing down on her. This is a scenario I can't quite get out of my head. My pop-door is about 9x12 made out leftover plywood about half-inch thick.

    Why are guillotine doors so popular? Why would any door designed to be held open against gravity be good? Seems rather unsafe in case the hold mechanism fails or the more likely scenarios: user error. I'm starting to think I should have built a swinging door or a sideways sliding pop-door.

    This is kind of disappointing [​IMG]. Please tell me what's good about guillotine style pop-doors!

    I am considering adding a spring or something to the pop-door anchored to above the door, so when it's balanced the door is half open and would apply tension when the door is closed, but I'm thinking at least in case the door slips hopefully an accident can be avoided.
  2. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    Funny, I was thinking the same thing today. I have two pop doors. The first one I have hinged on the top and the door is held by a hook and eye. Seems kind of rinky-dinky and I worry its going to give out and come smashing down on someone. I haven't put the door on the second one yet. I'm thinking of going with a side hinged door. Wonder how many door incidents have happened and with what results????
  3. i always assume the worst is going to happen. Like those pop doors with the automatic openers and closers. i just know one of my chickens would be in the wrong place at the wrong time and get whacked in two. i don't have a pop door on any of my coops, just by happenstance. But i would worry about myself if i had one, as it would only be a matter of time before i made a mistake (early morning chicken release or whatnot) and somebody got hurt.
  4. kfchickenlady

    kfchickenlady Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    I have a guillotine style metal pop door. It is tied open when I let them out in the am, I like it because a raccoon cannot open it. I dont have an auto door opener on it though. If its going to make you lose sleep over it, maybe you could design a sliding door?
  5. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    I use a guillotine style pop door on our main chicken house, ours was designed so I could open or close it from the hallway of our barn. Our main chicken house is about 19' X 9 1/2' so it just seemed easy to do it that way. Ours is made out of heavy plywood with a steel cable running up to the eaves and over a small pulley, across the roof just under the rafters and over a pulley to the outside of the house in the hallway (Our chicken house is in the side-shed of our barn). It hooks onto a catch when open and the weight of the door itself holds it closed. I'll try and figure out some way to post a picture. It alows me to slowly open or close it so no danger of it falling on any of the chickens. All our breeder pens just have regular side hinged doors.
  6. cindy99

    cindy99 Songster

    Jul 7, 2010
    Tioga County PA
    We have a door like that on the side where the baby girls are. It has an eye / hook that keeps it open and I stick a board in there just in case... I worry about the same thing! Now we know better for next time. [​IMG]
  7. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I guess I like the guillotine type door because it's very conservative of space. I have the auto door now, but when I had it on a pulley system, my clip was like a dog leash type clip, so there .000001 chance of it ever "slipping" off.
    The only other type door I would have would be the kind that lifts UP and clips, and it would be just as bad if it came unclipped (once again, with the right clip, next to impossible to happen) and swung down, slamming into a chickens face.
    I don't care for the doors that swing down into a ladder myself, because I think rain would leak in a lot easier, since the seals/edges are all aimed up...
  8. moetrout

    moetrout Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    I have that style too, but the best idea I have seen to avoid such injuries it to make a bottom hinged pop door. Someone here post about this not too long ago. Being bottom hinged the door also acts as the ramp to the opening. This style seems like the safest way I have seen so far.
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:The way to solve that issue is to make the door/ramp "more than one layer" of wood, so the very outside/bottom of the ramp is larger than the opening, and the inner/top layer with the "rungs" is the size of the opening and it fits snugly INTO the opening. No gaps at the edges for wind and/or rain to leak inside.

    Now, about guillotine pop doors..... I have an auto door and the motor raises and lowers the door panel VERY SLOWLY, as well as stopping if it encounters anything that stops the metal panel (gauges it by weight). Even if the cord that operates the door snapped for some reason, the door is in a metal track on each side of the opening and is also pretty light. It wouldn't chop off anybody's toes, head, or tailfeathers.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010

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