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Hardware for coop - What's best?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mtn Laurel, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Songster

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    Pop door. People door. Nesting box door. On our current coop, each has a different type hardware. We're building a new coop and I'm wondering what others have used and feel is most secure.

    The one system I am happy with is a swivel hasp lock on the nesting box door. We hook a carabiner into the hole on the swivel so that it won't open even if the swivel is turned. You'd also have to open the carabiner to gain entrance. It's works well and allows for fast access but I'm wondering if it's totally predator proof. Could a raccoon get lucky if he worked on it long enough?

    One door has a sliding bolt latch. Another door has a self-locking gate latch - the type where you slam the door and a little hook of metal comes down and secures the bar. Both of these give me problems if it's been raining, guess the wood swells.

    I see pictures of doors with padlocks. I don't want to go there as I'm envisioning lost key's or forgotten combinations and not being able to open it.

    So, what works best and is most secure without doing padlocks? I'm only concerned about keeping predators out, not people.

  2. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    I like carabiners and snap-hooks. Both require certain coordination to open and remove. I use them with the hasps and gate latches to prevent opening by simply getting lucky with fumbling. Both are easy to apply or remove, given an opposable thumb and the coordination to remove it once opened. It seems to me that padlocks would be necessary only to keep humans out.

    Raccoons have the opposable thumb, but are unlikely to have sufficient coordination to remove these.

  3. JanetS

    JanetS Songster

    Jun 22, 2012
    [​IMG]This is what we use for our coop and run doors.
  4. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Songster

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    Thank you both for your responses. Chfite, it sounds like you're using a similar type lock system - hasp with a carabiner - as we have on our nesting box and it's the only combination of hardware that I get along with. I, too, thought it secure but wanted another opinion.

    JanetS, thanks for the visual and I like that door hardware, I will look for something similar. I like the size of it - some latches are so small they hurt my fingers when trying to secure them. Another reason I like it is that you, too, are using a carabiner to make sure the handle doesn't get pushed up. I ESPECIALLY like the chain on the carabiner as I happened to drop the one we use on the nesting box this afternoon straight into thick mud and then had to fish it out. Great idea that I'll be stealing, hope you don't mind!
  5. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Songster

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    The carabiner connected to a chain is a great idea and pretty fool proof. I get tired of clipping my locks since I am in and out ALOT. What I do to all my kennel and chicken doors is to add TWO latches. One is always an AUTO lock latch (it latches when you close the door) and also a dead bolt latch. You can add a caribiner to either of these latches. Both latches are about 3 or 4 bucks. Kinda hard to see but this photo shows the latches

    Auto latch at waist level and dead bolt down below. You can attach a wire to flip open the auto latch when inside (I just cut a hole in the run fence and reach my hand outside to flip open)

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  6. luvmychixandducks

    luvmychixandducks Songster

    Jul 15, 2010
    Danvers, Massachusetts
    I've got a bolt on the cleanout door but it is a large one- and the door is offset a wee bit with the receiver of the bolt- I've got to lift the door a bit to throw the bolt- making it a tough bolt to open. No losses yet from intruders .
    The hen door has a smaller bolt but instead of attaching a receiver, I drillled a hole in the frame for the bolt to sit in when closed. Latch is on the INSIDE of the coop. To open the hen door, I throw the bolt to the right, lift the door so the latch is above the frame of the door, and the closed bolt sits on top of the wood frame of the door, so it does double duty- and is accessed right at the cleanout door - no leaning into the coop to get to the doorlatch, and no Rube Goldberrg rope and pully to open the door from outside.
    For you younger folks who never heard of Rube Goldberg - his intricate mechanical solutions to easy tasks were legendary.
    I bring food, water, and pop the door in a single visit - most of the birds are eager to go outside to scratch around anyway.
    When cleanout time comes around, the birds are locked in the run, and the cleanout door which is almost the whole side of the coop- allows for quick removal of bedding and mess.
    The egg door has no hasp at the present- it's wedged down- but a hasp has been purchased and will be added soon.

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