has anyone used a doggie door?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by s6bee, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    We live here in Upstate NY and close to Lake Ontario, so the winds can get pretty strong. On really bad days I plan on keeping the solid door shut and the hens inside the coop, but on better days I keep the door totally open. However I was thinking about using a doggie style flap to cover the opening to help keep the heat in and draft out. Has anyone ever had any luck with the chickens going through or not?

  2. rosyposyosy

    rosyposyosy Songster

    Jul 11, 2007
    I've used one before, but in a dog house. the chickens would go out, but not in.
  3. Cheryl

    Cheryl Songster

    Someone suggested putting down one thin strip of flap/fabric at a time, so the chickens adjust to the idea, and figure out for themselves that they can get in and out, then add more fill up the gap and hopefully they will figure it out!
  4. i read that chickens never really figure it out, so i staggered some straw bales near the front of the pop hole door, in sort of a maze-like configuration, and i think that will cut down the wind coming in to the pop hole door.

    i haven't gotten my automatic door opener installed yet; that will help, too. i got it at Foy's; it was pricey, but after hearing my neighbor's rooster get killed in the middle of the night sunday, i'll be glad to get the coop more protected.
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    We had a dog door on our coop and the chickens used it going in and out. We used one of the soft rubbery ones, that lets light through. It was a Johnson pet door. http://www.johnsonpetdoors.com/ultimate_dog_doors.htm It had a center flap and an outer ring. At first, we had it tied open. Then we lowered just the center flap and had the outer ring tied open. That way, there was a gap all the way around the center flap and they could see where they wanted to go. I think I also helped, by pulling the bottom up a bit the first day they had to push the flap open, to get them started. After they were successfully going through that, we untied the outer ring, too. With each phase, I went out in the morning and evening, to make sure they all got in and out ok. I also made sure there was water outside, rather than just in the coop, in case anybody didn't want to go back inside for a drink.

    We recently remodeled and put in an automatic door instead. Boy, are we all loving that! I'm not sure how much colder the coop will be when the really bad weather gets here, though. I'd love to have a little foyer for the chickens! [​IMG] I'd really like a wind blocking door AND an automatic door. Ok, maybe I should say I'd like an enclosed porch for the chickens!

    Strips of slightly over-lapping plastic hanging in the doorway would also block wind and be pretty easy to do. As Cheryl suggested, I'd add the strips one or two at a time, to let the chickens get used to pushing past them. I've thought about doing this with the automatic door, but it would need to have a gap at the edges and bottom, to prevent it from blocking the sliding door.
  6. Woodland, depending on how your coop is configured, you could easily build a temporary covered porch/ante room for your flock from bales of straw. We had strong winds last night and I went into the coop to see how the "wind block" was working; there was nary a breeze inside!
  7. McGoo

    McGoo Songster

    I am planning on using the overlapping plastic door and starting one at a time to see if they 'get it'. I've been looking for relatively heavy plastic, but not too heavy. Any ideas on where I could find it?

    If I can't find it I'll definitely use the johnsonpet door idea from WoodlandWoman.
  8. Feathered Gal

    Feathered Gal Hatching

    Nov 14, 2007
    Beavercreek, OH
    it'. I've been looking for relatively heavy plastic, but not too heavy. Any ideas on where I could find it?

    Try JoAnn Fabrics - I bought really nice heavy clear vinyl to use as a "rain roof" over my portable coop yard...

    For my door- I took some old dishtowels and tacked them over the doorway (double thickness)- just hanging down - left a 1 inch "gap" at the right edge of the door, so the chickens can see daylight going out - and the coop lighting going in. They just push in and out past the towel.

    We had 30 mph winds last night and it seemed to be working well.
    I was thinking of cutting clear strips like they do at the warehouses - about 3 inches wide, and let them hang down - don't know what the chickens would think.
  9. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    Quote:That sounds like a great idea.....maybe put a sheet of plywood or something over the top of the bales too.
  10. foamspoon

    foamspoon Songster

    Apr 17, 2007
    I used clear car mats. I cut into strips. I took a utility knife and cut the knobs off the back. (It was not too bad or tedious [​IMG]) I have one strip up and they come and go w/o a problem. I have tried all the strips down but they do not seem to get it yet, maybe a week or so more and they will get it. I will try and get some pictures.


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