HELP! Coop door freezing shut.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HenFriend, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. HenFriend

    HenFriend Chirping

    May 5, 2012
    West Wales, UK
    We currently have snow and temperatures of 0 degrees centigrade. This morning the door of my small coop (like a rabbit hutch) was frozen solid and I couldn't open it. Pullng only moved the whole thing! Eventually I managed to open it using a hammer and screwdriver but am worried about damaging it and making it worse. Has anyone got suggestion to stop this repeating itself every day? (The wood has been treated so I thought it would be weatherproof.)

  2. Allicoop

    Allicoop In the Brooder

    Dec 30, 2012
    Western Australia
    Could you cover it with a tarp?
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Likely, the tolerance of door is too tight. It "fits" too tightly. Water swells the wood sides and door decreasing the gap even more. Ice forms in the joint and the door freezes solid to the frame. No unusual. Even car doors can freeze to the body of the car and not open sometimes. This happens when the daytime temps are above freezing and water runs but is followed by a freezing cold night, turning everything solid again.
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    My clean out sliding door will freeze shut at times but the front chicken door never does. It's due to what Fred mentions, running water then freezing. Our coops eve over hangs the front by a considerable amount so melting snow or freezing rain never gets to the door. Some sort of lip with drip edge would work or even make a door awning/stoop gable roof.
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    On our chicken barn, the frost heave, which can be as much as 2", raises the earth in front of the barn doors. This means that I cannot allow packed snow to build up in front of the doors or the combination of frost heave and an inch of packed snow/ice in front of the doors results in not enough clearance for the doors to open. We manage, but it takes effort.


    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013

  6. I am on the other side near Chirk!

    You need to work out if the door is swollen from damp and sticking or freezing shut
    The snow we had this week was preceded by rain so pretty much everything that got wet froze including the plastic door on our Eglu and the car doors.

    can you prevent it from getting excessively wet when frost is expected?
  7. kreagerm

    kreagerm Chirping

    Feb 11, 2012
    do you have an overhang over the door? If not this might also help.
  8. anmlhs

    anmlhs Hatching

    Jun 17, 2012
    You can try rubbing the spots on the door that touch the frame with a candle.The wax should help it from freezing together.
  9. HenFriend

    HenFriend Chirping

    May 5, 2012
    West Wales, UK
    Good idea, will try this.

    Thanks for the suggestions, I have a bit of tarpaulin I will try and arrange as an overhang to keep the rain off. It had been very wet here before the snow arrived.

  10. I would try the candle wax or even something like Petroleum jelly rubbed on both the door and the sill, it should help avoid the door freezing solid in the frame. If it is a new coop, or newer I would consider the wood of the door was measured and fit when dry, and now that humidity is a factor the wood swelled in the frame, reducing the gap. If it does have a lip over it to avoid water running into it from up above then remember that if the door is exposed to the wind then it can still get snow blown into the cracks. If the door is on the windward side then you may have to pin up a windbreak over it, something as simple as a piece of rubber innertube or any type of plastic that will be easy to lift out of the way when you want to get into the door should work.

    Good luck! Hope the weather breaks for you soon!

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