Is a door to the coop a must? and ideas for one?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by smallzoo, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. smallzoo

    smallzoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 6, 2011
    I used a rabbit hutch to build my coop/tractor and a run off of it. I have a hole cut in the back wall of the coop with a board for them to get in and out and was wondering if I needed a door on it? It's in my yard with 6 ft fence so the only animals I think could get in are birds or moles. I'm am mostly concerned about them being able to stay warm in the winter time if the door is open, I did put a "shutter" on the front part that was all wire to be able to close up and protect from the elements. Would a cat door work? They go in on their own at night from the first night they were out.
     
  2. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Raccoons can scale a 6 foot fence easily.

    What did you build your run out of? If it is chicken wire, raccoons can tear through it and get to them. Most people think that there are no raccoons in their area - until they have chickens living in their yard long enough.
     
  3. ninjascrub69

    ninjascrub69 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 13, 2010
    Bloomingdale, MI
    Quote:Yes, without a door predators will get in. The cat door wouldnt work to keep anything out either, and the chickens might not be able to figure out how to get through it.
     
  4. florida lee

    florida lee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 6, 2011
    Morriston,fl
    I believe they must be secured at night, unless your run is predator proof. Raccoons are everywhere...they can climb and dig. If you don't have a wire floor (not chicken wire) and a roof Raccoons will get in. You would be amazed at the animals that come thru your yard at night.
    Don't use chicken wire, the only thing is stops is chickens and rabbits.
    My coop tractor has coop on top run on bottom. the bottom is open to the ground, so i make sure they are locked in the upper coop every night so something does not dig under into their run. the run is covered with hardware cloth so nothing can reach in and grab them. All my ventilation openings on my tractor ( and I have plenty) have close-able covers so I can regulate for weather.
    Depending on your location whether or not you need a door for the cold. On my new coop I do not have a door per se , Half of the coop is open (covered with hardware cloth) the other half is covered with plywood to block bad weather, with a close-able door to the run. But I'm in Florida.
     
  5. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Don't have to get fancy with the door. Slap a piece of 3/4 inch plywood (painted) to the outside. As long as it locks.
     
  6. smallzoo

    smallzoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 6, 2011
    I used chicken wire to build the run, not the plastic but actual wire. I guess I will need to figure a door out that I can slide shut on the inside at night since I don't think I would have room to swing one around in there but will definently be putting a door on it now. Door designs are one thing I hadn't seen alot on in the coop design posts I looked at so wasn't sure what everyone was using. The bottome of their coop has a metal tray that slides so that should keep them protected from the bottom when they are locked in.
     
  7. smallzoo

    smallzoo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 6, 2011
    Would putting wood or plastic lattice work over the chicken wire work to keep the predators out? I have some of that already that isn't in use.
     
  8. nourahm

    nourahm Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 10, 2011
    Emys is right, it doesn't have to fancy unless you want it to be, but it helps you get in and out and helps keep predators out. As for us, we used wood and chicken wire see link...

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=86017

    It doesn't have to be perfect, most of our wood is bowed even. Just study and safe.

    And we have bullmastiffs (trained), which yes they like chicken flavored anything, but they are trained to keep raccoons and rats at bay. Our coop and doors were built to keep our dogs out. and we ran a runner of 1/2 x1/2 hardware cloth around the bottom edges of the coop. Also, our coop floor is 3/4" plywood on a treated 4x4 wood base, not directly on the ground which is raccoon proof. But pretty much our dogs have the run of our yard which keeps both 2 legged and 4 legged thieves away pretty well. We have seen raccoons prowling at night, but we never see them com close to our yard or in our trees.
     
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Can you hinge a door on the bottom (latch on top), outside mounted, so that you can just lay it down after unlatching it??? Sliding (tract) doors are really nice, because you can rig a pulley system so that you don't even have to go inside the run to shut/open the door. A pop door doesn't have to open the "traditional" way of people doors - you have many options.
    And pretty much anywhere a monkey could go - a raccoon could go - unless your run is roofed in sturdy wire. Chicken wire (at least the flimsy twisted strand kind sold in most home improvement and farm stores) is not considered sturdy.
     

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