Marital debate: exterior egg door or not?


15 Years
Mar 29, 2009
Coastal Southern California
We're midway through coop construction and DH wants to omit the lift-up door on the outside of the coop through which to access eggs/nesting boxes.

He says since the coop will have a human-sized walk-in door and an 8-ft ceiling, it's just as easy to walk inside and collect the eggs. He thinks the exterior egg door would detract from the overall appearance of the coop and be an unnecessary expense.

I remember reading in quite a few sources that these exterior lift-up doors are desirable, so I'm reluctant to give it up.

Any opinions?
I say Don't give it up
I like ours in the winter when it's cold so I don't have to let a big door draft in the coop!
I like to go in the coop. It allows me to know what's up. If one of my hens was hurt & I didn't tend to her, I'd feel terrible...
I'd like to have one, even if I didn't need to use it constantly, it would be nice to have and it should be easy enough to make.
The egg door was for our kids, so they can get the eggs without going in the coop and getting pecked. (sometimes they are not the biggest rooster
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My kids use the exterior egg door to gather eggs and don't have to go in the coop and get poopy feet.

I always go in the coop at least once or twice a day anyway to check feed and water.

BUT, I wouldn't want a coop without the access to the nest boxes from the outside.
None of my coops have the exterior egg box. I go into the coop. It gives me time to check on all the things happening in there. It also lets you look at the hens. In our freerange coop the chickens usually follow me in as I usually check their feed dish and mix it up some. They always dig right in like its brand new food lol. they also talk to me while I am colleting eggs. its also easier to spot a broody.
I wish I had one so I didn't have to go in- it does make a big temperature change when I'm trying not to in Winter and in Summer. I probably would only use it about half the time, but I'd like to have the option- at least on the favorite nest.

I DO have one on the small coop, and we use it regularly. The one thing I can say about it helping to keep track on the coop goings-on is that my birds are generally only in there long enough to sit, cave bedtime.

I vote external hatch, but make it bullet-proof. You are adding another potential weak spot in the predator-proofing.
A friend told me to build the outside access to collect eggs. She said it makes it easier for the kids to collect eggs. Also if you do not have free range chickens you may not want them escaping out the door when you go in. The less you open the big door the less they can try and escape. Seeing as how my 5 week old chicks are already trying to escape it sounded like a good idea to me. I will still go in daily and I have a small viewing window right next to where we will put the outside nest access.

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