pop door choices

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by flopshot, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. flopshot

    flopshot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i searched the forum but couldn't find the specific topic. i'm getting near the point where i need to do the pop door in my coop. i have a real nice solid core door sample i want to use. my question involves the action of the door. what are the pros and cons of the various installation types ?
    guillotine

    side hinged

    top hinged

    sliding

    drawbridge (kinda leaning toward this or sliding.) thanks
     
  2. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master

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    My friend has both side hinged and top hinged and she just uses a hook and eye to latch with. The con I would think with a drawbridge type one would be eventually, the birds will poop on it as they go in and out and of course mud, which will eventually build up unless you keep on top of its cleaning, preventing it from closing tightly.

    I think most people have a guillotine one, sliding down, which is what I have in all of mine. works great and if you recess it into a groove (looking from the outside) a predator will not be able to get its paw under the door to lift it. (trust me, entirely possible.) [​IMG]
     
  3. flopshot

    flopshot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:excellent point i hadn't considered. drawbridge is off the table.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    I don't like bottom-hinged i.e. folds down to make a ramp, because poo and bedding get deposited in the hinge area and then the door won't close up properly without you going in there and cleaning the stuff out with a stick or fingers, uck.

    The others I think are mostly a matter of personal preference. Top-hinged has an extremely minor advantage in creating a bit of a 'porch' to reduce the amount of rain getting in the door, but not to the point it makes a lot of difference. Guillotine style is often mechanically easiest to operate via strings or whatever from outside the coop, if that matters (although in some setups a top hinged door can be worked easily too, e.g. see my tractor page).

    The big thing, IMHO, is to design it so that when poo and bedding are kicked thru the doorway -- and they WILL be, no matter what -- they do not accumulate on/in anything that will jam the door from closing properly. So for instance if you have a guillotine-style, it is best to have the door slide well PAST the bottom of the opening, not butt against the floor or a jamb that's level with the bottom of the pophole.

    If predators on the other side of the door are a possibility, I'd suggest the safest thing is usually an interior guillotine style door (latched at night) with strongly-built tracks. Because no edges are exposed, there is nothing for paws or claws to get a grip on and pull. Dogs and raccoons and such can be very strong and it is better not to have to rely on the strength of your latch and the wood it's screwed into, you know?

    JMHO, good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. Der Alte

    Der Alte Out Of The Brooder

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    Has anyone ever tried a sliding side motion type rather than the up and down of the guillotine door? If the door were attached to a rod, handle or other rigid actuator, you could have a positive lock open and lock closed to keep out predators and not worry about keeping the chickens out if the door mechanism failed.

    Perhaps I'm overthinking the issue. It is a chicken door, not the space shuttle. Any comments or ideas?

    Der Alte
     
  6. ChanceRider

    ChanceRider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a bottom hinged, draw-bridge pop door and it works great. Once in a while I do take a shovel to it to scrape off accumulated mud, but since the hinges are on the outside and thus under the bridge they stay clean. I have the opening into the coop raised about 5 inches so the shavings don't spill out. Even my ducks who live with the chickens have no problem getting in/out.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:I *think* I've seen at least one poster here who's got a side-sliding mechanism, but totally could not tell you who.

    Try it and post pics [​IMG]

    You could use the hardware from a sliding closet door (often available cheap or free, secondhand), with an additional batten added to safeguard it from being pushed in by a strong animal. Have the lower track be bottomless, so it is merely a guard to keep the lower edge of the door from being pushed in by a predator, no pocket for crud to collect in.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  8. citygirl

    citygirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:We have 2 coops with 3 sliding pop doors. We can open them from outside the run and critters couldn't do it if they tried. If I can ever figure out how to do pictures I'll post one. We have to clean out the muck from the track a couple of times a year but that's it.
     
  9. flopshot

    flopshot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    good info Pat. never thought i'd get a brain freeze on something like the pop door but like anything else involving moving parts i want it to be correct to start with and trouble free.

    "Perhaps I'm overthinking the issue. It is a chicken door, not the space shuttle. "
    Der Alte

    if it weren't for overthinking i would have been done with this coop. [​IMG]


    city girl i'd like to see your setup. posting photos from a hosting service like photobucket is pretty easy.

    i'd like to see yours too Chance if you could post it.
    thanks. all comments are appreciated.
     
  10. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I have a top hinged door. It opens upwards (duh) and I use a hook/eye to hold it open. Basic, quick and easy to operate. Also, because chickens aren't walking on it, it stays clean so I don't have to gross out when I touch it.

    When I unlock the door and open it in the morning, the girls literally *bust* out the door and down the ramp. Overly anxious to get outside, I guess. If it was on a side hinge, I would have to get out of the way fast!

    Truth is, the reason I didn't do a side hinge is because I didn't want it blowing shut on windy days.

    Remember to build your pop door opening about 9 inches above floor level if you are going to use the DLM so that your shavings don't fall out.
     

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