Pop door problem..

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by featherz, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Saratoga County, NY
    I have eight weekers outside in the coop. We have a rather patchwork coop we made from an old playhouse and it has a simple 'lift up' flap for the door that I latch shut at night. It's lifted up with plastic rope that's attached to a hook at the bottom of the flap. Chickens went in the coop at night without a problem for a few days, then they started roosting on the platform just outside the pop door so I had to shoo them in each night.

    Not sure why that was - the coop is way off the ground and there's no snakes/etc in the coop. They spend a lot of daytime hours in there by choice, I just think they preferred that platform!

    Anyways, they recently took up a more dangerous habit -squishing and roosting on the top of the lifted up door! The door COULD fall, especially with so many chickens on it (it never has), plus to get them in the coop I need to get them out of there and place them in - and as they are at eye level that could be dangerous for me. [​IMG] I removed the door this morning and I'm planning to temporarily put a hinge on that will allow it to swing sideways - that's not ideal due to the placement of the ramp and the latch, but it's all I could think of as a temporary solution to break them of the habit.

    Any other ideas? Would rather the door lift up, but not sure how to discourage them from getting stuck up there.
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Use a hook and eye instead of a rope, so that it can be closer to the wall when it's open, and not leave them room to sit on it
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Put a little chicken sign up there that reads "No Loitering." [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Saratoga County, NY
    Hahahahhahaah yes! Good idea. [​IMG]

    I'll try putting the door up so it will fold flat and use a hook and eye, but for some reason hubby put a block of wood at the top which is preventing it from folding back flat. I put it up as high as I could last night and they still managed to squish in there. I may need to cut a different piece of wood - silly chickens!!
     
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I'm fascinated by this topic, because I can get a mental picture of the chickens stacking themselves onto that pop door flap. It's something mine would do if I had that sort of chicken door. Luckily, none of my poultry housing units (I have to say it that way because they're such an odd combination of "coops") have lift UP doors except for the ramp on the inside of the A-Frame coop, which leads from the "pen" area to the "sleeping" area.

    Until I got the automatic coop door for the second coop I built, I preferred the kind of door that flipped DOWN to make its own ramp. Closing the door meant lifting up the ramp and securing a latch. And for a while, youngsters would hang out on that ramp, but it was so easy to shoo them inside to close the coop.
     
  6. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    Well, I now see why hubby did it that way - the door is just too dang big - folding it UP flat will pretty much almost hit the roof and certainly runs into the hardware wire. I'd love the 'fold down' type and we're going to do that I think for the shed coop we are now building, but this coop has a very very steep ramp (chickens seem ok with it so far but we have leghorns that can fly). This coop was built when we really had no clue what we were doing. [​IMG]

    I put a hinge on the side so now it swings out, but it's not ideal - we had thoughts of it being a 'flap' like a cat flap but I am now thinking that's just not going to work. I'll get a picture next time I am out there.

    It's pretty funny to see about 6 chickens squished in a tiny little space on top of a door!!

    here is an earlier pic before we got the hardware wire up just so you can see how steep it is.. chickens are navigating it fine so far.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
  7. Hugerat

    Hugerat Out Of The Brooder

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    Maybe tracks so it can slide open?
     
  8. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Saratoga County, NY
    I'm thinking of doing that today (making a sliding door). Hubby is out of town and doesn't like the idea - he thinks it should work like a cat flap eventually (when the chickens are big enough to push through the door by themselves). Anyone else try it that way with success? I keep thinking it may be a recipe for injury and am picturing the flap catching featherz/tail/etc..
     
  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I've read other posts on here that use something like a cat door. However, they cut the plastic thing into a few strips, not one solid piece. They had to train them to go through, by taping some of the flaps up at first, gradually releasing them. However, due to the steepness of your coop's ramp, I think you would have problems using that type. I'd talk DH into the track slider door...
     
  10. featherz

    featherz Veggie Chick

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    Well, I put up the world's most rickety slider door - it's hard to slide up and down and keeps falling off the track, but I think it will do until DH gets back on Saturday. At least I can hook it open and shut it and there's no way they can roost on it. [​IMG]

    THey will probably still roost on the platform in front, but that's easy - I just shoo em in! [​IMG]

    I'd love to make that ramp less steep but without taking up a bunch of run space with something like a spiral staircase, not sure how. Fortunately they go up and down the ramp fine although they do 'jog' a little on the way down [​IMG]..

    I convinced DH to let me use one of the 7x8 shed kits we have for another coop so THAT one will be flat on the ground and hopefully done soon. My chickens seem to like the current one - although they seem to stay in the coop during the day after a few jaunts out but don't want to go completely in at night. I've tried both a red light and a white light and no light. I'll hit on the correct combination eventually. [​IMG]

    Thanks for the help - it was quite funny when I could not find them the last few nights to put them in the coop and I saw this 'bundle' above the pop door peeping away. [​IMG]
     

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