Pop hole door security.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by WoodlandWoman, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I just thought I'd mention what we've done to add some extra security to our pop hole doors. Everyone has different situations and pet peeves. We have a lot of raccoons around here and I am not keen on fiddling with a padlock in the dark, crouched over a pop hole door, in freezing temperatures. [​IMG]

    For the pop hole door on the larger garden shed sized coop, I originally designed it so that it opens to the inside. The opening is elevated and the door was hinged on the bottom and folded down, to be used as a ramp. That way, there was no way for a raccoon to open it from the outside. It worked great and the hinged ramp adjusted to the varying levels of litter during the year.

    We've since replaced that door with an automatic door that uses a light sensor. It's a sliding metal plate. The battery operated pulley, door and channels it slides in are also mounted on the inside. I didn't want a raccoon to be able to just grab onto the door or the line the door is hanging from and pull it up! [​IMG]

    I also made sure the bottom edge of the automatic door plate when it's closed slides BELOW the bottom edge of the door frame opening, on the inside. The edge of the door isn't resting on the bottom of the door frame, where a raccoon claw could get under it and lift it up. You never know when some snow or litter could accidentally end up on the door frame and create a gap at the bottom of the door.
  2. DottieMarie

    DottieMarie Songster

    May 6, 2008
    South East MI
    Can you post some pictures of the auto door, I'm curious to see what it looks like (having difficulty picturing it)
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator

    Sep 25, 2007
    Yes, I'm curious as well - would love some pics. I've seen advertisements for the auto doors, and they're expensive, but I think the price would be worth it - if they really are that much safer and work well. What happens if a chicken is under the door as it's closing?
  4. I'd love to see pics too, what a great idea. We opted for a double pop door. One opens to the inside and is double-latched and not reachable by critters. The other is outside and if breached will not give access. Both have a platform, one inside and one outside to accommodate a lineup of birds. We;ve used double hardware on our porch and on the chicken run door. Both can be fastened from each side so that there is always an inaccessible latch, sometimes two.

    Photobucket doesn't seem to be cooperating just now but the pop doors are visible on my home page below and on the ajoining page called LynneP's Run.
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I can't get a picture to post at the moment. Maybe I can get help this weekend.

    We have the automatic door that's sold by Wells Poultry Housing and Foy's Pigeon Supplies. It doesn't move as fast as the Wells site shows. I think that's just so people get the idea, without waiting forever watching it. It actually moves quite slowly, so the chickens can easily move away.

    I think this page has the best photo of how the door looks. Picture this on the inside of a wall and that's how ours is installed. The bottom edge of the plate slides to below the opening in the wall. From the outside, you can't see the bottom edge of the metal plate.

    I wouldn't say the automatic door is safer than any other sturdy pop hole door, with a secure latch or lock. I wanted to mention having it mounted on the inside, because sometimes I see them mounted on the outside. The UK doesn't have to worry about raccoons, so that may be why they don't worry about it.

    We decided to add the automatic door, so that the girls would be safe in case there was an emergency and we couldn't get home in time. Other people might like it in case they forget to close the door, fall asleep watching TV in the evening or just to make the chicken sitter's schedule a lot easier, when they're on vacation. In any of those cases, I guess it would be safer! [​IMG]
  6. dixygirl

    dixygirl Songster

    May 14, 2008
    What if the birds are outside when the door automatically closes. They will stay out all night by accident. [​IMG] Or what if it closes a racoon in there with them. :|

    I would prefer to check on them myself to make sure everything is ok.
  7. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    WoodlandWoman, what are the dimensions of the door?
    How wide/high when the door is up, i.e., what's the opening size?
    What's the minimum wall height that it could be installed on?
    How long are the channels?
    Thanks I really like this and the way that you've done yours!
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008
  8. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Songster

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    I love mine had it for a couple years now. I made my own door for it since the opening was larger then the doors they sold with it. I have mine on a timer so I can set the time for it to open and close when I want it too. My girls stay out later so it closes at 9 pm at night for them.

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2008

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