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Question about door of house for tractors?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by thndrdancr, May 23, 2007.

  1. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    Ok, I am building a secure place to lock my chickies up at night, since my pen is more on the side of a chicken tractor than a secure pen.
    We have loads of opposum here at the very least, one mama last year that ate EVERYTHING she could find, real pain in the neck! I am planning on getting a trap, but still...
    Anyhow, my question is...how do you make a hen door (my pen is only gonna be 3 foot high) that will be secure that I can open and shut from outside the pen..even tho the door is INSIDE the pen, and I will be outside. I am thinking a long rod with eyehooks or some such thing, something that will be easy for my 82 year old Mom, who gets up at the crack of dawn, to let them out.
    So any suggestions on something I can configure thats fairly simple, but easy?
    Right now I am in planning stages so ...give me ideas.
    I am going to leave the house open with secure hardware cloth on one side, also on the bottom with deep nesting, and one window in back for ventilation, The one wire side will be the side that has the door, so will need to cut a "door" in the wire. (Thats for the summer, late July and August in Nebraska occasionally reach 103 to 105). Then close it up good and tight with a floor I can slide in, etc. for the winter. Place of extremes here, have to adapt! [​IMG]

    Thanks all, and I hope my question was clear! [​IMG]
  2. Poison Ivy

    Poison Ivy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2007
    Naples, Florida
    I use the slide locks on my doors to the rabbit hutch turned brooder. My first coop only had 3 sides but our winters in florida are not bad. Good luck with your coop.
  3. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    What I was wondering is how do you open and close the door when its inside the pen tho. My coop/house will be predator proof, the pen/tractor part is not. We are home during the day, so should be ok with what I am making..(would hear ruckus if problem).

    I swear I have looked at pics and cant figure it out. Most tractors I see are not predator proof, so I need to figure out how I can lock them in their coop after they go in for the night, but the coop entrance will be inside the pen. Do I have to pull the pen away from the coop every night? That would be a real pain and nothing my Mom could do, too heavy.

    Just not sure, need somethin I can figure out, long wire or something, sliding door? But I hate to make it slide UP, cuz something could nose it open after getting into the pen, unless I could secure it.

    Anymore ideas, please?

    Last edited: May 23, 2007
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I've seen some that have small doors or lids that you open and reach into the pen to open and close the door to the coop portion. I saw one that had a string. Most have the coop and pen open to each other all the time.

    You do need to worry about the type of latches you use, especially if raccoons are a problem in your area. They can open many types of latches.

    For doors in the wire, it's a lot stronger if you frame in the door with wood. Otherwise, I would work really hard to hinge all along one side of the wire door and latch it in several places along the opening, so that the wire door doesn't just get bent back at the corner.
  5. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    Thanks for the suggestions.

    Yes, I was also thinking of having a wood frame around the wire, which would also make it easier for me to make some sort of sliding door. Maybe making it offset to the side, instead of in the middle so would be easier to reach...

    I was wondering if most tractors and coops werent open all the time, altho I have seen a few with automatic sensors that open an shut. Good luck with that, my poor girls are conditioned to me being a night owl, so would probably get locked out. [​IMG] They already sleep til after 10 the way it is.

    I HOPE to have them on a lil more normal schedule once they get outdoors.

    Not sure we have coons here, havent seen any, but wouldnt doubt it. Have seen possums tho, one lived next door last year, so I know I have to secure them at night, bring them in the house, or lose them. [​IMG]

    My plan is to secure the wire with staples, THEN drill boards all the way around the framing to hold it, so that should keep anything from tearing it away. Now doing it, may be another matter. It will mean I have to crawl into a lil smaller than 4 x 3 coop to pound, drill and staple...wished I was younger. [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 23, 2007
  6. suburbanhomesteader

    suburbanhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't know how your pen is configured, but dog kennels often use "guillotine" doors.

    Yes, they move "up" to open, but they were made from steel plates, and we never had a dog nose nudge underneath them.

    Look at these photos; I would think you could develop something like this that would work, using some J channel and maybe even masonite, if you didn't want to use steel plate. It's a really slick idea, and it kept us from having to go into some of the more vicious dogs' kennels to let them outside to go potty.


    This one has a drawing of how the pulley works above the door:


    Hope this gives you some ideas so you can McGyver your way to a solution!
    Last edited: May 23, 2007
  7. MTchick

    MTchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    I made a door almost exactly like what you are describing. The only part I have not yet done it make it swing open using a chain... Here are some photos.


    See how there are eyebolts up above the door too? The rusty, temporary rod runs through those as well to keep it open.

    Sorry I don't have a closeup, but here it is open- you can just see the edge of the rod to the left of the door.

    The only thing that I have not yet done is run a chain from the top left eyebolt through the center bolt on the door, back up to the top right eyebolt, and out the side of the fence. With this, once your remove the rod, you can pull the door up from outside the fencing via the chain and then re-bolt the door up (or just hitch the chain and chain the door up.) Does that make sense to you? I tried it with string and it works great- I just need to buy some fine chain and a longer rod and I know it will work.

    Have fun!

  8. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    Yes, thnx all.

    I am beginning to get ideas by looking at pics, you guys are great. Still not sure what I will configure, but this helps.

    I am wondering if I should just totally enclose them, poor Fussy tonite when I went to put her to bed, wouldnt go in her box cuz its under the window and it was raining HARD! So she got scared. I closed the window...didnt make any dif, she is SCARED of the RAIN for pity sake.
    This poor chicken worries me to death, she definitely needs some valium. [​IMG]

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