Are you someone who wants to build their first chicken coop and doesn’t know what type of door to use?
Or someone who got bored of the existing door on their chicken coop? Or maybe someone who is looking for some chicken coop door ideas?
Well, this article is all about chicken coop doors, so you are in the right place.
Expect to learn not only about the manual chicken coop doors but also the automatic ones. This way, both those who want to wake up with the hens and those who prefer sleeping in have something to choose from.
Two Important Notes For All Types of Doors
The first thing we need to note is that no matter which type of door you end up choosing, the door should be of the appropriate size. It must be wide and long enough for your chickens to go through.
If they are a hasty bunch that can’t wait to go outside, make the door even wider. You don’t want the chickens fighting for space first thing in the morning.
The other thing has got to do with the door’s security. Yes, this article focuses on the different mechanisms you can use to open and close the door.
But that shouldn’t stop you from using a predator-proof door material and lock. Often, the door is the only thing standing between the meat-hungry killers and your birds.
10 Chicken Coop Door Ideas
Okay, so let us start with one of the most common types of chicken coop doors: the sliding door.
The sliding door is quite popular because of its simplicity – all you need is a piece of board, a few wooden planks, some nails/screws, an eyelet, and rope. You probably already have most of the things lying in your garage somewhere, and the ones you don’t won’t cost you more than a few bucks.
You will also need tools such as a hammer, screwdriver or screwdriver machine, and a knife – stuff you surely own.
Besides not needing much material, you won’t have to sweat much to build this door.
Firstly, cut out a rectangular piece of board the size of the hole chickens will use daily. Secondly, nail or screw wooden planks around the hole so the door doesn’t fly away or move forward/backward.
Next, hook up the sliding door with a rope you will pull up or down when you want to use the door. Lastly, position the door between the previously attached wooden planks.
Yes, this is a simplified version of the procedure, but the point still stands – you won’t spend much time working on this DIY project.
If you are interested in watching a tutorial that goes over the whole process in more detail, check out the video below.
Pop door is another classic like the sliding door, and it’s even easier to build, which is why it
is a very popular choice.
Being a manual chicken coop door type, it comes at a price – you will have to wake up early every day to open it and go outside in the evening to close it. But that is not a problem for most chicken farmers since they are used to this rhythm.
To build the pop door, you should fasten a hinge not on the side but on the top or the bottom of the door hole (this makes it sort of an inverted screen door). After that, attach the door to the hinge, and you will be able to use the door.
You can use eyelets and a hook to construct the open/close mechanism. Fix one eyelet that has a hook to the door and the other on the top of the door hole.
The door will open downwards when the hinge is attached to the bottom (like in the picture). If the hinge is located on the upper side to the upper side, you will have to pull up the door and hook it to the upper eyelet for birds to be able to go out.
In any case, don’t forget to secure the door with seals or something similar during the night. There are some skillful animals, such as raccoons, which are adept at picking these simple locks.
Automatic Wi-Fi Controllable Sliding Door
It is time to talk about some DIY automatic chicken coop door ideas. After all, we live in the 21st century, so we need to make use of these times and everything they bring as much as possible.
This chicken coop idea uses a motorized valve whose actual purpose is opening and shutting watering valves.
The setup is quite simple. You first incorporate the valve either by attaching it to the coop structure or by adding a piece of metal to it, which you will then fix to the coop. After that, you only need to tie the rope/wire connected to the sliding door to the valve’s switch handle, and you are good to go.
This setup is quite cheap (around $30) and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi controllable. The latter point means you won’t have to go out to let the flock enjoy the sun.
The valve can also be controlled with an automatic timer, so you don’t even have to wake up to open the door by using your phone. The 21st century is amazing. Or convenient? Or both?
Screen (Traditional) Door
Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” and the screen door definitely heard that.
This door is actually the type of door we humans use in our houses the most since it’s quite basic but still quite effective. You just need a hinge or two with which you will link the door to the door frame. And that is it.
Since, presumably, your chickens don’t know how to operate a door handle, you will need to put in place a lock system of some sort. For example, you can use a wire or rope to wrap around the door frame and the door.
Another option is the traditional lock system, where you move a piece of metal to the left or right over the door frame to open or close the door.
The curtain door is exactly what you think it is: a piece or two pieces of cloth placed over the hole through which the hens go in and out. We recommend nailing two pieces of fabric on each side of the hole so they meet in the middle of the door hole. It will make it easier for chickens to go through.
It is obvious that this type of chicken coop door is for the lazy ones as it involves minimal work, material, and tools. The other benefit of a curtain door is that it protects the flock from cold weather and draft.
However, it has one big potential downside – anyone can enter the coop at will. And by anyone, we, of course, mean predators. The risk factor can be decreased if the coop is directly connected to a run.
But in case the predator or predators gain access to the run, well, your girls are in big danger. So, we recommend only utilizing curtain doors if the coop is connected to a predator-proof run. Or, in case you’re absolutely positive, no predators inhabit your area.
Solar Automatic Door
Wouldn’t it be nice if someone else opened and closed the doors for you? Someone who will come to work every single day and never ask for a sick day? Is the sun a good candidate? It has been around some 4.6 billion years and is expected to radiate energy for another 5 billion years. If you ask us, this is more than enough work days for this project.
The solar automatic door uses a few components you will probably have to buy.
The first of them is the linear actuator which is a mechanism that generates movement in a straight-line direction by extending out and contracting in. The linear actuator will be used to open and close the door.
Next, you will need an L-bracket, which will be connected on one end to the door and on the other to the actuator. Thanks to the L-bracket, the actuator’s movements will control the door.
The last two things necessary for the solar automatic door are a relay and a photocell sensor. The relay operates by receiving electrical signals from external sources to open and close circuits. In our project, the external source is the sun which will provide the signal to the relay through a photocell sensor.
Be sure to position the photocell so that no objects will come between it and the sun before the sun goes down. You don’t want the door closing before dusk, leaving your hens outside during the night.
The double door is a set of two doors that are stacked on top of each other.
It is a great option since it works on a few different levels. First of all, if the coop has two floors, chickens on each floor can use the door independently, resulting in less jam when they are exiting or entering the coop. It comes in handy, especially if you have a lot of hens or they are known to cause a commotion when using the door.
Secondly, once you let out the hens outside, you can lock only the lower door, which will allow the birds to use the upper door to get back to the coop in case of an emergency.
Lastly, if the flock is flighty, a double door will give the chickens enough vertical space to fly over the doorstep. You can also make the door big enough for humans to use it, although, of course, this shouldn’t be the door’s primary function.
You probably noticed that we didn’t specify the exact mechanism you can or should use to build double doors. The reason is that you can use anything – both manual and automatic options work fine. The point is to have two doors.
Yes, you read that correctly – this door is powered by chickens. How do the chickens actually do it? Firstly, the door is connected to a roost bar by a few pulleys and ropes. When the chickens go inside the coop for the night, they settle on the bar. The bar moves down due to the weight of the hens, which triggers the doors to close.
On the other hand, when the sun comes up, the chickens jump off the bar to go down and out. Since no force is exerted upon the bar, the bar moves up, opening the door and enabling the chickens to go out.
The other part of the mechanism is a couple of milk jugs that hold the roost bar through a pulley and rope in place once the hens are out.
Check out the video below to find out how to build this interesting chicken coop door, also known as the roosting door.
Automatic Door With Linear Actuator and Power Adaptor
This idea is similar to the solar automatic door. But, this time, we will not use a photocell but a power adapter to provide the energy source for the relay.
Another thing that is different from the solar automatic door is the addition of a timer. The timer will be connected to the relay so you can program the door to open and close at specific times automatically.
If you are not particularly handy, you might be scared or discouraged by all these components.
But the wiring process isn’t that complex. Just connect the adapter to the linear actuator on one end and the electromagnetic relay on the other, and then wire the timer to the relay. After that, you only need to program the timer and place the whole system on the chicken door.
In case you want more information regarding this chicken coop door, follow the instructions from the video below.
Omlet Chicken Coop Door
All the automatic chicken coop door ideas mentioned in this article required fiddling with electrical components. But that isn’t for everybody. How about an option that has all the benefits of the automatic door but requires almost no work?
We present to you the Omlet chicken coop door, an automatic door with a built-in opening and closing mechanism, safety sensors, and a separate control panel.
The Omlet door isn’t as cheap as other doors on this list but is quite convenient. You just have to install the door to the coop and connect it to the control panel (which you will also set up somewhere on the chicken coop or close to it). The end.
Another great thing about the omelet chicken door is it is operable in three modes. In light mode, the doors open at dawn and close at dusk. In the timer mode, you set when the door will open and shut.
The last mode is the manual mode, in which you go back to basics and operate the door manually. If you are willing to spend some money, this is one of the best, if not the best and most convenient options on the market.
Okay, there you have it: 10 chicken coop door ideas. The great thing about most of the options on the list is that they don’t require any special knowledge.
It means anyone willing to spend a few bucks and hours playing with the tools and materials can have a great coop door for their hens.
If you are ready to put in the work, the only question is, are you going manual or automatic?