No matter where you are residing, whether it is in the countryside or the city, the threats of the predator should be one of your concerns regarding the chicken coop. Raccoon, coyotes, foxes, owls, weasels, and neighborhood dogs are generally the primary threats. However, many other predators are a threat.
By nature, the hens are easy prey for them. In this case, the best offense against them would be to take proper defensive measures. And the door should be the primary concern. If you know how do you secure a chicken coop door, it would be possible to get the peace of mind that the chickens are safe in the coop.
Like many other chicken keepers, we have raised chickens for years now. And we have faced a lot of unfortunate events where our birds were seriously injured or killed by the predators we mentioned above.
And from that experience, we have done enough research to find feasible ways to secure the door. We are going to mention all of the methods in this article. Follow the one that seems the best to you.
Method 1: Elevating the Coop
One of the easiest ways to secure the door would be to elevate the coop itself. Naturally, chickens have the natural instinct to climb into higher grounds. And they can do it quickly when they feel threatened. That is why this method will generally work flawlessly for most cases.
Other than that, to begin with, the coops that rest on the ground are highly vulnerable to rotting. Also, there is a high chance of air not being circulated properly through the interior. The ones that rest on the ground offer easy access to the reptiles as well.
For that reason, raising the coop even 1 foot above the ground will increase the protection to the doorway significantly. Also, this poses an obstacle for the predators when they decide to get inside.
On that note, raised coops can reduce the overall moisture content of the inside. And as you know by now, moisture can cause rotting, which will create weaker points in the coop. The predators can take advantage of these weaker points and get inside.
Additionally, the free-ranging chickens will also find protection under the coop when it is elevated. They can seek shelter when a hawk or other flying predators decide to attack them. Another noteworthy thing is that the mice and rats are less likely to make a nest under the elevated coop, which is a plus point.
Apart from that, the elevated coop will inhibit the growth of fungi and mold. And as there will not be any fungi and mold inside the coop, the chances of the birds getting sick will drop down dramatically. Also, the birds will surely enjoy the increase in air circulation, allowing them to remain healthy.
Method 2: Install Wire Mesh
Raising the coop might not offer the highest amount of security when the chickens are inside. However, one thing that is going to add an extra layer of security is the mesh panel. You need to install this just behind the door. It will make sure that even if the predators manage to get through the door, they face will another obstacle.
For this, we would highly recommend staying away from the window screens. Those are very easy to rip apart, and it will not take that long for the predators with sharp claws to get through that. Instead, opt for the hardware cloth mesh. And to make the panel, you would need to get some wooden slabs.
We would recommend implementing a sliding or hinge mechanism for this. However, be prepared that your whole door design will need a revamp. The sliding mechanism will work the best. You would need some wide C channels for this. Measure the opening and mark the slabs properly. And then cut them with a saw.
After that, attach the mesh to the slabs and install it right behind the door. Remember to slide it before closing the door.
Method 3: Upgrade the Locks
We cannot stress enough about the importance of a proper locking mechanism on the door. Most of the chicken keepers are going to opt for the regular latches, which the predators can open with a little tampering. We would recommend upgrading them as soon as possible if you too have opted for them.
Instead of the regular latches, opt for the two-step locks. It will be pretty much impossible for the predators to tamper and open. Additionally, do make sure to formulate a human escape route because many of the keepers had the misfortune of locking themselves in with the two-step locks.
Method 4: Install Automatic Coop Doors
Another method of securing the doorway would be to install an upgraded door. We are mainly referring to the automatic doors here. These doors will require some simple parts: an antenna, a timer, and a power source. With these three and some tools, you would be capable of making an automatic door by yourself.
As the door is going to be automated, it would be basically impossible for the predators to exploit it. Most importantly, you will have peace of mind that the door is going to get automatically closed. So, worrying about whether you forgot to close the door or not will not be necessary.
Method 5: Defense, Deterrents, and Deception
A predator deterrent system should be in your consideration if your farm is large in size. The most common thing would be to install a Yard Sentinel. It will detect motion and sound an audible alarm when there is suspicious movement around the door during the night. The sound will surely make the predators flee.
Apart from that, you can install decoys on the coop. Place animal decoys (such as owls) in front of the door. This decoy will work like a charm in keeping some of the predators away from the coop. However, you first need to get the chicken accustomed to it, or they will be afraid of the decoy as well.
Another defensive way would be to install motion detectors with lights and alarms. Please place it in a proper position around the door. And activate it only when the chickens are inside the coop. The device will light up the lights and sound an alarm when there is too much movement around the door.
On that note, the motion sensor device is going to work just like the Yard Sentinel. However, it is an option for the keepers who do not have that much of a big farm but want to enjoy the Yard Sentinel’s defense option.
Lastly, you can opt for anti-hawk netting on top of the door. It will ensure that the chickens can properly get inside when a flying predator is targeting them.
Now that you know about the feasible methods you can follow regarding increasing the protection of the coop door, hopefully, you will not have to wonder how do you secure a chicken coop door anymore. Follow the method that seems easy for you.