So, you have sorted out a birdhouse for keeping your chickens safe at night. And you probably know this by now that without a door, the birdhouse is as safe as the chickens sleeping out in the open. Well, as you have clicked this article, we guess it is safe to say that you want to know how to build a chicken coop door, right?
Well, let us assure you that you are in the right place. We manage a chicken farm ourselves. The birdhouse we built for them has sturdy doors on them. They all can have a sound sleep inside their coop. And we are here to show you how to make one by yourself.
On that note, the process that we are going to describe here will be the easiest one. You would not need extra materials, nor will you have to put in extra effort to make them. So, there is nothing to worry about.
How to Build a Chicken Coop Door?
There are plenty of chicken coop doors available in the market. Even though they might get you off the hassle of building one, they might not be meet all of your requirements. In addition to that, building one of these is not that hard to begin with. So why spend extra cash in getting one?
Traditional Main Doors
First of all, you need to start with the main door. This will provide the required amount of sturdiness to keep the chickens looked in. However, the only downside of the door is that it will not be automated. And the steps to follow for this type of door is as follows:
Step 1: Get the Required Materials
First and foremost, you need to start with getting the right materials. You would need a mesh sheet, some slabs of wood, and some nails. Also, do make sure that you have the right tools for the project.
Step 2: Start with the Mesh Panel
Now, let us get into work. Get yourself the mesh panel and start measuring the doorway. Once you have got the measurement, you need to cut it. For this, you might need to get yourself a good pair of scissors. However, do keep one thing in mind, which is to measure twice and cut once.
Before cutting the mesh, get yourself four slabs of wood. Cut them to a shape that will cover the length and the width of the doorway. Keep the measurement of the slabs in mind and cut the mesh. The mesh should create a rectangular door, which will go after the main door.
After cutting the mesh sheet according to the measurement, attach the sheet to four slabs of wood. Do make sure that dimensions are correct, or else the mesh panel will not fit through the doorway.
Step 3: Attach the Mesh Panel
Now that you have properly sorted out the mesh panel, you need to attach it to the coop. We would recommend making a hinge mechanism for this. For this, you might need to work with hammers. Get yourself some nails and attach the hinge mechanism on the very top of the mesh panel.
This mesh panel will let you have a sneak peek into the coop while making the chicks stay inside. Also, this will come in handy when you want to let the chickens have some air and light while being locked inside.
Step 4: Work on the Main Door
Once the hinge panel is in place, move along to build the main door. For this, you would need pieces of sturdy slabs of wood. Do make sure that you measure the slabs. If you have small-sized slabs, attach them together with nails. After getting the final piece of door, make the final adjustments.
Step 5: Attach the Door
After getting the slabs into one piece of door, you need to work on attaching it to the doorway. A sliding mechanism would be the most ideal for this case, but it will make the process a bit intricated. So, we would recommend a hinged mechanism for this case as well
Attach the hinge on one side of the door and nail it on the doorway. Make sure that the fit is proper and there are no large-sized gaps. If there are any large-sized gaps, the chickens will find their way outside. And most importantly, other animals might find their way inside, which would not be ideal.
Step 6: Attach a Locking Mechanism
Once the door is in place, you should attach a locking mechanism to it for an extra layer of security. Our recommendation would be to get the sliding bolts. Those should be easy to install, and most importantly, they would offer a good amount of security in securing the chickens inside.
Do not that you might have to use a drill machine for installing a sliding lock on the door.
If you want to make the doors a bit fancy and want some sliding action on the door, you should opt for the sliding doors. And making these is easy as well, at least, we are going to offer you an easy guide for this. So, do not be worried. That being said, the steps are as follows:
Step 1: Get the Required Materials
Let us get right into the building steps. You would require some slabs of wood, one large-sized wooden piece, a sturdy cord, and finally, some eye hooks. Also, do not forget all of the tools that would be a necessity for the process. Get a hammer, some nails, a saw, and a drill machine and move to the next steps.
Step 2: Cut the Wooden Pieces
After sourcing the right materials, you need to get into cutting them. First, take measurements. Measure the opening and mark them on the wooden slabs. These wooden slabs would be the sliding mechanism for the door. You are mostly going to need three pieces of wood for these.
Measure the length of the opening and cut two of the slabs accordingly. Then, measure the width of the opening and cut the last piece accordingly. For the cutting, you would need to handle a saw. A power cutter saw would make the process easy. And after the slabs are done cutting, move forward to the next step.
Step 3: Install the Wooden Slabs
Now, you would need to install the wooden slabs in place. Do note that when you are attaching them to the opening, there is a small amount of gap to make the door slid into the slabs. For this, you would need to improvise on nailing the slabs into place.
Put the two of the slabs on the side vertically. And install the third and the last slab horizontally under the two slabs. This last slab will work as a stopping point for the sliding door.
Step 4: Work on the door
After getting the slabs into place, you need to work on the door. In this case, we would recommend getting a wooden piece that is relatively large in size. The large size will save you from the hassle of attaching small slabs and converting them into a one-piece slab.
However, if you do not have a large piece of wood that can cover the entire opening, stick the old method of nailing pieces together and converting them into one piece. Here, you would need to consider the overall measurement of the opening. Also, consider the slabs you have placed on three of the sides.
The size of the main door should be large enough to close the opening but small enough to fit through the gaps. Take the help of the saw and cut according to the measurements. Again, measure twice, cut once. You would not want to waste a perfectly usable wooden piece here.
Step 5: Install the Eyehooks
Once you are done with cutting the door piece, you need to start working on installing the eye hooks. Three would be enough for this case. Place one directly above the door. It should face horizontally, as in, the hole should be horizontal here. The second hooks would at a 90-degree angle to the first hook.
On that note, the second two hooks are going to be vertical. The holes should be vertical here. Lastly, attach an eyehook on the very top of the door.
Step 6: Install the Door
Now that the eyehooks are in place, slide the door right through the slabs. You need to slide it through the very top. Check whether the door can close the opening properly. If you notice that it is leaving gaps on the top, then there is a high chance that the measurements were a bit off.
Consider measuring the opening again and cutting a slab of wood for the door. Install the eyehook on top of the new door and slide it through the sliding mechanism. If the new door can cover the opening properly by leaving no holes, then you should good to move along to the next step.
Step 7: Install the Cord
After placing the door in the sliding mechanism, all that is left to do is install the cord. First, tie the cord on the eyehook of the door. Route the cord through the eyehooks on the top and to the side. To make the cord a bit secure, we would recommend tieing something large on the very end of the cord.
That large object will help you get a good drip over the cord and allow you to easily slide the door open. Test the sliding mechanism. It should open smoothly.
However, for this mechanism, the door will drop down when you let the cord go. So, you would need to let the cord go away slowly from your hand to make the door close safely.
Other Things to Consider for the Doorway of the Coop
Installing the door is not the end of the story. There are other things you need to consider as well. The things that we are mainly referring to here are as follows:
Usually, the opening to the coop is a bit higher than the ground. And chickens might have to jump to get into the coop. Now, even though some might master the jumping technique, many of them might struggle with it. For that reason, we would recommend installing a platform right near the door.
For this, use a slab of wood that’s wide enough to let the chickens get onto it and make their way inside. However, we would not recommend permanently attaching the platform to the doorway because it will make it easier for the predators to get inside the coop, which you would not want, right?
A Locking Mechanism
If you are in a place where there are too many predators, we would recommend installing a locking mechanism on the door. For the hinged door, the process should be pretty easy. We have even dedicated one step for the locking mechanism in the traditional door-making process. For those, the bot locks would be ideal.
However, for the sliding door, a latch lock would be the one you should shoot for. Install it on the very top of the door and install the eyelet on the coop itself. This locking mechanism will allow you to add an additional layer of security, which the predators will not be able to tamper around with.
As you can clearly see, learning how to build a chicken coop door is not that hard. And we hope that the steps that we have included for each of the types of door were easy to follow. However, do make sure that you note down the measurements properly, or else there is going to a lot of unusable wooden pieces.