No matter how sturdy the overall coop and the floor of the coop are, without a proper door, the overall security of the coop will not be that high. In fact, we have had one instance where the door was not proper, which offered easy access to a fox. You can guess what happened afterward.
Nevertheless, we have learned our lesson. For that reason, we have decided even if we are opting for a manual chicken coop door, we will go for something that has a proper design and is sturdy enough to hold the predators off. And the one we built has been going strong for more than two years.
Now, chances are that you are looking for a guide to build a door like that too. Well, you just have found the right place. We are going to provide you a simple guide that will be easy to follow. So, without wasting any more of your precious time, let us get right into the process, shall we?
How to Make a Manual Coop Door?
The design that we have opted for is the sliding door. This sliding mechanism will offer you a little taste of an automatic door but will have the cost of a regular manual door. That being said, the steps you should follow for this process is as follows:
Step 1: Get the Necessary Materials
First and foremost, you need to source the required materials. For the door, you would need a thick piece of wood. And three pieces of C channels, three eye hooks, and one hooks for the sliding mechanism. If you are wondering what C channels are, these are just a piece of aluminum with a C-shaped channel.
However, just the materials will not be enough. You would also need to get the right tools. We are referring to a drill, a hammer, some nails, and a saw by the right tools. As you can see, there will be no need to work with any intricate tools. So, you should not worry about the processes being complicated.
With that aside, after getting the right tools and the required materials, move along to the next step.
Step 2: Measure, Mark, Drill, and Cut
For this step, you need to do a lot of measuring. Start from the opening of the coop. Measure the length and the width of the opening. If it is not a perfect square or rectangle, you should factor in each of the sides individually. Note down the measurements and get the C channels.
Now, you need t cut the C channels according to the measurement of the opening. Here, you need to cut two of the channels according to the length and one according to the width of the opening. Then, grab a pencil. You need to mark the holes for the c channel and the chicken coop.
Mark the holes on both the channel and the wall of the coop. Take the drill machine out and drill holes on both the C channel and the wall of the coop. However, if you do not plan to use fasteners, do not drill holes on the wall.
But if you are making holes on the wall, do make sure that the holes are not too near the opening. That will make the door too small, which would lack a bit of integrity that large doors usually have.
Step 3: Install the C Channels
After you are done making holes on the channels and the wall of the coop, you need to install the channels. Use screws, bolts, or nuts for this process. And you need to only install two on the side and one on the bottom. Keep the upper side open, which is where the door is going to slide in and out.
However, do make sure the channels are firmly in place. And if you did not make holes on the wall, you would need nails for this task.
Step 4: Make the Door
Now that the sliding mechanism is set, move along to making the door. For this, you would need a large wooden slab. However, if large ones are not available, opt for the small ones and nail them together. Also, do not opt for wooden pieces that are thicker than the channel.
After that, you need to measure the opening again. But this time, you need to factor in the C channels as well. And after measuring, cut the wooden piece accordingly. Do ensure that you measure twice and cut once in this case. Check whether the door slides properly on the channel or not.
If the door does not slide smoothly on the channel, then the measurements are a bit off. Take another piece of wood and repeat the process. If you get the measurements right this time, the door should slide smoothly inside the channels.
Step 5: Install the Hooks
After you are done making the door, you need to think about sorting out the manual sliding mechanism. For this, you need to install three hooks. One should be at the very top of the door. Install it ins such a way that you can easily tie a rope into it.
The other one will be a bit higher than the one on the door. However, for this one, you need to make sure that the hook is higher up than the top of the opening, or else the door will not be able to open the opening fully.
Finally, the last one will make a 90-degree turn and sit on the left or the right of the second hook. If the opening is closer to the left end of the coop, then install the last hook on the left side. On the other hand, if the opening is closer to the right side, install it on the right.
But if the opening is in the very middle, then opt for either the left or the right. Both should be fine.
Step 6: Route the Rope
The last step would be to rout the rope. Do make sure that you are using something reasonably sturdy and will be able to offer enough strength to carry the weight of the door. First, tie the very end of the rope to the hook that is on the door. Then work your way through the two of the hooks on the top.
On the other end of the rope, we would recommend attaching a large object. This object will let you easily grab the rope and pull it. Once the rope is routed, and each of the ends is where it supposed to be, test out the manual sliding door by pulling the rope.
However, you need to be extra careful when closing the door. As when you let go, the door is going to fall on its own. So if there is a chicken under the door, the bird can get injured.
Making a manual chicken coop door is not that much of a hard task. If you follow the steps properly and handle the tools adequately, it should not take you that long either. However, we would recommend paying proper attention when you measure and cut the wood and the channel.