It is pretty hard to get everything right the first time. However, with a little bit of guidance, it is possible to get that near to perfection. This same thing goes for building a chicken coop as well.
You might have found it hard to build a chicken coop by yourself but look at you now! You just built a decent chicken coops!
However, building the chicken coop is not the end of the story. The chickens would not be safe without a chicken door. And for the door, you need to get the sizing correct. So, the idea regarding what size door opening for chicken coop should be in your mind.
But there is nothing to worry about because you just stumbled upon the right source for that! We have built a lot of coops ourselves. From our experience, we have found the right sizing for the door. And we are here to share all the information we know regarding it.
Why You Should Not Build a People-sized Door?
Before we dive deeper into the different dimensions of the chicken coop door, allow us to start with the common question that most people ask when they are trying to find out the right door size. Yes, we are talking about using a people-sized door on the coop. You will get to know why that is not ideal here.
There are basically three main reasons. One is that the birdhouse will require a good amount of protection from the environmental elements. People-sized doors leave the coop entirely exposed to these elements.
The second point is that the amount of protection regular-sized doors offer from predation is not enough. Other than that, the third and last point is that the chickens require a good amount of privacy to lay an egg. The regular-sized door will leave too much opening.
And with too much opening in the front, the chickens are not going to feel like they have a good amount of privacy, which might lead them to not laying eggs.
In addition to the three factors we have discussed above, there are other related reasons as well. Firstly, leaving a large door open in the cold season will lead to the interior having an inadequate temperature. And it is not only for the cold seasons. The same thing goes for the hotter days as well.
Alongside that, the large opening will let too much air inside. And with air, moisture is going to get in. Well, with too much moisture inside, the place will not remain dry, which is essential for the chickens. Wet coops can also lead to the chickens becoming unhealthy. And the health of the chickens is one of the main factors.
Apart from that, the large-sized doors will be more prone to being slammed shut. And when it does slams shut, it will slam with a higher multitude of force. If a chicken happens to be right on the opening and it closes, the chances of the bird surviving will be reasonably low.
What Should be the Size of the Chicken Door?
Now that you know why it is not ideal to use a people-sized door on the coop, let us move into the main point we have in hand. For determining this, you will need to consider four main points. They are:
- The size of the breeds
- Is there any rooster or not
- The possible threat of predators around the area
- The weather and the climate
First, let us talk about the breeds. As you might have guessed, different breeds are going to require different sizes of the opening. And the size for each of the breeds are as follows:
- Bantam: 9 inches for the pop door width and 9 to 12 inches for the height
- Standard: 10 inches for the width and 10 to 13 inches for the height
- Large: 12 inches for the width and 12 to 14 inches for the height
Here, the large breeds include Brahmas, Orpingtons, Cochins, Langshans, and Jersey Giants. However, these larger breeds can go through smaller doors. But for that, you would need to keep the pop door ramp shallow. Otherwise, they will fall to the ground.
Roosters Prefer Larger Doors
You might already know that the roosters are reasonably larger than the hens. Sometimes that is significantly larger. Nevertheless, no matter how large your roosters are, they will prefer large doors. For this, you need to consider the overall height of the door.
However, there are coops that have pop holes that are only 10 inches x 10 inches. The standard-sized roosters might not have any problems going through that. But if the rooster is a bit large in size, it will be a tighter fit. And some might not be even fit through the hole.
On that note, the chickens have the natural ability to easily squeeze through tight spaces whenever they think that they are in danger. For that reason, if the fit is not that tight for the roosters, you will not have to worry that much about the rooster being in danger when there are predators around.
The number of predators around is another factor you need to consider when deciding the size of the doors. Usually, if there are too many aerial predators around, you would want to make the hole a bit large, which will let the chickens get into the coop quickly if an aerial predator is targeting them.
On the other hand, if there are too many land predators, you would want to make the door a bit small. The small nature of the door will let the chickens get in when they are in danger. However, it will not allow the predator to get quick access to the inside.
The last thing that should be in your consideration is the climate. Usually, the relatively large doors would be ideal for hot environments. Those would allow a sufficient amount of air to get inside and keep the inside cool. The chickens will surely like the increased amount of airflow during the summer.
On the other hand, for colder climates, smaller doors would be ideal. The small nature of the door will block off excess cold breeze from entering the inside, which will keep the interior at the right temperature. Additionally, it will keep the inside dry, and the moisture level of the coop will be adequate as well.
Nevertheless, you might be living in an area where the weather is not constantly cold or warm. In that case, opt for a large opening for the door. During the winter, cover the gap with a plastic strip or curtain. However, do make sure that the chickens know how to go through the curtains.
And during the summer, take the plastic strip or curtain out of the opening. That way, the full extent of the door is exposed, allowing an increase in the airflow and keeping the inside cool.
What Height Should the Chicken Coop Door Be from the Ground?
Apart from the size of the door, many wonders about the height that the door should be from the ground. Well, long story short, the pop hole doors should be about six to twelve inches above the level of the coop. It will ensure that the bedding does not block off the doorway, nor does it spill outside.
However, when it comes to the height of the door from the ground, it does not really matter that much. If you can manage a ramp leading towards the pop hole, the chickens should be able to climb up and manage to get inside the door perfectly.
Now, you might be wondering why the hole is not level with the floor of the coop. Well, as we have mentioned, most of the coops require bedding. And if you keep the door leveled with the floor, the bedding would block off the doorway, which will lead to your chickens not being able to get inside.
And if you were wondering what bedding actually is, well, it is basically liter. It serves another purpose as well, which is to act as a cushion. The chickens that are jumping from the nesting boxes or the roosting bars will find a soft place to land on if there is bedding inside the coop.
Usually, beddings are about 3 to 18 inches thick. However, if you plan to replace the bedding frequently, you would be all good with beddings that are three inches thick. But, if you do not plan to replace them that frequently, opt for the thicker beddings.
Now that you have gone through the entire article, hopefully, you are not wondering what size door opening for chicken coop anymore. And we hope that the related information we included in this article will help you make the perfect coop for your chickens.