When you’re raising a flock of chickens, the coop is something you can’t do without. Chickens need a safe place to roost during the night. When a predator comes knocking, you’re going to want a secure chicken coop door, too. If you are struggling to decide what kind of door is best for your flock, don’t worry. We have gathered up some of the best chicken coop door ideas on the internet for you to browse and get inspired.
Let’s get started.
- 11 Chicken Coop Door Ideas
- Elements of Great Chicken Coop Door Design
11 Chicken Coop Door Ideas
There are many chicken coop doors out there. Some can be built with just a few materials while others require a few minutes of installation. Depending on how handy you are with some tools, some options might be better for you than others. Plus, you want to consider the size of your chickens and the predators most likely to come knocking.
Be sure to choose the most secure option for your chickens.
1. Traditional Chicken Coop Door
The traditional door is one covered with mesh that comes with a sliding bolt lock. You can easily build a coop and then attach traditional mesh doors. All you need is some mesh, nails, and wood planks. Some tools, like a hammer, scissors, and screwdriver or drill, will also come in handy.
Cut the mesh to match the size of the doorway you are making. Create a frame with the four wooden slabs that will make the frame of the door. If you are making double doors, set out eight pieces of wood. The mesh rectangle that you cut should be slightly bigger than the wooden door you have constructed.
Of course, you can customize this as much as you want. You might choose a slab of wood and cut a smaller rectangle to serve as a window, rather than making a screen door.
Attach the mesh to the panel. Then, use hinges to connect the door you have made to the side of the coop. Place the hinges at the very top and bottom of the door.
Here are two other ways to build a mesh chicken coop door:
2. Pop Door
Sometimes referred to as a pop hole, this is one of the more original coop door ideas. You can fashion the pop door a number of ways, but the main goal is to make a door that has a flap that moves up and down. It’s kind of like a doggy door for your home. If you want to keep the pop hole open throughout the day for ventilation, you can use a cabin hook lock to secure it in place.
At night, you can use a padlock installation to keep the pop door sealed against predators.
3. Sliding Chicken Coop Door
Want something a bit fancy for your chicken coop? A sliding door is a good idea. Sliding doors are made to be slid open and closed throughout the day. You can also opt to leave the door partially open for ventilation purposes while the flock is out.
In order to make a sliding door for your chicken coop, you will need to cut a frame for the sliding section of the door. Some sliding doors will go up and down, kind of like a palace gate, while others move side-to-side. That is your preference.
As with the traditional coop door, you’re going to need some hardware, tools, and a bit of carpentry know-how to do this. Here is a video showing you the process:
Don’t forget to secure the door with a sturdy lock!
4. Timed Chicken Coop Door
A timer-based option has numerous benefits. Basically, this is a fail-safe idea that prevents you from waking up in the middle of night because you can’t remember if you closed the coop door or not. Using the timer, you can set exactly when the door is going to open and close. For instance, if you want the door to open right at 8AM when you first step out to take care of the farm, you can do that.
Timed chicken coop doors are also much more affordable than automatic options that use sensors. You will have to periodically change the timer, based on the seasons and changing length of days.
One excellent option is the Brinsea ChickSafe Advance. This control box has both timer and light sensor programs, so you can see which one works best for you. There is also a fail safe mode and manual override to keep your chickens safe. Plus, the unit can easily lift a 2.5 lb door.
5. ChickenGuard Automatic Chicken Coop Door
Many chicken keepers swear by the ChickenGuard Chicken Coop Door. This highly recommended unit is battery-powered (uses AA batteries), heavy duty, and designed to withstand inclement weather conditions (between -20 degrees F and 120 degrees F). ChickenGuard units also come with a 3-year warranty.
One of the reasons the ChickenGuard unit is favored by so many chicken keepers is because it is reliable and safe. Although it is estimated that the batteries will last 6-9 months, many users find that the batteries last much longer, around a year. Secondly, the unit has light detection, a timer, and can lift a door that is 10×12 inches.
The setup can be a bit difficult, so make sure you leave enough time in your day to finish the project.
Other automatic chicken coop door units include:
- Run Chicken Model T50 Automatic Coop Door – although cheaper than ChickenGuard, this unit doesn’t work as well in the winter and fits up to an 8×10 inch door. It is also easy to install and has a longer battery life than ChickenGuard. If you live in a warmer climate and own smaller chickens, this could be a better option for you.
- Titan Incubators Automatic Chicken Door Opener – you will have to buy the compatible door separately, as this is just the unit. It comes with pre-installed settings, making setup a breeze. The price is also cheaper when compared to ChickenGuard and other models.
6. Swinging Door
There are many creative chicken coop door ideas out there, including the swinging door that uses a linear actuator. Using hinges located on the side, the automatic opener runs on a timer to move the door.
One of the advantages of the swinging door is aesthetic. Not only does the door look like an actual door, but it is secure and customizable. You can make the swinging door as small or large as you like. You don’t have to worry about gravity as you do with a vertical sliding door.
Check out the video to learn how to make this door:
7. DIY Automatic Door
Perhaps you don’t want to spend an exorbitant amount of money on an automatic chicken coop door. You could try making one yourself—and for more than half the cost of Chicken Guard or other brands. You will need a couple of items, including an electric car antenna, timer, terminal strip, power supply, a voltage meter, and some hardware. It helps if you also know how to solder.
The DIY automatic door is going to be a project, but if you want the challenge of constructing a door and electrical timer on your own, do give it a try.
The steps are clearly written out on Instructables.com, as well as wiring schematics and a list of everything you will need.
8. Solar Powered Door
Since we already talked about timer doors, it might be wise to mention light sensor timer doors, otherwise known as solar powered doors, too. A solar-powered coop door won’t work solely on the gathered sunlight. Rather, the solar energy powers the timer, initiating when the door should open and close. This is ideal for chicken keepers who can’t be present all the time to open and close the door themselves.
If the coop receives plenty of sunlight, you can attach the solar panels and keep the timer charged up throughout the year.
Looking for a solar kit? Coop Controls offers a solar-powered option that automatically opens the coop at sunrise and closes it at sunset. Installation is quick and easy with the included tool kit.
9. Curtain Door
Do you have a very secure setup for your flock? Not worried about predators or inclement weather? Then you have an easy DIY option—a curtain door. For this, you can use a blackout curtain, thick cloth, or even strips of heavy vinyl to hang. Simply staple the fabric or vinyl to the inside of the door then watch your chickens come and go from the coop whenever they want.
10. Water Door
Looking for something a bit unique for your chicken coop door? Feast your eyes upon the water door. The name is a hint to how this whole setup works. In order for the door to open, you set a timer. Water runs into the bucket, filling it up within that time, weighing the bucket down so it pulls the sliding door open. Then a second timer initiates when to empty the filled bucket, closing the door as the weight shifts.
While this definitely involves some manual labor to set up, it could be a less expensive method—and also a conversational piece.
Here’s the video explaining how to do it:
11. Double Chicken Coop Doors
Are your chickens particularly flighty? Then you might enjoy the charm and security of double coop doors. As the name states, this is a set up with two separate doors installed one on top of the other, kind of like stable doors for horses. The upper and lower door can be opened separately.
This gives you easier access as well, since you won’t have to worry about making two separate doors for humans and chickens.
Flighty chickens can take full advantage of the open top, especially when they get startled or have to run from a predator. The downside to this is that any breed of chicken you have that can’t fly will be trapped outside if the lower door is closed. Also, both doors will need to be secured overnight.
Elements of Great Chicken Coop Door Design
Installing a functional chicken coop door isn’t the end. You want to make sure you are designing a coop that keeps your flock of chickens safe, secure, and out of the elements. There are a couple of additional factors to consider when choosing the best chicken coop door for your chickens:
This should be the first thing you think about. The main purpose of a coop is to keep your chickens from getting attacked while they roost. Therefore, you want a chicken coop door that is going to keep the flock as safe as possible. If predators can find a way into a coop, they will. So choose a door that is going to seal the coop.
Second to choosing a sturdy, dependable door is to use a locking mechanism. Simply shutting the coop door is not enough in most cases. Predators can be crafty. Chickens can also learn how to open a closed door if it isn’t secured. For most traditional hinged doors, the process is pretty easy. You can add a bolt lock or padlock while building the door (or just install a lock if you buy a pre-built coop).
Sliding doors, on the other hand, do better with latch locks. Install the latch at the top of the door and the eyelet on the coop. Latch locks are more difficult to tamper with, so predators shouldn’t be able to get inside.
Often, coops have doorways that are higher than the ground. Most chickens can master jumping to get inside, but some chickens might struggle with getting inside. This is why you need to consider constructing a platform or ramp for your chickens to get inside. Furthermore, you want the ramp to be compatible with the type of door you install.
Make sure the ramp is the same width as the door and not too steep.
Feeling Inspired Yet?
Hopefully, these 11 chicken coop door ideas have left you feeling inspired. There are many options out there, from pop doors, timed doors, swinging doors, sliding doors, and so much more. Best of all, you don’t have to worry if you never constructed a door before. There are plenty of units out there that make setting up an automatic chicken coop door a breeze. Which one are you going to choose?
Valerie has been content writing since 2016 for websites and companies all around the world. A traveler, dancer, martial artist, Valerie loves gathering experiences and wisdom. Her travels have taken her to over 20 countries, and she hopes to see more of the world soon.