Building a Sliding Door for Your Chicken Coop: A DIY Guide

If you’re looking to upgrade your chicken coop, building a sliding door is a practical and convenient solution. In this guide, we’ll show you how to create a chicken-sized sliding door that opens and closes from the outside. With common materials and tools, you’ll be able to construct this DIY coop door in no time.

Revamping Your Coop

The shed housing my chickens had seen better days. It was time for some improvements, starting with replacing the hinged door that opened inward. I wanted a sliding door that could be operated from the outside, providing easier access.

With a pile of reclaimed lumber, I found the perfect long 1″x4″ that only needed to be cut into pieces. A piece of 1″x12″ would serve as the door, although it needed to be adjusted to fit the existing opening.

Materials and Tools You’ll Need

Before diving into the construction process, gather these materials and tools:

  • A 1″x12″ board that fits your coop’s opening (or cut an opening to fit the board)
  • Scrap pieces of 1″x4″ or 1″x3″ to secure the door
  • 3 screw eyes
  • 1 screw hook
  • Clothesline rope
  • A power drill or screwdriver
  • A saw (a circular saw works well)

Constructing the Sliding Door

To guide you through the process, we’ve found an informative YouTube video that explains the steps. Here’s a summarized version:

  1. Cut four pieces of the 1″x4″ to form the side pieces, with the top pieces offset by half an inch to create a channel for the door.
  2. Add a bottom piece that overlaps the door slightly to prevent raccoons from lifting it.
  3. Install screw eyes at the top of the door, along the outside wall of the coop, and on the edge of the coop. The clothesline rope will pass through these eyes.
  4. Attach the door to the coop with the 1″x4″ pieces, ensuring it slides smoothly.
  5. Thread the clothesline rope through the screw eyes, ending at the hook where you can tie a loop to hold the door open.
Further reading:  Chicken Flour Bread: A Protein-Packed and Gluten-Free Delight!

A woman's hand holding the rope that goes through the screw eye hooks to open and shut the coop door.

The door will move up and down the channel created by the 1″x4″ pieces. When you want to close the door, simply remove the loop of clothesline from the hook, and it will drop down securely.

Benefits and Chicken Approval

The chickens hardly noticed their new door, but I’m thrilled with the outcome. The sliding door operates smoothly and is quick to raise or lower. But the benefits don’t end there.

With the ability to open the pop door from the outside, I can let the hens out and enter the coop through the people-size door without worrying about them escaping. Moreover, if I’m running late and the chickens have already roosted, I can lower the door without disturbing them.

In the past, my hens would sometimes dash back outside when startled, causing me to wrangle them back inside. Now, with the door closed from the outside, I have peace of mind knowing they’re all safely inside.

Buff brahma hen standing below the open coop door, ready to hop inside.

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Remember, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of constructing something useful and seeing it work flawlessly. Enjoy building your sliding door and enhancing your chicken coop!