The shed that houses my chickens is quite old. It serves its purpose, but we recently had to replace the people-size door and there's a leak in the roof that needs to be fixed.
It was also time to replace the pop door that the chickens use to move from the coop to the run. The old hinged door opened up to the inside. I wanted to replace it with a sliding door that I can open from the outside of the coop. I thought "I can make one..."
I scouted out my pile of reclaimed lumber and found a long 1x4 that just needed to be cut into pieces, and a piece of 1x12 to use for the door. The 1x12 was a bit too narrow for the opening, so I turned it on its side and cut it to the width I needed. I did have to buy three eye-hooks and a hook to hold the rope when the door is open, but the rest of the materials we had on hand.
I procrastinated a bit about using hubby's power saw to cut the boards, but eventually I had to do it or give up. So I did it. And I survived, and still have all my fingers intact.
Mostly I followed the directions on this YouTube video with a few small changes. I cut four pieces of the 1x4 for the side pieces, and just offset the top pieces to form the channel. I also added a bottom piece that overlaps the door a bit so that raccoons can't get their little fingers underneath and push the door up.
The cord goes from the eye hook in the top of the door, up the outside wall of the coop and through an eye hook, then to another eye hook on the edge of the coop, and down to a hook where I've tied a loop to hold the door open. (That's shade cloth on the top of the chickens' run, by the way.)
The door slides along a channel made by screwing a 1x4 on each side of the door, then attaching another piece of 1x4 that's offset one inch from the first piece. The cord pulls the door up or lowers it.
When the door is closed, it sits behind the board on the bottom to thwart raccoons and other small predators.
The chickens hardly noticed, but I'm pretty pleased with the results. It slides easily and is fast to raise or lower. Even better, I can open the pop door from the outside and let the hens out, then go inside by way of the people-size door and not worry about them trying to escape as I walk in. That's been a problem lately. Someone wants to go to Paris.
I think Betsy is admiring my work. "Not too bad for a newbie," she said.
My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at:
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