How to Build Sliding Door for Your Chicken Coop

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.

How to make a pop door for the henhouse

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..."

So 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.

A trip to the hardware store was needed 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.

Hens exit the coop via the sliding pop door

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.

Chicken coop pop door system

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. It helps them stay cooler in the hot summer.

Eye hook to hold the cord

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.

Chicken coop's sliding pop door

When the door is closed, it sits behind the lighter-colored board on the bottom to thwart raccoons and other small predators.

Sliding pop door in the chicken coop

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. 

Buff brahma hen in chicken run

I think Betsy is admiring my work. "Not too bad for a newbie," she said.

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  1. Wonderful! Don't you love the feeling of accomplishing something yourself (and keeping all your fingers intact!) Visiting from Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

    1. That feeling of accomplishment is pretty cool, isn't it? Thank you for visiting, Michelle; I hope you'll stop by again.

  2. Well done, Kathi! Very clever and resourcefully done! Thanks for sharing at this week's Clever Chicks Blog Hop!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick®

    1. Thank you, Kathy. I appreciate it!

  3. That is brilliant!
    I also went back to read your story about hand hay-baling (although I couldn't comment on that post), and I love how you figure out how to do these things. Thank God for You Tube, huh?
    Thanks for joining us on this week's Maple Hill Hop!

    1. Thank you, Daisy. I'm loving using it! It's still working perfectly and my chickens are now "trained" to come out and go inside when I want them to. Yes, YouTube is a wonderful resource.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the hand-baling post too. That post gets SO MUCH spam that I finally had to disable comments on it.

  4. Nice job! I also like how you put shingles on your ramp. Our chickens have a hard time going up and down their ramp sometimes and I have a ton of extra shingles laying around.

    Thank you for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop.

    1. Thank you, Bonnie. Yes, those shingles were leftovers from another project and I thought they'd really help the girls get up that rather steep ramp - and they work great. I screwed them on... Gorilla Glue didn't hold. :-)

  5. It's wonderful you did this yourself, Kathi! Well done! Love the idea of having a sliding door on the chicken coop. Thank you for sharing this post with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop.

    1. Thank you, April. Have a great weekend.

  6. I am like you and get timid about using my husband's power tools, but love it when it turns out better than expected. Thanks for sharing on the Country Fair Blog Party this month.

    1. Thank you so much, Nicole. I enjoy your party each month!


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