Building a sliding door for chicken coop can be an easy task if you have the right tools and instructions.
If you didn’t know this already, having a good chicken coop that’s easy to maintain should definitely include a sliding door!
In this article, I’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to build a chicken coop sliding door.
So, let’s get started!
- 1 List of Materials and Tools to Build a Chicken Coop Sliding Door
- 2 Step 1: Cut Out an Opening for the Door
- 3 Step 2: Build the Door Frame
- 4 Step 3: Attach Wire to the Frame
- 5 Step 4: Add Rope for the Sliding Door
- 6 Step 5: Install the Door
- 7 What kind of door to use for a chicken coop
- 8 What I would do to improve the chicken coop sliding door
List of Materials and Tools to Build a Chicken Coop Sliding Door
- 1×4 lumber (8 feet long)
- 2×4 lumber (8 feet long)
- Plywood (4′ x 8′)
- Small hooks (or I-hooks)
- Chicken wire
- Fencing staples
- Circular saw
- Tape measure
- Drill bit (1/4 inch)
- Paint or stain (optional)
Step 1: Cut Out an Opening for the Door
I screwed a 2×4 to either side of the door frame and added a piece of plywood to create a small gap just wide enough for the door to slide in easily. I used a piece of plywood for the door.
The first thing I did was screw two 2x4s into either side of the door frame and added a piece of plywood. This creates a small gap just wide enough for the coop door to slide in easily.
But before you start, make sure to make all the necessary measurements, including the opening size and the sliding door dimensions.
Next, identify the best location for your chicken coop sliding door.
Draw the outline based on the dimensions that you’ve calculated.
Then, take your circular saw and cut out an opening based on your drawn outline.
For the sliding coop door, you can just use a piece of plywood as I did.
Step 2: Build the Door Frame
Next, you will need to cut the lumber to size to build the door frame.
You will need to cut 4 pieces of 1×4 lumber for the door frame at 8 feet long. For the door itself, you will need to cut 2 pieces of 2×4 lumber at 8 feet long.
Once the lumber is cut to size, it’s time to assemble the door frame.
Using 3 of the 1×4 pieces, create a rectangle with the 4th piece of 1×4 running horizontally in the middle.
Secure the frame together using screws or nails.
Step 3: Attach Wire to the Frame
Now, it’s time to attach the chicken wire to the frame. Using fencing staples, attach the chicken wire to the frame, making sure to stretch it tight.
Next, cut a piece of plywood to fit the opening of the door frame. Attach the plywood to the frame using screws or nails.
Step 4: Add Rope for the Sliding Door
The most important part of making the door slide is the rope!
I have some eye hooks and washers spaced out evenly and screwed into the top of the door. I made a triangle of rope so that the line goes straight up.
Then I have some hooks on the ceiling to run the line straight above the door that comes out of a little hole on the roof.
Screw in the hook (or eye hook) to the top of the chicken coop. Drill a small hole parallel to the hook (to allow the rope to pass through).
Then, add 2 hooks to the coop door’s left and right top edges.
Take your rope and run it through these 2 hooks. Tie the rope, so it makes a triangle, like this:
Next, continue to run the rope to the hook on the chicken coop ceiling, and then through the drilled hole.
Tie a knot to the end of that rope (that is now outside of the coop wall) so it won’t slip through the drilled hole on the coop wall.
Step 5: Install the Door
Now, it’s time to install the door. Place the 2×4 pieces on either side of the opening, making sure they are level.
Finally, paint or stain the door (if desired). And that’s it! You’ve now successfully built your own sliding door for chicken coop.
And… that’s it, really! Nothing fancy, just functional.
When I want to open it, I just pull on the line and loop it onto an eye-hook that’s screwed into the side of the coop.
What kind of door to use for a chicken coop
For the door itself, I used some poster board to free-hand a shape that was of suitable size for the door.
I then traced it into place on the chicken coop siding and used a jigsaw to cut out the opening.
Once we had your hole, I screwed in two 2X4’s on each side of the framing for each side of the door inside the coop.
This will act as the guide for the sliding door. These guides protrude about 1/2″ out from the framing.
I used some scraps of 1/2″ OSB and nailed them to the front edge of the 2X4’s to keep the door from being able to swing inward.
I then cut a piece of leftover OSB to fit in the track I had created and screwed in two eyelets to the top edge.
I am using some nylon rope I have laying around, but you can use whatever you have available.
I tied off the rope through the eyelets in a triangle to leave one main rope centered on the door leading straight up from the center of the door.
Directly above the door on the ceiling, I screwed in another hook (better to use a full eye here).
This serves as the lift point for the door and routes the rope over to the side top edge of the coop.
I drilled a hole through the siding between the framing and roof joists and routed the rope through.
The outside of the coop has a small hook, and the rope has a loop tied to it to hold the door open.
The design I came up with for the door is very simple and easy to set up and can be done with scrap wood leftover from building the coop.
What I would do to improve the chicken coop sliding door
If I had to do it all over again, I would make these improvements:
- Use larger gauge hooks and eye hooks
- Left larger gap on the tracking (on the door frames)
- Allow a gap at the bottom of the track
This setup has been working pretty well for the past year and a half, but there are definitely a few improvements I will probably make.
I wish I would have used larger gauge hooks and eyes for this project since I have had a couple of the bend and pull out. Not a big deal but just something I had to fix.
I would have left a larger gap on the tracking so that the door had more room for expansion and contraction depending on the humidity and temperature, as sometimes it can get a little stuck in the summer months.
I also would have left a gap at the bottom of the track so that any bedding or chicken mess could not get stuck in the track.
If you wanted to add extra security, you could drill a hole in the plywood and add a latch. We haven’t had any issues with predators here, so it’s not something we need.