Building an Automated Chicken Coop Door

[In December, we added some more turkeys to the flock, so now 5 turkeys.  They were kept in the hoop coop for a while, primarily to keep the rest of the flock out of the higher protein feed the turkeys were getting.  Once released into the flock, they did roost a night or two in the main coop run, but then moved back to the hoop coop.

The hoop coop does not have an automated door, so they get to wait in the mornings until l let them out, unlike the rest of the flock that get out a few minutes after sunrise.

So it is time to add an automated door to the hoop coop.I started out measuring the area of the hoop coop that I had to work with.  The panel on the hoop coop for the door allows a door size of 30 inches tall by 21 inches wide.

Based on those measurements, I started with  a 2×4 and cut two pieces to 30 inches long. For the top of the door, I cut a 1×4 to 21 inches long, and from a 1×6, cut another piece to 21 inches for the door threshold.

The 2×4’s I then cut a groove using the table router and a 1/2″ straight bit down the length of the narrow side of each board.  The groove (dado) was made about 1/4″ deep.

This groove is for the guillotine style door to slide up and down in.

On the top of each 2×4, on the inside face, I cut away 3×4 inch deep by 3-1/2 inch wide piece off the board, to make a lap joint with the top board so it would set flush with the inside face of the 2×4’s.  The 1×4 was screwed into place on each 2×4.

The inside dimension of the door opening measures 14 inches, so I cut my door from 1/2 inch plywood to 14-1/2 inches wide x 14 inches tall. I slid the door into the grooves, then attached the threshold to the bottom of the 2×4’s.  This is flush with the inside face of the door and extending past the 2×4’s toward the outside of the door. This threshold will later screw down onto the bottom of the hoop coop frame as well.

Below is the list of parts I used for the door.  This does not include the control circuitry, but the motor and and lead screw and associated hardware to make it all connect together well.