My friend, flock protector, entertainment, eager to please, well-behaved border collie/chocolate lab dog. She is 5 years old this November, I bought her as a family christmas present and she has become a loyal companion. Her name is because since she was a pup, she always wanted to be near us. She does not get eggs out of the henhouse or kill chickens, but she knows she is allowed to eat the ones she finds in the woods. We are lucky to have her, a good dog starts with good genetics and develops from persistent care, companionship, and discipline.
Do you have an egg-sucking dog, or a dog that just likes to hang out in the coop and disturb your chickens? If a dog is utterly useless, a persistent problem, and not your best friend, I would consider re-homing, but sometimes we have to make adjustments for our furry or feathered friends. Cutting a triangle on your coop door can be a deterrence to dogs and other large predators. It even deters flying predators because they don’t like to feel trapped. My windows are designed to keep hawks from flying in, from above it doesn’t look open to them like your traditional windows that have hinges on the sides. These adjustments also give you more ventilation and temperature control options. In the winter you can keep the big door closed with the chicken door open.
*If you have children make it very clear that they are NOT to play in the windows, if they were to remove the wooden sticks that keep them open, they would get smashed head or fingers, same precautions need to be taken for adults! I’m sure some kind of safety option could be made by a creative carpenter. I use sticks of various lengths to prop open my windows, thus controlling the ventilation and temperature. In my opinion children shouldn’t be playing in the coop unsupervised unless they can be trusted (yeah that’s funny). They should beware of flogging roosters as well, and the coop is where someone is most likely to be flogged, as it is the roosters territory and they are protecting their hens.
Back to the chicken door, in the picture you should can see that we used a hinge at the top of the triangle, and a lock at the bottom (yes, it needs to be closed at night if you don’t have a secure chicken yard that closes up). I unlock it at the bottom, flip the door up, and I have a nail that has a hole that is just for it (a bit primitive, but it working for now). You may want to keep an eye on it when you first install it to be positive it isn’t going to fall, and make it where the chickens can’t get back in to lay.
Obviously, this only keeps out medium to large dogs, but I have yet to have a chihuahua get by my roosters, or even try, for that matter. This door option also helps the coop stay warmer in winter-time, be able to open it and ventilate more in the summer, and makes the hens feel more cozy, which reduces easter egg hunting year-round (yeah, that gets old). In this picture I am in the process of cleaning the coop, amending the gardens with the hay/straw/wood chip/manure bedding, and replacing it with new bedding. I practice the deep litter method, but more on that later. Good luck with an ornery dog, I’ve had to send a few to the big chicken house in the sky.