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Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I want to build an automatic chicken coop door opener so that my girls can get out and get their day started before I do.
I searched under automatic door opener on this website and found the info about the Door Opener system that "Nifty-Chicken" built using a car lock actuator and other parts.  However I was unable to easily locate said car lock actuator, while on the other hand, doing google searches under automatic chicken coop door opener, I found a motor that seems to be made just for chicken coop automatic doors.  It's the Add-A-Motor D20 (model D20) and it's what you'd use for the plans featu red at this website:  http://www.buildeazy.com/photo-chicken-coop-beatarticle.html.   The author of that article was using the Add-A-Motor 80 (Model 80) but the Add-A-Motor company states that they don't recommend that model be used for this purpose, but use the D20 model instead.  I ordered one of those today and hope to be automating my coop door next week, so my girls won't spend an hour yakking from 6am to 7am bothering the neighbors while complaining that I haven't gotten out of bed to let them out yet.

post #2 of 14

We used a drapery motor (costs about $90) and a timer for our homemade auto door.  Many others on here have used the drapery motor as well.  PM me if you want more info.  Or use the search feature for "automatic chicken doors" and you should find LOTS of info.  Off to check out your link...

ETA:  hmmmm...your link didn't work for me???


Edited by teach1rusl - 3/12/10 at 3:47pm

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Yes, the original Add a MOtor model 80 was called a "drapery motor".  Is that what you have?

post #4 of 14

I've been interested in the automatic doors for a while, too.  Today I saw one advertised here on BYC but that sucker is almost $200.  No way!

There are several designs for home-brew auto-doors floating around on the internet but it also seems that each one has it own set of issues.  Some only work in warm climates, some allow the track to get gunked up and the door does not want to work, some use string or rope on a spool.  But on the other hand they all have some good points to be considered.  I'm in the process of designing one for my own use but I have not made much progress lately with the bad weather and traveling.  I plan to get back to it in a few weeks.

That's our grandson "Doopy" peeking out of the barn.  He was afraid of the big green tractor.
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That's our grandson "Doopy" peeking out of the barn.  He was afraid of the big green tractor.
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

I got the $99 Add-A-Motor D20 yesterday in the mail, then went out and bought a $20 digital timer at the hardware store, and now my chicken coop door is automated!  It set up very easy, the hardest part being stringing the fishing line through the hole in the motor pulley.  Everything else went very smooth.  The timer works well: I have the door open up at 5am (chickens don't come out until 6:30 or 7am) and then close the door at 9pm (chickens retire by 7:30pm).  Quite easy to set up.  Used a plexiglass door which glides smoothly over the wood, and in the wood track.

post #6 of 14

The link works if you remove the period at the end.  Just figured it out. LOL

R-n-C FARMS: B/B/S JG's
I love my gentle Giants!!!  Funny fact...Roosters do NOT have a "reproductive organ"
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R-n-C FARMS: B/B/S JG's
I love my gentle Giants!!!  Funny fact...Roosters do NOT have a "reproductive organ"
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post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddleblue 

I got the $99 Add-A-Motor D20 yesterday in the mail, then went out and bought a $20 digital timer at the hardware store, and now my chicken coop door is automated!  It set up very easy, the hardest part being stringing the fishing line through the hole in the motor pulley.  Everything else went very smooth.  The timer works well: I have the door open up at 5am (chickens don't come out until 6:30 or 7am) and then close the door at 9pm (chickens retire by 7:30pm).  Quite easy to set up.  Used a plexiglass door which glides smoothly over the wood, and in the wood track.


Hi fiddleblue, I have one of these too. It was easy to install. I got it chepaer than you tho. (10$ less). I used a Home Depot timer and it works great. I did a search for coop motors and found the best price at Discount Automation. Here is the link: http://www.discounthomeautomation.com/Add-A-Motor-Chicken-Coop-Motor-AAD20

Anyone
else! This works great.

Erin

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what Peace there may be in Silence. ... Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
~Desiderata, Max Ehrmann
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what Peace there may be in Silence. ... Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
~Desiderata, Max Ehrmann
Reply
post #8 of 14

Does this door opener work on slide ups or hinged?

post #9 of 14

It is best for slide ups, but you can engineer it for a flip up hinged door by adding an eye screw.  You need gravity on your side for it to work efficiently.  With a slide up, you can add a counter balance lock like mine.

http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q233/mesoas/Chickens/0331002043.jpg
http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q233/mesoas/Chickens/0331002044.jpg

Video of the lock in action.
http://s137.photobucket.com/albums/q233/mesoas/Chickens/?action=view&current=0401000714.flv

post #10 of 14

Wow Dogfish! That is really neat!  My coop is nowhere as nice as the one you show in the video. Doesn't the glass door still attract racoons and foxes though? Mine is a vertical slider with a piece of metal. I put a piece of 1x1 in front so varmints cannot get a hand under it. WHat motor is that? Doesn't sound like mine. Erin.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what Peace there may be in Silence. ... Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
~Desiderata, Max Ehrmann
Reply
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what Peace there may be in Silence. ... Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.
~Desiderata, Max Ehrmann
Reply
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