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Don't have a flawless memory? Who does?!?

post #1 of 31
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Who has a flawless memory?
 
When was the last time you forgot to pay a bill on time?  Or to pick up milk at the store?  Some ‘senior moments’ are easy to solve (get the milk tomorrow).  But some can be expensive and traumatic.
 
That was the problem two friends had a few years ago.  Mark and Tony both had chickens and both kept forgetting to close the coops at night.  Predators?  Nah, that wouldn’t happen to us!  And yet - it seemed that when one raccoon discovers an open coop, they tell ALL their friends within miles and soon a dozen hens are gone.  Some folks would regret a couple hundred dollars in lost birds and some people would have to explain to the kids or grandkids that their favorite hen is gone.  Neither is fun, but imagine if a child finds the scene of the crime.
 
Well, that was what us, two regular chicken raising guys, Mark and Tony, were facing.  It only took once forgetting to close the coop to suffer yet another raid.  Or if were out for the evening with our wives, we’d be running home just to close the coop!  We were suddenly slaves to our chickens!  Does this sound familiar?door-mauve-closed (1).jpg
 
We needed a new tool.  Mark is a manufacturing engineer and Tony is an electrical engineer.  The answer was obvious:  design a door that would automatically open & close.  But we wanted the perfect door: no wood to warp, rot or bind, no switches to get dusty & fail, and no strings to break.  And it needed to be reliable, secure, affordable and convenient.  
 
 
Fast forward a few years.  We revolutionized the automatic chicken door market!  Look at the doors in your house, are swinging doors more reliable or are sliding doors?  We led the market with an all-aluminum frame and door that others have copied.  Our door tells you the battery’s status every time it closes.  And our customers love that it comes fully assembled.  Bolt it to your coop and plug in the battery, it’s really that simple.  And we offer handy options like a solar panel or plug-in charger, or a photo sensor which operates the door with sunrise & sunset.
 
The most satisfying part of making the door is our customers.  Every week we get letters from customers who once again can stay out late visiting friends and family, can enjoy a weekend away without worrying, and once again are enjoying their birds.
 
So while the receipt says that you bought a Pullet-Shut automatic chicken door, we know what you really are getting in the box: convenience, safety, insurance, and most of all Peace of Mind!
 
Here are some videos that show just how easy it is to install and program the door!
 
 
 
Share your stories with us!  What was the funniest time you had to run home to close the coop?
 
post #2 of 31

Great story!   This is actually the door we have on our coop!  After losing some of our flock-family to multiple coon attacks I tried my hand at a building my own automatic coop door.   Well, I quickly decided I needed something more reliable and stronger.

 

We've been using a door from www.chickendoors.com for years and I can't imagine how many lives have been saved.  We really struggled with getting home in time to always make sure the coop was secured and I remember all the times laying in bed asking, "Did I remember to close the coop up tonight!?!?!"

Rob - Married to my wife Emily for 13 years and have two daughters, 10 and 8.  Home to four hens
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Rob - Married to my wife Emily for 13 years and have two daughters, 10 and 8.  Home to four hens
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post #3 of 31

We (& probably others) cannot install one of these. There would be no point! Not all of my chickens go in at night. They have to be chased in with a broom so buying one of these would be pointless & would lock out any dingdong chickens that refuse to go in at night.

If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.
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If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.
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post #4 of 31

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappySlappyFarm View Post

We (& probably others) cannot install one of these. There would be no point! Not all of my chickens go in at night. They have to be chased in with a broom so buying one of these would be pointless & would lock out any dingdong chickens that refuse to go in at night.

 

I've always wondered about that too.  How people can rest assured that all the chickens went in.  I have a few of those dingdong types too that have to occasionally be rounded up and sent in at night!  So even if I had an automatic door I'd still have to be out there making sure they all actually all went in, so yeah, kind of defeats the purpose.  Would love it if I had chickens I could count on to just get their backsides in like they are supposed to!

wife to long suffering husband who has built more miles of fence, barns, coops and enclosures then one man should have to, two teenage boys, current flock of 13 assorted hens, 1 big red roo and a list of other assorted farm animals. 
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wife to long suffering husband who has built more miles of fence, barns, coops and enclosures then one man should have to, two teenage boys, current flock of 13 assorted hens, 1 big red roo and a list of other assorted farm animals. 
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post #5 of 31

I WANT ONE!  No more flying out of bed at 1 am and running out to the coop in my underwear!

post #6 of 31

The only time I have ever had a "dingdong" chicken is when Bullwinkle lost her best bud, Rocky.  She got on top of the coop and ran back and forth looking all over the yard for him.  I was more heartbroken for her than annoyed.  I usually count my chickens every evening before I close the coop anyway.  Only one hen has ever been out all night, but she made it.  She "locked" herself up.  I had two old wire rabbit hutches outside by the coop against the tarp that provide a windbreak and shade.  She got between the tarp and the coop.  I guess because I could see her, I counted her and didn't even pay attention to the fact that not only was she not really in the coop, she was also outside the fenced in yard!!!  So, even with that slip, I have been blessed never to have lost a hen to a predator at night.  But the door would work for us if we had one.  The only time I ever have to make them go in is if I need them to go in earlier than they want to.  They already tend to go to bed earlier than I would expect them too.

Raising Chickens since April 2011
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Raising Chickens since April 2011
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post #7 of 31

I want this!

post #8 of 31

We had ours set to close about 1/2 hour after sunset.  Our girls are excellent at going into the coop at night.   There have been a couple times where they hide or find branches to roost on and we've usually been able to train them back into the coop.    With that said, with our track record and new freedom / flexibility I much more enjoy the tradeoff of protecting the entire flock in case we don't get home on time vs. not having an auto door.

 

If I did have stray chickens I had to manually get into the coop every night, I'd still have this door, but have it close 2 hours after dark.  That way it is more of an insurance policy in case I forget or don't get home in time (which happened all the time).

 

They have a new light sensor unit that we've been using.  We were originally concerned because our relatively new ducks go into the coop way after the chickens and a bit after it is dark outside.   9/10 times the ducks have been making it in before the light sensor closes the door, so we're still deciding if we may ditch the light sensor and go back to the timer.

Rob - Married to my wife Emily for 13 years and have two daughters, 10 and 8.  Home to four hens
Nifty-Stuff.com | TheEasyGarden.com  | SufficientSelf.com | BackYardHerds.com
Upgrade to a Golden Feather Membership - Check Out BYC on Facebook

Having Technical Problems?  See our troubleshooting article here!

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Rob - Married to my wife Emily for 13 years and have two daughters, 10 and 8.  Home to four hens
Nifty-Stuff.com | TheEasyGarden.com  | SufficientSelf.com | BackYardHerds.com
Upgrade to a Golden Feather Membership - Check Out BYC on Facebook

Having Technical Problems?  See our troubleshooting article here!

Reply
post #9 of 31

This is way cheaper then the 'predator proof' run I built for the same reasons...

 

Now if you can figure out some way to disallow rabbits from using it I may still use this for free range in the future (when I have more property fence)

 

Of course if you have really stubborn chickens roosting outside in silly places the coons will make the whole flock brighter due to selection...


Edited by FireTigeris - 4/26/12 at 1:48pm

 Scientist and Tutor, expert at nothing, opinions on everything.

2012 Art Contest runs till Midnight EST Dec 31st 2012

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 Scientist and Tutor, expert at nothing, opinions on everything.

2012 Art Contest runs till Midnight EST Dec 31st 2012

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/634433/2012-coloring-contest-rule-thread

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post #10 of 31

Having one of these doors would be amazing!  My husband and I have gotten more than a few strange looks when we tell people "we have to go now to lock up the coop."  I'm sure that they're thinking it's a really lame excuse to leave early.  Although, I do have to admit, I've been more than happy during a few unpleasant social situations to have a reason to leave!

I'd have to say the most awkward/funny situation occurred one night in November.  I live in Ontario, so we can have some pretty cold Novembers, but it had been mild enough that day to let the ladies out.  At that time of the year, it starts to get dark around 6:00.  My husband and I were at a car dealership in the middle of purchasing a new truck when I received a phone call from my brother in law.  He informed me that there was a hen and a several chicks making their way back into the coop!  She must have gone broody unbeknownst to us and been sitting on a nest outside.  The poor girl must have been freezing!  Anyway, normally I don't mind locking up the coop a few hours after dark now and then, but with the new chicks, I didn't want to take a chance.  My brother in law is disabled and was unable to make his way down to lock up the coop.  We were literally in the middle of signing all of the paperwork to close the deal on the new truck when I had to interrupt our salesman and tell him we had to go!  I could see the panic in his face as he was sure we were just trying to get out of the deal!  To make matters worse, the dealership was closing so we were running out of time.  I told him that we would be back tomorrow, but he assured us that he would wait for us that night.  To this day, I'm sure he didn't believe me!
 

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