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Automatic Coop Doors item created by KayTee, Jan 6, 2014
No regrets, I love it. Easy to program and use right out of the box.
Great product! I don't have to worry about opening their door when i leave for work in the mornings! I leave for work before sun rise, I set the timer and it is so nice to not have to worry about opening it myself.
Pros - Closes slow so it does not guillotine the chickens. Battery powered, long battery life, easy to install, easy to program, red flashing LED light indicates door closed and can be seen from far away at night to verify it closed the door.
Cons - Wires connecting the battery case to the circuit board are thin, feel easy to break when changing batts
Nothing tells you string length. Unwind it too far and it comes all the way out. requires disassembly entire unit to get it back on.
Convenient. Easy to set up and program. Since my door slides up tracks that are inside a raised coop, I mounted my opener to the outside wall so I don't have to climb in the coop to change batteries. I have the string routed over a couple pulleys to keep the direction change smooth. Red LED light flashes when door is closed. It can easily be seen hundreds of feet away. Down side, nothing I saw on Amazon listed the length of the string. I let string unwind too far and it came out all the way. Its not tied to the motor inside the unit. To get it on, you have to completely disassemble the whole thing which may void warranty. I later read the string is 3 feet long and the manufacturer sells a 5 foot replacement.
The wires that plug the battery case into the circuit board are thin as hairs and held on by small amount of solder. It seems very delicate and easy to break wires. Be careful when changing batteries. Overall, great alternative to having electrical power in coop.
Pros - Does what it should be
Cons - Difficult to calibrate open and close door, expensive
I purchased the Premium Chickenguard controller box only about 4 months ago. The motor can handle 2.2lbs and my aluminum door only weight .8lb, which heavy enough to close the door. I purchased this because the coop about 60 feet away from the house and it runs on the AA Nimh battery. It was expensive, but useful not to deal with open and close the coop every night. I did have trouble calibrate the door to open and close. The procedure is easy, but it tend to stop part way during the calibration process for some reason. The automatic door has been working fine after successful calibrated in the last 4 months. I also added a dual LED flasher light with battery operated 10 days ago for easy to see at night from distant when the door closed and deter predator away. It's also helpful when on vacation because I can put a wireless camera point at the coop and check through the phone. For those who on vacation or come home late, my recommendation 1) the automatic open/close door 2) automatic feeder 3) roll egg nest box 4) horizontal water system
Pros - Lets the girls out in the morning at sunrise, and closes them in securely at dusk.
Cons - Transmission failed after 2 1/2 years
I was a little squeamish about ordering the ChickenGuard door opener initially because of the price ($230 on Amazon). We ordered the ASTx Extreme model early in our coop build because it advertised the ability to lift heavier doors than the standard model, giving me options when it came to design. I have to say, the peace of mind it gives us has taken any doubt out of our minds about it being worth every penny. When we first moved our hens to the new coop, we wanted them to stay indoors for about a week to get used to where home was and know that's where they were supposed to go to sleep, So, for that week I put the opener in the manual mode so it would stay closed. Once we were comfortable letting the girls out in the run, I set it to work on the light sensor, so it opens and closes based on daylight instead of the clock, thus automatically adjusting times as we get closer to fall and winter. Now, when I have to go to work well ahead of daylight, I know the girls will be let out at the proper time, and when I get home late, know they will be snug and secured indoors. It will work just fine on the timer mode if you desire to set a specific time for opening and closing, or full manual if you still want to be there to let them in and out.
I was going to use a thin metal door, but decided against it because of cold conduction in our sub zero temps in the winter. Instead I used 1/4" plywood, and the ASTx Extreme has no trouble lifting it as needed. Overall we highly recommend this item to anyone interested in the convenience of an automatic door for their coop.
Update: 4/5/2019 Went to check on the chickens tonight and saw the door was only 2/3 shut, and a message on the screen said "clear door jam". Long story short, after much work and checking it turns out the tiny transmission apparently stripped a gear and the whole unit is Kaput. I have sent a message to the ChickenGuard company since we are still within our three year warranty period. I will update again once I find out how well customer service takes care of us.
Pros - Easy as pie to program and to reset if you goof. Works like a charm.
Cons - I wish the wood side panels and the channels were made of metal.
I use this to open the enclosure to my hen house so it is fully exposed to the elements. I think I am going to have to construct a roof over it to protect the wooden side rails, other than that I absolutely love this thing. It works brilliantly and puts me at ease if I forget to close the hens in and wake up at three in the morning in a panic. Hope it doesn't fail. So far so great.
Feb 8 2018 Update: Absolutely love this thing. The birds are trained to it and are inside before the door shuts. One hen learned the hard way and got shut out until I rescued her and now she is the first one in. Batteries seem to last forever. Excellent product, highly recommended.
Pros - Fast, Powerful, Functions in Cold
Cons - String is a Little Brittle in Winter, Frequent Battery Changes, Slow in Cold
What really sets the ChickenGuard apart is its light sensing capability. No more birds getting locked out because you forgot to set the timer. Simply take the measurement after all the birds are away and it will close at that light level.
I really love the convenience of mine though I find that the batteries must be replaced once in the Summer and 2-3 times in the winter. I do have the ASTx Extreme model with the bigger motor so some of the battery issues may be attributed to that.
Once it gets cold the screen is quite sluggish in response but over 32 degrees Fahrenheit it works like a charm.
In the fall the string on mine broke, nearly killing one of my ducks. The hassle of manually letting the birds out in the morning was not fun, but the great people at ChickenGuard sent me a new string that was here (Northern Michigan) in less than 4 days. Couldn't be happier with the product and the people behind it!
Pros - Don't need to get up at dawn to let the chickens in the run, warning light before batteries go flat, choose the light intensity to open and close
Cons - Not very ergonomic to install and to change batteries, quit expensive for such a simple apparatus.
This ChickenGuard door opener is really wonderfull. Especially in the summer when the chickens are awake long before I get out of my bed. They can go into the run soon after the sun comes up. In the evenening when my birds are roosted the opening to the run closes automaticly. This way my chickens are more safe during the night. I have this ChickenGuard for 8 months now and never had any problems of disfunction.
I only bought the the electronic box and made the closing shelf with an old plastic trencher who had just the right size. The closing shelf drops smoothly between two wooden strips with a recess/groove.
One more thing. We easily go out for a weekend or a holliday because it's no burden for our neighbours to to take care of our flock. They only have to supply fresh water and food once a day. In return the get the eggs. The only problem since we have this opener is, that we have a lot of neighbours who like to babysit my chickens.
Pros - Battery operated, easy to program, light sensor backup for season change, can work with pulley system
Cons - A bit pricey, but worth it, and cheaper than Brinsea's ChickSafe version.
This is the best automatic chicken door opener on the market today. There is a great review by a backyard chicken owner on YouTube that you got to check out! No longer is there a need to wake up early in the morning to let the girls out, or worry about getting home after a night out. It is easy to install and being battery operated, you don't need a plug or power source near the coop. Great design! Best price at www.myfavoritechicken.com, but also available on Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. The manufacturer is also very responsive to inquiries and honor their 2 year warranty on it. I've purchased two of the Extreme models, and they have never failed me, been using them for over 2 years now.
Pros - Uses light sensor or timer or mixture of two.Battery operated.Bought the EXTREME model which works with my heavy door.
Cons - Non so far love it.
I'm not technically minded at all but had no trouble installing and setting timer etc.There is also a good youtube video. $270.00 was NZD and included shipping England to NZ.1 week door to door!