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Automatic Coop Doors item created by RedDrgn, Apr 18, 2012
Pros - easy installation/use all-aluminum construction sealed motor low maintenance
Cons - side-opening door not sutiable for all coops
This door is perfect for small coops with no room to install a vertically-opening door and/or no room for an interior installation. The door comes fully assembled, in a frame, and is super easy to install and use. We operate our in manual programming mode (extremely easy to set up) and power it with the optional solar panel kit. It won't shut on a chicken (e.g. pinch feet, feathers, etc.) and after it closes at it's designated close time, it will re-open in one minute and stay open for 10 seconds in case any flock stragglers were stuck outside.
Pros - Secure; just works!
Cons - None
We got this door after quite a bit of research and having it recommended by several people. We love it. It was easy to install and simply works! No hassles. No problems. I was worried about having to program it using a magnet, but that proved to be a non issue. I recommend it highly.
Pros - Works in all weather, fairly simple installation
Cons - Programming is a bit confusing at first
I've had this door for about 7 months in 90+ heat and -15 cold. It works as advertised and is reliable. The chickens will stand in front of it to get outdoors in the morning. I would recommend a windbreak/roof for winter months (I'm in Minnesota) to keep out snow and ice.
It can be operated manually, or programmed by time of day or use a photocell. I use the photocell, and haven't had any problems. It comes with a battery backup, but I've disconnected mine in the winter so I can unplug the door and it will stay closed on the bitter cold days.
Pros - Reliable
Cons - Drink your caffeine the day you put it in
I installed the door, photo sensor and solar panel last year. Once I got it set up it has worked flawlessly ever since. The only small problem I had was getting the connections to the battery to hold. Took me a bit to understand I had to crimp the metal connectors to make them hold. The photo sensor can easily be repositioned to place it in more sun (opens earlier, closes later) or more shaded (opens later, closes earlier). When we had bitter weather this past winter I sometimes used the magnet to close the door manually to shut the hens in. No problems there, the door resumes it's cycle the next day, opening in the morning. I did make sure to clear ice and snow off the edges of the door when we had the many feet this past winter. I'm in the process of adding a roof to part of the run, this should cut back on possible problems there. Overall I LOVE the door, it's one of the things that convinced me that keeping chickens would work for me
Pros - Well built, predator proof, easy to set up and install. Works in coops where there isn't enough space above to install a sliding door.
Door was super easy to install as it fit my opening. All I had to do is drill 4 holes, mount it and hook up the optional solar panel and battery($50). Door is $180 so $230 set up that way. Thought about the photo sensor but it's just as easy and more convenient for us to set the opening and closing time. We have it open at 10 AM so they have a chance to lay eggs in the coop and close at 8:30 PM. They are in the coop at 7:45 so that works so far. When we are home we usually let them out manually before 10 AM. Our coop is a re purposed raised dog kennel so it did not have room above for guillotine style door and I'm glad to have found and purchased this door!
With the roof overhang and the ramp going downwards I have no problem with snow impeding the door. You can also get the door with right hand hinges.
I don't think wind would ever bother this door as it is very sturdily built (O.K., maybe hurricane). You can also adjust how far the door opens to help break the wind in the colder seasons. Say you want to give them a chance to get out but don't want that icy blast on them if they choose to stay in the coop.
The door seals up tight so no little raccoon fingers can get in there to pry it open.
After living with this door on a timer for a few months we added the photo sensor option that opens the door at first light and closes it when it gets dark. Works great. Got tired of changing the timer when our days started to get shorter. I would look out and the door would be open and it was dark. We have lots of coons here and I want that door closed when it gets dark!
Pros - Work perfect, Never had any problem!!!
Cons - Nothing
Ordered one for big coop last year and order one for silkies pen this year. It works perfect, never had any problem. The door costs $180, Photo Sensor $15, Trickle charger plus battery $45 and shipping $20, Total $260
Pros - Easy to install... I no longer have to worry about letting the chickens out or locking them up. Great customer service.
Cons - nope
Installing the Pullet-Shut door to my coop was the smartest thing I've done in a long time.
I'm not exactly what you would call a morning person and on weekends there are days when I didn't let my chickens out till "brunch" time. On weekdays there would be times that I didn't make it home to lock them in until way after dark. Being able to automate letting my chickens out in the morning and not having to worry about safely securing them at night has been a huge help... for them as well as for me.
I opted for the PhotoSensor so I wouldn't have to reprogram the door when the days get shorter, as well as the solar panel and battery option because the coop is not near an outlet.
Besides not being a morning person, it would be far fetched to call me a handyman or do-it-yourselfer. Luckily installing this door is idiot proof and requires very few tools... A measuring tape and pencil, a drill with 1/4 bit, a saw, a screwdriver and pliers sufficed nicely. I do always read directions, and suggest you do too. I followed them and in a very short time..... "TA_DAH!!!" the chickens no longer have to wait for me!
The door is very well built and closes very securely. There is simply no way a coyote is getting in through that door. It's like a chicken vault!
A few months down the line I noticed that the door was not opening or shutting all the way. I tested the battery and it was fine. I tested the solar panel too just for good measure and it was putting out voltage. I unplugged and repulgged all the connections, but the door was still not working as it should.
I called the good folks at chickendoors.com. A very nice gentleman ( I wish i could remember his name. Sorry. ) patiently talked me through troubleshooting the problem. He concluded that it must be either the electronics or the motor and quickly sent me out new replacements.
The parts soon arrived and with a little work I was able to remove the old bits and replace them with the new bits. He also included a prepaid envelope to send the old parts back in.
The repair did the trick! My chickens are safe once more and now I can sleep in on weekends.
To sum it up:
~ the Pullet-Shut Automatic Chicken Door is a great product that does what it is supposed to do very well.
~ chickendoors.com is a reputable business with fantastic customer service. They stand behind their product.
Pros - Does what they advertise! Opens when Its suppose to, closes when its suppose to! Love the re-open feature to let in the stragglers.
Cons - None! I've had it for 6 months now and no issues whatsoever
What a great product! Love the fact that its made in the USA, and that everything they've said about it is true. Here's a recommendation though. If you are going to buy this, I would definitely get the photocell and the solar power panel. I didn't get the photo cell originally and had to order that after the rest arrived. With the whole package, its maintenance free. The solar panel keeps the battery charged (I don't have power in my coop so this is awesome!), the photocell opens and closes the door automatically so I don't have to do thing. And if there are still a few that don't get in, I've got the magnet taped to the end of a mop handle so I can easily reach over the fence and open the door back up without having to get into the run. Great idea guys. Solidly made, metal parts!!
Pros - Easy to install and use
I did alot of research looking at different automatic doors for my chickens. Due to my coyote population around my farm and them hunting later into the mornings in the fall and summer I wanted a door I could program for open times and not just work off of sunrise and sunset. During the winter months I can not let my flock out safely until around 11am vs in the summer they can safely free range after 8:30 am. This door is so easy to change the open and close times with the magnet, just adjust as needed. I purchased the solar panal and have not had any issues with it. Opens and closes daily as I want, no more concerns about not being home at dark to close the chickens up safely. Highly recommend it, really makes leaving my chickens easier, someone only has to check them in the evenings to gather eggs. Well worth the price.
Pros - easy to install, works very well, convenient, secure
Cons - expensive
I've had one of these doors installed on my coop for 5 years with no problems. It's not exposed to rain, snow or sun as it is under the cover of a roof. However, it has been exposed to a wide range of temperatures. It is SO NICE to be able to count on this automatic door to let the hens in and out in the morning and evening. It is a bit pricey, but the convenience is well worth it.
The door is very well constructed and predator-proof. The solar panel/battery combination have worked well, and are a great alternative to having to run an electric line or cord to the coop.
I did not opt for the automatic light sensor, so I do have to reset the door every month or two to keep up with changing sunrise/sunset times, but the reset process is very simple.