Anyone have experience with automatic coop doors?

2hotchicks

Songster
Sep 19, 2019
167
472
133
Southern Indiana
So, we're thinking about buying an automatic coop door. I'm not sure if that's the proper name for them, but you know, the doors that have a timer you can set to what time you want the door to open... I would really appreciate any info on them from people who have tried them. Here's some of the info that we are wondering about:
1.) Do they run on electricity or are they battery operated?
2.) How well do they work, and are there any brands that are really good (or really bad)?
3.) Can you set them for both what time you want them to open AND what time you want them to close?
4.) Do they still operate well in very cold climates? We installed a dog door on our house that opens when the sensor on our dog's collar gets close to it, but the door doesn't work very well when the temps get really cold (as in, way below zero).
Any info would be greatly appreciated, even if it's not one of my listed questions. I know this is the place I can get some honest answers. Thanks!
I have a Hentronix compact horizontal automatic door opener/closer that runs off a battery (12v?) that is charged with a little solar panel (included with purchase).
I'm only 1 month in but it's working great. You can let the unit open/close automatically at sunrise/dusk, set to open/close 10-40 minutes after sunrise/dusk, or set specific times to open/close. The door opening/closing settings are accessed via an app, super simple to use.
I haven't owned it long enough to comment on cold weather.
 

chickmom3941

Crowing
Feb 20, 2016
799
2,852
366
The Land of 10,000 Lakes (Minnesota)
I have the advanced auto chicken door module from Fleming Outdoors with my own plexiglass door. It works on electricity or batteries. It has a function where you put in your coordinates & it adjusts the time for opening or closing based on sunrise/sunset at your location. You can also put any amount of minutes before or after sunrise & sunset. it also can be done with just a timer. It is the pulley type & has worked great for 4 years.
So do you need to have your own door with this? Maybe I can google it and see exactly what it is. Something that has worked great for 4 years sounds like a well-made product! Thanks for your post, I'll have to check it out, as well.
 

chickmom3941

Crowing
Feb 20, 2016
799
2,852
366
The Land of 10,000 Lakes (Minnesota)
I have a Hentronix compact horizontal automatic door opener/closer that runs off a battery (12v?) that is charged with a little solar panel (included with purchase).
I'm only 1 month in but it's working great. You can let the unit open/close automatically at sunrise/dusk, set to open/close 10-40 minutes after sunrise/dusk, or set specific times to open/close. The door opening/closing settings are accessed via an app, super simple to use.
I haven't owned it long enough to comment on cold weather.
So it's a horizontal door, huh? I wonder if there's any advantages to that. The more I read all of these comments, the more I realize that I'll need to thoroughly research this issue. I want to get something that suits us the best and works very well. Thanks so much for your response. I really appreciate everyone's help!
 

Cindy in PA

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 8, 2008
2,567
801
321
Fleetwood, PA
So do you need to have your own door with this? Maybe I can google it and see exactly what it is. Something that has worked great for 4 years sounds like a well-made product! Thanks for your post, I'll have to check it out, as well.
No you can buy the whole unit with a metal (aluminum?) door, I just already had a door that slides up & down.
 

Chad Oftedal

Songster
Premium member
Dec 29, 2017
186
334
146
Woodinville, WA
My Coop
My Coop
@Yorkshiregal The one that @Cindy in PA referenced in this thread is the same one that I have. It has a "2nd Chance" option that you can enable. You can specify how long after the door closed the first time to wait to open again, and then how many minutes to leave it open before it closes for the last time of the night. That might work in your case with the ducks coming in later from partying.
 

MRichmond

Songster
Mar 12, 2019
81
244
107
Western Pennsylvania
Thanks for all the info! I'm going to check into the ADOR1, which you mentioned. I really only need the door three days a week, when I leave before it gets light out, and soon it will get dark way before I get home on those three days. Otherwise, if I don't get some kind of automatic door, the ladies will just have to stay in all day on those days, and I really don't want to do that to them.
I have the Ador1, too, and really like it. The girls no longer have to wait for me to get out there to go out and I don’t have to worry about them if I’m away from home in the evening. I have it set for early opening/late closing. It will also open a few minutes after it closes and stay open for a few minutes to let stragglers in. I got the canopy to keep rain or snow from building up, but my run is covered with a tarp, so it isn’t really exposed to weather conditions. You could always build a little overhang (think small porch roof) to protect it from the elements.
 

eikome

Chirping
Apr 26, 2018
47
102
67
Upstate NY
I live in a cold climate and I use a Chicken Guard Extreme.

1.) Do they run on electricity or are they battery operated? It's battery operated, but does have the option for a USB power cord. The no-name batteries lasted a year and half for me. And it does have a low-battery indicator the lights up for about a week before they finally go dead.

2.) How well do they work, and are there any brands that are really good (or really bad)? I like this one very much. I tried another brand that just didn't work well for me. Never any issues with the door on the chicken guard not opening or closing properly. The door is lightweight and since it's just on a pulley string, is very unlikely to injure a chicken IMO.

3.) Can you set them for both what time you want them to open AND what time you want them to close? Yes. Right now I have mine set to a timer to open in the AM, and to close an hour after the light sensor says it's dark in the PM. You can do any combination if timer/sensor with it. I have it mounted inside the coop, so I like that I can adjust the light settings as well. Never had a chicken caught outside overnight.

4.) Do they still operate well in very cold climates? The chicken guard extreme is specifically made for cold weather, we get temps below 0F frequently in winter here, and so far no issues.

It's not perfect (I'd like it to be able to automatically adjust for DST, or with GPS, and it's a little loud and a hassle to change the batteries), but I really love having an automatic coop door.
 

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