Auto Coop Door advice

Mfranks

Chirping
May 3, 2020
170
246
73
SW Michigan
I am in the process of building a permanent coop for my ladies and would like your input on Automatic Coop Doors. I like the idea of setting the door to open and close at dusk and dawn. I travel for work...or at least I used to travel for work:)....and like the idea of the door opening/closing if I am not home right away. What considerations should be factored in...Guillotine vs hinge style...programmable...??? Appreciate your help.
 

Big Doggie

Chirping
Mar 23, 2020
219
275
80
Mass
I am in the process of building a permanent coop for my ladies and would like your input on Automatic Coop Doors. I like the idea of setting the door to open and close at dusk and dawn. I travel for work...or at least I used to travel for work:)....and like the idea of the door opening/closing if I am not home right away. What considerations should be factored in...Guillotine vs hinge style...programmable...??? Appreciate your help.
I have the Omlet door that gives you the option of a timer or light sensor. I chose the sensor. So far after 3 months no problems.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
11,695
21,639
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
Things to consider:
- Is there anything impeding a door swing, or slide? When door is open, depending on style, you need enough clearance for the door panel to be above or beside the pop opening, or out from the pop opening.
- Timer vs light sensor? I opted for timer as we get seriously gloomy, stormy days where it's potentially dark enough to trip a light sensor (I have a light sensor off my garage so I know how nitpicky it can get). Also I don't want my chickens out at the crack of dawn, when a lot of wildlife is traveling past the run as it borders a creek.
- Power source? Doors can work off of battery, solar, or potentially plug-in if you have electricity in your coop. What would be most convenient/practical in your set up?
 

Mfranks

Chirping
May 3, 2020
170
246
73
SW Michigan
Things to consider:
- Is there anything impeding a door swing, or slide? When door is open, depending on style, you need enough clearance for the door panel to be above or beside the pop opening, or out from the pop opening.
- Timer vs light sensor? I opted for timer as we get seriously gloomy, stormy days where it's potentially dark enough to trip a light sensor (I have a light sensor off my garage so I know how nitpicky it can get). Also I don't want my chickens out at the crack of dawn, when a lot of wildlife is traveling past the run as it borders a creek.
- Power source? Doors can work off of battery, solar, or potentially plug-in if you have electricity in your coop. What would be most convenient/practical in your set up?
Thanks you for the great insight! Just when you think you have a handle on what you need to know...more unknowns pop up. I have 5 ladies now, but am building for the possibility of 15 in the future. Chicken math is REAL!! I also am out there at 6:15 most days to let them out, so the auto-door will be a splurge for sure. Thanks again
 

Poultry_In_Motion

In the Brooder
Jul 30, 2020
3
22
21
I did quite a bit of research and ended up ordering the ladies first door https://www.ladiesfirstchickendoor.com/

They are back ordered for about 4 weeks currently so I cannot offer feedback yet. Based on what I read this was the closest to offering everything I wanted.
I ended up going with these guys too. I have had my door for about a month or so. I love it, super easy to install and it works well. Set it and forget it. My 9-10 week old pullets are inside about an hour before it closes everynight. It has a safety switch to prevent the birds from getting squished and the door is controlled by a screw rather than a string so no critters can pry it open. Dusk/dawn open/close, no adjusting times as days shorten. It took about 6 weeks for me to get it, worth the wait IMO.
 

whiteboy

Chirping
Apr 23, 2020
110
105
70
Utah
I have a chicken guard extreme. It was installed in June and last night I go out and the door has had a "error" and wouldn't close. I had to disassemble, restore to defaults and reprogram everything in the dark. I considered just cutting the string, but then it wouldn't open in the morning and I have some younger pullets in witht he flock and didn't want them all locked in the coop with nowhere to run. That is the downside to the automatic doors.
 

Tre3hugger

Songster
Mar 21, 2020
1,685
5,149
243
NW Massachusetts
I have a chicken guard extreme. It was installed in June and last night I go out and the door has had a "error" and wouldn't close. I had to disassemble, restore to defaults and reprogram everything in the dark. I considered just cutting the string, but then it wouldn't open in the morning and I have some younger pullets in witht he flock and didn't want them all locked in the coop with nowhere to run. That is the downside to the automatic doors.
Long term solution. Cut a back up pop door and put a padlock on it. Totally secure until you need the backup.
 

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