Auto Duck/Chicken Door - Best ones for the $$

DogsnDucksMT

In the Brooder
Oct 16, 2019
8
14
24
Butte, MT
My ducks are super spoiled and my husband thinks I'm nuts for not wanting to leave them for a day. They have a very nice house that is heated and has electricity, nice size etc. Their door is operated by myself at night to lock them up in evenings after they put themselves to bed. I',d really like to get an auto one, but also one that I can run from the phone or computer as well ...just in case. I've been looking at them but would love to hear from people that actually have them in use...my current opening for them is 15" x 20" --
THANKS!!
 

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Slash3

Songster
Jan 29, 2019
121
241
111
Cumbria UK
Not sure about the door, but what heating do they have? Many people advise against heating for ducks, as if you lose power on a cold night they won't be acclimatised and the sudden change in temperature can kill them.
 

DogsnDucksMT

In the Brooder
Oct 16, 2019
8
14
24
Butte, MT
They have thermostatically controlled heating so as not to get too warm at night ,..we have sub zero ( sometimes -30 or worse FERENHeIGHT) more often than not here in Montana so I don't want to be freezing them out ,,,its on below 35and off above ,,,They stay n if its too nippy...but have the option to come in and they have wind breaks as well and shelter,,
 

Tevyes Dad

Leader of the Quack
Premium member
5 Years
Apr 22, 2014
2,660
1,078
296
Montana
Thanks for the call out @Miss Lydia sorry I don't respond as quickly these days. (I check BYC every once in a while). I am also in Montana. I have a heat lamp on a thermal switch that comes on at 0 and goes off at 10F. The ducks don't really appreciate it until it is below -10. Snow is a much bigger problem. When it gets below 0F they really need some straw outside to stand on or lay down on. If their feet stays in snow, it can get frost-bitten, as long as they can stay out of the snow (mostly) they do fine. It has gotten down as low as -40F since I've had them and -20F frequently. The light is suspended about 4ft off the floor so they can't get to it and it doesn't directly warm the bedding that much, but it can warm the ducks a little. It is suspended with a lamp chain that is bent into place around the lights suspension loop so that there is no way the lamp will fall. In this arrangement, the only thing that is too warm to touch is the actual light bulb, the shroud of the lamp stays cool enough to touch at those temperatures. I am comfortable with the fire hazard vs benefit of this arrangement. All other wiring is well out of ducks' reach and is inspected every year. (Also, see below, the ducks are never "locked" in their house so they could possibly flee if something I didn't plan on happened.) I have a camera in the duck house so I can see their usage patterns and they actually avoid the light around 10F, but start huddling under it around -15F If I could find the same thermostat at -10,0F I would use that.

On the automatic door, they are great for convenience, but always check on them. we lost a duck due to a freak non-opening incident. https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/r-i-p-snow.1000393/
Never had a problem after that, but be aware it could happen. Also, we no longer use the door because they now have a hardened run ( https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/destruction-and-genesis.1053388 ) that they have access to 24/7 so they can go in and out of the house as they please now. This gives us the advantage of them having a place they can live and be safe if we want to take an overnight trip and won't be around to let them in or out. Also in the winter there are some days that they stay locked in because it is difficult for both of us to let them in or out with the late mornings and early night fall. Mostly during those days, it is cold enough that they don't want to go far anyway.

Just my 2 cents.
 
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