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automated way to close up coop at dusk?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jhwalker78722, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. jhwalker78722

    jhwalker78722 New Egg

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    Jul 24, 2011
    Apologies if this thread is already running somewhere else in the forum - couldn't find one though ...

    Lost our first flock of 6 chickens to raccoons over about a year - I think my increasing diligence and some incremental deterrents helped, but didn't solve the problem ... All the killings have happened when a hen escapes the run and doesn't return to the coop and tries to roost overnight somewhere else or when our family is away from the house until well after dark ... but they got the last hen much earlier in the evening, before it really got dark

    So now I'm wondering about adding some dusk-dawn sensor or timer driven means of closing the door on the coop. Anyone heard of that? It would seem to at least improve security when we're not around ...

    Also, we didn't have a rooster last time - does having a rooster significantly deter raccoons?

    thanks!

    Jim in Austin
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    [​IMG]
    There are automatic door openers and in fact, since they run a banner ad on BYC, I think one company that makes them might even be a BYC sponsor. Keep an eye out for the banner ads. Some handy-type people have even made their own using a variety of small motors. I've always thought a sensor would be a great way to go so that it closed based on the the amount of light (or dusk) rather than on a timer that would have to be adjusted throughout the year. I'm not actually sure if such a thing exists - maybe you can invent it? I guess you'd want to set the amount of light really low though to prevent it closing and locking the girls out when light gets low for a thunderstorm. If you do a search on "automatic door opener", you'll probably find links to quite a few threads on the subject and hopefully between them all you can get the info you need to install your own. Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  3. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    172
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Quote:I didn't see this question until I'd answered the other. No, a rooster is no match for a raccoon. The best you could expect him to do is to warn the girls and try to get them to safety. However they would need to have a really safe, raccoon-proof area to retreat to safety in order for him to be able to help you at all.
     
  4. MysticScorpio82

    MysticScorpio82 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Maine, USA
    There is a thread (29 pages long) about automatic coop door opener/closers, it was just kinda hidden. Here is the link to it [​IMG] https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=99668

    It
    has a TON of helpful tips, advice and how other people made their auto doors, so hopefully you will find a design that works best for you! Good luck and I am sorry to hear about your losses! [​IMG]
     

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