Automatic (chicken controlled) coop door DIY

Manningjw

Songster
8 Years
Oct 5, 2011
1,094
89
191
Shoreline, Washington
I wanted to share my version of an automatically closing and opening chicken coop door that does not require a power outlet. A friend of mine brought up the concept which is what got me started on how to design something similar for my coop. The principal is quite basic and could be accomplished in an easier fashion if I hadn't been limited by the small size of my chicken coop.



As I said, this is a very very rough draft - I needed to finish it before having to go back to work so I didn't keep feeding the rats who figured out how to get into my coop and jump into the chicken feeder at night... I thought about using this just to close the feeder but decided it would be better to protect them from predators as well.




The peanut butter jar screwed down to the weighted side of the lever was the quickest solution I could come up with for adjusting the weight based on the number of chickens roosting. I have enough rocks/weight added to the jar that it takes 3 chickens roosting to close the coop door.

For the pulley system I used parachute cord(any quality non-stretch rope should work) and some cheap pulleys from your favorite local hardware store.

 

Manningjw

Songster
8 Years
Oct 5, 2011
1,094
89
191
Shoreline, Washington
Thanks you two! I will spend some time perfecting the movement. I imagine a vertical swinging door would work better for this as it would be more fluid than my current door is which is somewhat of a hang up. My coop door/tracts are somewhat rough cut and I will have to sand some of the surfaces down to get it working more reliably.
 

tishabear

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 30, 2014
11
0
21
Santa Clara, CA
Very cool idea! It's something that an electrically- challenged person like me could attempt.

As for smoothing the movement of the door, I was planning on using drawer rollers for my door (the metal part that helps a kitchen cabinet drawer pull out smoothly). I salvaged them from some kitchen cabinets a neighbor was throwing out. Do you think that might work?
 
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Tracyree

Songster
8 Years
May 6, 2011
622
10
131
That is seriously GENIUS. I agree, patent your idea!! I am blown away at how clever this is.
 

Manningjw

Songster
8 Years
Oct 5, 2011
1,094
89
191
Shoreline, Washington
Very cool idea! It's something that an electrically- challenged person like me could attempt.

As for smoothing the movement of the door, I was planning on using drawer rollers for my door (the metal part that helps a kitchen cabinet drawer pull out smoothly). I salvaged them from some kitchen cabinets a neighbor was throwing out. Do you think that might work?
Yes, it should definitely work to make the door movement more fluid.
 
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