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Automatic Chicken Coop Doors

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bayareapilot, Jul 7, 2010.

  1. bayareapilot

    bayareapilot In the Brooder

    Jun 8, 2010
    San Francisco
    Quick question: I've seen the automatic chicken doors that can be programmed to open and close at preset times; but nowhere in the FAQ of the products I've looked at is there mention of some safety feature to prevent the door from closing on a chicken. Is their a fail-safe built into the commercially available auto chicken doors? Since I have my chicks on closed circuit tv, I've entertained the notion of a remote operated door.
  2. Engteacher

    Engteacher Poultry, Poetry, and Prose

    Sep 1, 2009
    Hastings, MN
    I have Foy's automatic door. It closes so slowly and is, in fact, so light that it would do no harm. One night, one of our hens was sitting in the doorway when the time came for the door. She muttered as she moved, but wasn't harmed in any way. It works like a charm. I couldn't be happier!
  3. TexasTony

    TexasTony Chirping

    Jun 22, 2009

    Your question is a very good one. A door that can trap or injure your chickens doesn't make much sense.

    Take a look at the door we make: www.chickendoors.com .

    We've designed a number of features into it exactly with this purpose in mind. First, our door closes like a regular house door. The big advantage there is that it won't bind and get stuck open. So it has a very different look and also has different issues to address.

    Let me list out the features to prevent trapping or injuring a chicken:
    1. The door is torque-limited. This means that the door won't hurt the bird due to the pressure from the motor.
    2. The edges of the door have a plastic edging to prevent cutting the bird with a sharp edge. The door itself is also slightly flexible to reduce injuries.
    3. In the evening when the door closes, there is a one minute delay and the door opens again for ten seconds. If a bird has been stuck in the door, this will allow it to get out of the door. We're patenting several features of the door including this one.
    4. The door closes fairly slowly as well. It takes about 5 seconds.

    I can't speak for what other door manufacturers do but this was our approach.

    In terms of a remote control door, I've been asked to build one that works with a TV remote, and even building an iphone app! No, I haven't done these as yet. I can just see how someone would use it. Put the La-z-Boy chair by the window. When a hen walks up to the coop to go in, hit the remote & close the door as she gets there. The confused hen starts walking away, and they'd open the door. Hen turns to go in and the door closes again. It would be more entertaining than most television nowadays! But don't let the hen local union find out about it...

  4. MobileChickenCoops.com

    MobileChickenCoops.com In the Brooder

    Jan 30, 2009
    Burnet, Texas
    We install the pullet-shut chicken doors from www.chickendoors.com on our coops and our customers love them. They are reliable, easy to use, and secure. As tony mentioned the door will stop if a chicken happened to get stuck and open back up long enough for them to get into the coop. A great product that you will love.
  5. Settin'_Pretty

    Settin'_Pretty Songster

    Feb 10, 2008
    North Georgia
    way too expensive at $180
  6. TexasTony

    TexasTony Chirping

    Jun 22, 2009
    Settin Pretty,

    "Way too expensive" is a relative statement. One fellow who recently bought a door just had weasels kill 40 laying hens in one night. At $15 a bird (not counting lost production), just in that one night he could have paid for 3 doors. He completely disagrees with you.

    It may not be the right product for you, hence 'too expensive' for your needs. My good friend drives a $45,000 dually ford truck. It is 'too expensive' for me, but then I don't need to haul a backhoe on a trailer around the county. For anyone who doesn't have the time or skill to make a door, or don't want to risk unreliability operation from their 'engineering skills' then this is a reasonable option. I don't want to turn this into an argument, I'm just trying to point out that different people have different needs.

    But compare our door to other plywood or plastic automatic doors out there in the same price range. Doors that will rot, warp, bind and fail within a year or two, those are 'too expensive' in my opinion. I think you'll find our door stands head and shoulders above the competition.

    1 person likes this.
  7. ray2310

    ray2310 Songster

    Apr 4, 2009
    Smithfield, PA
    I recently installed the door from Foy's. It closes so slow I can't imagine it hurting a chicken. All my birds are up on roost when it closes anyways.

    Settin pretty, I paid more than $180. It wasn't too expensive for me and has been worth every penny.
  8. NurseDr

    NurseDr In the Brooder

    After looking at other options I installed the Pullet Shut door on my Stagecoach Tractor. I looked at other designs and the drapery motor types, would have been about the same cost with the motor, timer, door, etc. I needed a door that swung open. easy to install, four screws I have been using it for 3 months and not one problem. There are no exposed mechanical parts to malfunction. My 11 year old has tried to shut a hen door and the just slip through. Only once in 3 month with my seven 16 week hens, has one not made it into the coop at night. I think this maybe due to the second open and shut at night for those that get distracted.

    The cost of the door added significantly to the cost of the coop, but I need a system that was reliable. I travel 5 to 6 times a month and this makes it possible to keep happy chickens with my schedule. While others watch them, I would not expect my 11 year old or friends to let the hens out at 6 AM into the run. So, like already said expensive is relative. It maybe not be worth it for some folks , but the reliability, efficiency, safety, and the cool factor are worth it to me.
  9. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging Staff Member Premium Member 9 Years

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I too have the Foy's door opener. It seriously closes so slowly that it's not possible for it to close on a chicken. Plus it goes off of tension in the fishing string. If a chicken were to stand there, the slack in the string would cause the door to stop.

    I have 2 from Foy's and as soon as I finish my new coop, I'll be purchasing a 3rd. It is well worth every penny.
  10. Tigerjane

    Tigerjane Songster

    Jun 17, 2010
    Pflugerville, TX

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