Automatic Chicken Door and Raccoon

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SandyK, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. SandyK

    SandyK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Everyone,

    Need some advice. After 5 years of having an automatic chicken door opener, a raccoon chewed through our heavy duty netting covering the run and pulled up the chicken door in the middle of the night. He actually did this three different times. We figured out how he was getting in, patched the hole reinforced everywhere we could think of and put an extra layer of netting on. We did manage to trap that raccoon and take him far away.

    Yesterday, I discovered another large hole in the netting and digging where he tried to find a way out. He must have gone back through the hole in the net eventually. No chickens lost this time. Hole patched again.

    Now I'm looking for a automatic door that a raccoon can't push up with his paws. Mine is made out of thin wood.

    Any suggestions that have worked for you would be appreciated. I've read about lots of them available in the market, but hearing from other chicken owners would be best.

    I dearly love my girls and can't lose any more.

    Thank you!!!
    Sandy
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Conway SC
    There is all kinds of chicken doors on you tube with auto locks. Check some of them out. I never relocate a predator but that's your call.
     
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  3. Fire Ant Farm

    Fire Ant Farm Get off my lawn Premium Member

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    I have these - I use the one with the Photo Sensor and the little solar panel/battery. Pricey, but work really well and worth it to me. Recently I needed a couple more, and since they are made not far from me, I just went to pick them up in person, and met the guys making them. Super guys.

    Anyhow, they work well. I can highly recommend them based on my experience. They cannot really be pulled open because the door (opens to the side, not up) is a bit recessed into a metal frame.

    https://www.chickendoors.com

    (No affiliation, blah blah blah)
     
  4. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been using the "pullet shut" doors (chickendoors.com) for over three years and have never had any issue with predators trying to get in. I have three of them, they are easy to program for closing and opening and are very strong for wind and predators.
     
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  5. Fire Ant Farm

    Fire Ant Farm Get off my lawn Premium Member

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    Hear hear. When I went to pick mine up, I expressed concern about the larger birds perching on the open door. The guy told me he'd actually put a feed sack on one before (not that he'd recommend that routinely, of course), so they're plenty strong.

    The only time I had an issue was when something chewed on the wire wrapping at the photo sensor (a hawk I suspect because I had one who would perch on the coop at the time), and we had had a lot of rain. I looked out the window one night and the door wasn't shut. I freaked out, went out with a magnet and shut it manually. The next morning I ordered another photo sensor, and in the meanwhile, the following day it occurred to me to wrap the damaged part in electrical tape. Wouldn't you know, the sensor started working again. So I have an extra sitting around just in case. :thumbsup
     
  6. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some of my hens perch on the door some times, I may say they are not big breeds (EEs and Wyandottes). Another point I want to make based on my experience with these doors is that I stopped using the photo sensors because in some occasions when there was a storm coming, it would get dark and the door would close with the chickens out in the yard. Of course this did not happen often but I didn't want this to happen while I was gone. I solved the problem by using the manual programming, this way the doors close and open all the time at the set times regardless of the light outside. If it is rainy in the mornings the chickens don't even come out even if the door is open. The downside of this is that I have to set the doors several times a year to compensate with the shortening of the day light but I do not mind doing it.
     
  7. Fire Ant Farm

    Fire Ant Farm Get off my lawn Premium Member

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    That's never happened to me (yet), but VERY good to know - thanks for letting me know. :thumbsup
     

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