Automatic coop door (timer)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Peepthis541, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. Peepthis541

    Peepthis541 Chillin' With My Peeps

    125
    1
    121
    Oct 25, 2008
    Eugene, OR
    Hello,
    Has anyone ever tried to implement an open and close mechanism for the coop door on a timer? Or thought of it?
    I would like to keep my hens in their coop overnight, but allow them to exit the coop through the door in the morning.
    I want them to be able to exit and not necessarily get up every single morning to let them out (open the door). Likewise for closing them in and keeping them safe.

    I am not sure how unsafe it is to keep the coop door open always. I basically have a coop (roosting and nesting area) built within a large sectioned off part of my yard. I have chicken wire fencing and even plastic netting up higher above 4 ft of the metal chicken wire. Lots of precautions toward predators, however, there are raccoons in my area and I do not underestimate their persistence.
    So, part of this coop door thing is safety, and another part is just keeping the coop shut and not letting too much heat escape in the winter.

    So, if I knew I would get up early every morning to open the door, and be home at the right time in the evening to shut them in, I wouldn't really need any kind of timed door mechanism. But I spend some nights at my girlfriends place, and don't always get up early in the morning when I am home.

    Thanks for any ideas! I am not even sure where or what to look for on google.
     
  2. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

  3. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    BTW, [​IMG]
     
  4. Peepthis541

    Peepthis541 Chillin' With My Peeps

    125
    1
    121
    Oct 25, 2008
    Eugene, OR
    Looks like the auto door is still quite the work in progress! I browsed the posts on the link you sent me and I am impressed with the ingenuity of a lot of people out there, yourself included!

    I love the water bucket system. It totally reminds me of those contraptions that captivated us as kids where one thing sets off the next, a whole chain reaction, that gives you an end result so far removed from the original action.

    For me, economy and aesthetic is important. I like the idea of a small mechanical switch that can be easily hidden, opposed to a large bucket being filled with water and emptied. Also, having two $30 timers working together seem to be counter productive to the issue of economy. But I am thinking about my garden irrigation timer. Maybe there are cheaper timer switches out there.
    I think the most ideal is a totally hands off system, where you don't have to open OR close the gate. I can see where setting up an open only or close only would be lots easier than both. Also, a system that does not decapitate any of my hens would be great! lol. But in my experience, hens tend to be pretty good about putting themselves to bed on time, as someone else pointed out as well.

    Well, I hope to learn and contribute to the continuing brainstorming!
     
  5. jasonak

    jasonak Out Of The Brooder

    75
    0
    39
    May 17, 2008
    wasilla,AK
    Hi
    Ive seen some where just what your looking for its a automatic door closes and opens with the sunset sunrise.Ill have a look see if I can find it for you,but I know they do make one they arent cheap though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2008
  6. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Hey Dave, thanks for checking out the site. Regarding your desire for a reliable, small, simple, aesthetic, hands-off system that is cheap is the dream of all of us. Unfortunately I think those things are pretty mutually exclusive. The "best" system out there that does most of what you want will be at least $200.

    The system I need / will probably build will only lower the door and will cost about $15 total for the main bits: timer, actuator, wall adapter.

    I'm not trying to be a wet blanket... I just know that I've been talking to engineers, scouring the internet, and discussing it on this forum for years and haven't found what you and I are both looking for. If anybody has a solution that does all the things you mention and is $100 or less I'd buy them up and put them in the BYC store in a second! [​IMG]
     
  7. Faye

    Faye Out Of The Brooder

    That's a sweet idea.... auto-door.... wow man that is like way high tech!!!
     
  8. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    I've been working on mine today and am almost done... I'll post some pics / videos soon.
     
  9. Peepthis541

    Peepthis541 Chillin' With My Peeps

    125
    1
    121
    Oct 25, 2008
    Eugene, OR
    Quote:Hey Rob,
    Love the guillotine! [​IMG] How does that mechanism work with the pin? Does it just switch one way? Like, does it go out AND in?
     
  10. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by