Automatic Doors

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sab, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. sab

    sab Songster

    Jul 28, 2010
    Ripley, WV
    I am on our on 3rd door in less than 6 yrs. As such, I just wanted to make a statement about these automatic doors. Anyone looking to install an automatic door, should absolutely understand, and even expect, that the initial outlay of $200-300 will likely have to be repeated in 1-3 yrs. Yes, you read posts from folks that have had this door or that door for 5 yrs and longer. And those cases are true. But there are likely, just as many cases like mine.

    Now I really do love the auto doors. Truly think they are worth the $$. I just wish to goodness, they were dependable. Of course, I'm of an age that I remember when $300 bought you a clothes dryer that lasted for years. My thinking is that for $200-300 these doors really ought to be much more dependable. I don't know if they are made overseas or here in the US or where the $$ goes to, what the mark up is, but my expectations have been dashed with each door.

    While building the coop, we ordered the pullet-shut door. Loved it. Loved the way it closed. Didn't much care for the way it had to be reprogrammed all the time. Then it quit working.... after about 3 ½ yrs. Called the company - to replace the motor cost almost as much as a new door. So we tried another door...

    The Adoor -- my engineer husband loved the mechanism. Always, for almost 2 yrs, the opening/closing mechanism was never dependable. The straw that broke the proverbial camel's back.... the door was working fine for several months then we had to change the battery. That's all, just a battery change. Then it started again, opening in the AM, not closing in the PM, not opening in the AM, closing in the PM, opening & closing just fine, then not... This behavior is what we have dealt with for almost 2 yrs... then when we didn't think we could take the unpredictable behavior any longer, it would open/close as it was suppose to dependably. Then the battery change.... absolutely had enough....

    Yesterday, we installed the Foy ChickenGuard. Time will tell.....

    To date --- in less than 6 yrs., we've probably spent about $600+ on auto doors. Those are pretty darn expensive eggs, but I don't have the inconvenience..... Just saying'......
  2. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    I think your observation is fair, the do seem to cost too much, for too little. And even with an automatic door opener, I still find that I have to check it at night anyway. So other than letting the birds out in the morning, there may not be much to gain from your investment. Forking out $600 for auto pop doors is, really too much. I suspect that there is a certain level of having arrived… when your coop graces one too.

    Sorry that your luck has not been good, I have the Adoor like your last one. I like it for the same reason your husband does, it appeals to the type that appreciate sound engineering. I like the sprocket direct drive, mine has been working fine, but I have only had it for a month or so. Much like yourself, time will tell. I really don't want to get up to let the birds out, and I do enjoy my birds, so much like you, I suppose I will just keep buying one or another until I get too old to worry about.

    Best to you and your birds,

  3. jonalisa

    jonalisa Codswallop!

    May 28, 2013
    My Coop
    I totally agree.
    My Adorstore door is too confusing to completely depend on. A call to the manufacturer/owner made me realize that there were far more limitations designed in to the product than common sense capabilities. I was told I had an older version and he did offer to send me a newer circuit board, but it would still only give me flashing lights, to know which mode the door was in. And unfortunately, the man confessed he knows nothing about chickens. One conversation and I realized I had to either find a way to live with it or buy another. In the end, it really only saves me from getting up early to let the chickens out. In two months, it has opened on time every day except one - not sure why that was - but other times it did not close when expected or opened randomly.
    I still have to go out every night to be sure all 9 chickens made it in. I used yellow tape to put an X on the inside of the door and bought a web cam with night vision so I can check the door, on my tablet, to make sure it hasn't randomly opened.

    Please keep us posted on the ChickenGuard.
  4. sab

    sab Songster

    Jul 28, 2010
    Ripley, WV
    Good to hear I'm not the only one thinking this way. A person just has to be ready to spend some $$ if they want the automatic door. Fortunately, I have managed to master the art of live streaming - I have cameras in/on my coop/run and I can check the door without getting out of my chair. Can you spell lazy? (yes, SALLY).... But still..... defeats the purpose of having an auto door if you have to check it at night.

    ChickenGuard is opening and closing on time since installation. My complaint about this door is simply that it could conceivably be opened by the human like hands of a coon. It's a guillotine type door and it's not heavy. The previous 2 doors were very heavy. I couldn't pull them open. But this ChickenGuard door is easy to lift. That's my concern. Otherwise, it has both a timed opening and a light sensor opening -- you can use either or a combination of the 2. I can set the timer to close the door and let the sensor open it, not the timer. That part is very cool.

    But again.... time will tell.... But I seriously think this will be my last expensive investment for doors. I have already spent too much. There is a design out there using an automatic car antenna motor to open and close the door. That's where I'm going if the ChickenGuard fails.

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