Automatic pop doors safe?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by karlamaria, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. karlamaria

    karlamaria Songster

    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    We are planning on getting one but I wanted to know a few things first. Will it go down slowly so if chickens are in the way they can move fast enough? If the power goes out can they be manually opened? Will they work well in winter months if kept dry?

  2. GardeNerd

    GardeNerd Songster

    Mine goes down slowly. It is one of the Add A Motor controllers.

    It lifts a light weight plexiglass door, so it isn't heavy enough to injure a chicken if it broke and came down on a chicken like a guillotine. It fits down in a groove so a critter couldn't get into it accidentally when shut. The few times we have been without power, I just lift the string to let the hens out and hook it off to the side, unplug the motor until the power is running again, and then readjust when the power is on. My motor is on the inside of the coop, so it stays dry in the wet months. It will be as dry as your coop is. Some of the solar ones can take the elements outdoors.
  3. fireguy56

    fireguy56 Songster

    Oct 2, 2010
    Slidell, Louisiana
    Hi, Have two coops and both with add-a-motor controlled doors made from 1/8" aluminum. Both work great and do indeed go down slowly. My chickens area always in long befor the doors close. You can add solar option, mine are on timer plugged into 110v outlet. Havn't had a power outtage issue yet, but if so, easy to lower manually then re-set timer. Love them......wouldn't go any other way. Good luck You can see both of my set ups on my page.
  4. KDK1

    KDK1 Songster

    Jun 29, 2011
    Tennessee Plateau
    I've got mine hooked up through an old UPS that I just put a new battery in so I don't have to worry about power outages.
  5. mlm Mike

    mlm Mike Sunna and Mani Premium Member Project Manager

    Aug 14, 2010
    Hardy Township, OH
    Mine is battery operated, goes down slow, stops if it would hit something.
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    They're very safe. Really, nobody would use them if they were chopping chickens in half.

    I didn't want to mess with building one from parts, as easy and cheap as everybody says they are. I have purchased three of them, two of my favorite kind and another kind when the company was out of stock when I wanted to order a third.

    I prefer the battery-operated doors with solar sensor for opening and closing triggers. The batteries - 4 AA batteries - have lasted in each controller for more than a year before they needed to be changed.

    The other kind I bought requires electrical power, and since I now have a coop WITH power, I ordered it. It works fine, but yes, when the power goes out, chickens can be stuck in or out of the coop, depending on when the power loss occurred. As soon as the power comes on again, the door will either open or close, depending on what state it was in when the power went out.

    Battery operated doors are obviously not dependent upon electrical power, and the light sensor is wonderful at the factory setting. Just perfect.

    Both models have metal tracks for metal doors, so the weather doesn't warp anything. Also, the controllers are inside the coop. If you get one with a timer to control the door, you will have to keep adjusting it for the change in the number of hours of light (seasonally). I have found the timers don't do well in dusty environments. Hello? A chicken coop? The battery operated one comes with a cover for "the works" so that doesn't happen. Also, I've had chickens jump on the timer and move the little tabs, changing the opening and closing times.

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