Best Automatic Chicken Door Openers???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jcbydesign, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. jcbydesign

    jcbydesign Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 21, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I am already tired to going out in the rain (Portland OR) in AM/PM to open door. Didn't plan well and have to open from inside coop. So, any recommendations on the best (most reliable) auto door?
    I am not sure if a solar powered one would work here in grey Portland - ???
    Thanks a bunch![​IMG]
     
  2. mons02035

    mons02035 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2010
    Carmel, Maine
  3. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    I use this one - been perfect but the cold seems to have caused it some issues.

    Expensive - but I love it. Saves me having to get up early & open the coop & I don't ever forget to close it!

    http://www.chickendoors.com/
     
  4. jcbydesign

    jcbydesign Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 21, 2010
    Portland, OR
    Quote:What issues in the cold and at what temp? Does it come with everything you need, including the actual door? Is it an adjustable timer? Does it work off battery or need eletrictiy? [​IMG]
     
  5. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    Quote:What issues in the cold and at what temp? Does it come with everything you need, including the actual door? Is it an adjustable timer? Does it work off battery or need eletrictiy? [​IMG]

    It comes with everything but the power & you get to decide if you want it to run off a battery or plug.

    I run mine off a deep cycle marine battery & plug in a trickle charger. All of that because I didn't want to take a chance that a power outage would stop the door from opening / closing.

    You can just as easily plug in a 12 volt adapter & hook it up.

    Its a very high quality item & I'm very happy with it.

    The timer is internal. You use a magnet to reset it & then use the magnet again to open it. The door will forever remember the time it opened & will open the same time every day.

    in the evening you use the magnet again to close the door & it will forever remember the time to close. It even re-opens the door for a minute some time after it closes just in case some birds don't make it by the first close.


    I have just recently had cold issues - it was in the teens when it started acting up. It was only an issue for a couple days, but they were days the girls didn't want to go out anyway. We had 4 inches of snow & they thought they were on Mars.

    I thawed it out & it seems to be fine now - but I'm at work now & leave before its supposed to open. Since we free range we like to keep them locked up until reasonably late in the morning so the rooster doesnt dance around under the neighbors bedroom window & wake them up.
     
  6. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    I've only had 2 issues with the door.
    1. Cold issue mentioned before (but the door is exposed to the rain & ice)
    2. If I don't have the trickel charger on the battery it will only last 30 days or so. The instructions say it will last 6months to 1 year w/o recharging - but mine (brand new huge battery) only lasted 30 days.

    Also the door itself opens & closes very slowly so no cutting birds in half.
     
  7. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Massachusetts
    I made my own with a motor that cost $99. Its fool proof all except for really humid days. occasionally the wood will expand on humid days and the door doesn't slid down. Ive heard really good things about the foy auto doors
     
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I have one like they sell at Foy's and Wells. It's mounted on the inside and has the external light sensor. You can also get a timer version. It runs on 4 AA batteries and cold hasn't been an issue for it. We've had it since mid-2007, I think. It gets down to -20 F here in a normal winter.
     
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I, too, have a Foy's automatic door; I use the light sensor. It uses batteries for power - the light sensor is just the trigger. There is also a timer, if you are really concerned about grey days, but I don't think you have to be worried about that issue. If you were using solar power to run it, maybe. But you're not: plain old AA or AAA batteries, I forget which.
     
  10. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    I also have the one from http://www.chickendoors.com/

    Construction
    wise it is definitely the best door on the market. All the other doors are either made out of wood and/or just use gravity to keep the door closed... that's not safe enough IMHO if you've got coons around (that are strong and very dexterous).

    The circuitry is very cleverly built and housed in a box that is suppose to be totally weather proof. I live in a pretty temperate climate, so I haven't been able to test it in the crazy heat or cold. There are times that the door seems to studder just a tiny bit that sometimes makes me nervous, but I've had it running for 9 months and never had it fail to open or close.

    Mine has main AC going through a trickle charger to an old car battery and then to the door. I use the battery just to cover my bases if our power goes out (which it has about 3 times since) and then I don't have to worry about resetting the unit.

    midget_farms, when your door has problems in the cold, does it just fail to open? I wouldn't mind that so much, but failing to close, or the timer getting reset (so it could open in the middle of the night) would be a HUGE issue.
     

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