Chicken controlled, constantly locked doors


8 Years
Jun 18, 2011
I was wondering if anyone has ever tried installing a door that is always locked, but that the chickens can still pass through.

For example those cat doors that only open for a cat with a magnetic 'key' on its collar.

I like the idea as I like to let my chickens free range but their time is limited as I am often out with my dog (who is normally their body guard). I figure if they ran back to the coop away from a predator then the coop would be even more of a safe haven if the door locked behind them, stopping the predator from pursuing them into the coop. It would also allow them to come and go as they please as my concern with sunrise/sunset auto doors is that someone will get locked out overnight or if you set it too late to avoid that a predator will get in. If would also stop my dog getting in and eating their poo!

My hens already push through a door to access their roosting/nesting areas within the coop. So wouldn't need much convincing with the different door. I figure the 'key'could be attached to a leg ring.

But yes, just wondering if anyone has tried this or something similar successfully or if there were any shortfalls.
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