Concerns about automatic chicken door

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by NHCrazy4Chicks, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. NHCrazy4Chicks

    NHCrazy4Chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 20, 2010
    Southern NH
    Hello! So many people have the automatic chicken doors and I love the idea! I know I'm probably being silly, but I have two fears. What if I have a slow poke who dilly dallies in the run and doesn't get in before the door closes? And what if, God forbid, the door closes on one of my girls??? Things like that scare me. Can anyone confirm or ease my fears?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jennh

    jennh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2007
    Lititz
    Hi! I have two automatic door closers. I LOVE them!! [​IMG]
    #1, the door closes so slowly that they wouldn't get caught. And if they did, they could just get out from underneath it. My doors are Plexiglass, as they don't want the doors to be too heavy. This summer I am changing out the plexiglass with hardware cloth so air can circulate. I lost two BJG chicks this summer due to a possum getting in when I didn't have the door openers. I was leaving the doors open, but the run was enclosed. Lesson learned quickly [​IMG] As to one not getting in on time, that DID happen to Rosemary Rock. Once. Never happened again. I do, however, go do a head count every night when I go to the coop to close the gate to the run. I HIGHLY recommend the auto door openers.
    One other thing, I work every Friday night 'til 9:00. It's SO nice not having to worry about the doors being closed. I used to ask my husband to close them when he got home, but sometimes he didn't get home 'til late. Then I'd worry. Not anymore!
    [​IMG] my automatic door openers. If you're interested, give a shout. There are some inexpensive ones, not the $185 ones. I got 2 for approx $80 apiece.

    Jen
     
  3. 3chimama

    3chimama Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    One of my fears is that a raccoon or such would get shut in with the girls!!
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    MOST raccoons are out at night; you set a timer or use a light sensor to close the door before dark.

    Mine uses a light sensor and closes at dusk (it is also adjustable but the factory setting has been perfect) and doesn't open until slightly after dawn.

    Only one bird was ever left out at night - she slept in one of my other coops without an auto door that ONE night. After that she made it into the coop on time.

    I wish I had one on every coop, but that will come some day.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2010
  5. Engteacher

    Engteacher Poultry, Poetry, and Prose

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    Sep 1, 2009
    Hastings, MN
    I bought an automatic door opener late last spring. Since then I've had birds caught out in the dark just twice. One time I had thrown scratch down just before bedtime and my cochin decided to raid the fridge one last time before turning in for the night, and the second time was something similar. We always double check that everyone made it in safely before going to bet. We would hate for anyone to get stuck in the run.
     
  6. Thousand Oaks Family

    Thousand Oaks Family Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2010
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    Haven't had a problem yet. I love it.
     
  7. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    I worry that my birds will wander off. The decided to spontaneously free range today .

    Where can I get a reasonably priced automatic door? I will not spend $250 on some gold-plated widget from some dude's garage. I am not sure I can locate a $14.95 car antenna motor quickly. Tips?
     
  8. jennh

    jennh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2007
    Lititz
    Chicken.Lytle :

    I worry that my birds will wander off. The decided to spontaneously free range today .

    Where can I get a reasonably priced automatic door? I will not spend $250 on some gold-plated widget from some dude's garage. I am not sure I can locate a $14.95 car antenna motor quickly. Tips?

    I got mine from DHA (discount home Automation) $187 for TWO doors. You will have to get your own timer, though.

    Jen​
     
  9. Green_Eggs_and_Ham

    Green_Eggs_and_Ham Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 6, 2010
    Hi, I'm with Jen! I LOVE my door. [​IMG]

    Personally, I've never had trouble with my birds getting in on time. Don't know, just never have. I also got mine at Discount Automation. Here's their link: http://www.discounthomeautomation.com/Add-A-Motor-Chicken-Coop-Motor-AAD20

    I have a piece of aluminum as the door. It is not heavy and goes down pretty slow. I am currently set up with a dial timer. Got it at Lowes for $10.00.

    We are looking at the solar powered kit they talk about on the Discount Automation page. Anyone try this yet? [​IMG] It's cheap enough, but I want to make sure it's easy to install. Looks like the same one they recommend on the manual?? But from a different store???

    NHCrazy4Chicks, I highly recommend an auto door. THere are some expensive ones that are pretty cool. But we (I) looked all over and found just the motor was all I really needed.

    Good luck!
     
  10. kchisho

    kchisho Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2011
    Connecticut
    Well, it happened. I went out to check on the girls last night and one of the chickens had her neck caught in the automatic door! I'll have to admit, It was pretty scary. I opened up the door and it took her a few seconds to come around. Now I'm not sure what time to set the timer for the door to close. We always had it closing at dusk. We just recently started leaving the light on in the coop until 9 p.m. to give them some more daylight with the days getting shorter. I'm wondering if having the light on in the coop confused the chicken. It was just dusk and not totally dark out. [​IMG]
     

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