Here's the situation: three of my housemates and I are building and managing a chicken coop together. We are all graduate students. We all keep pretty late hours with all the work we have to do. None of us is overly enthused about running outside in the morning to let the chickens out of their coop and into the run, and it would actually be a little hard for any of us to commit to being at home at dusk all the time. We have department meetings, classes, reading groups, teaching, office hours, and still more work. And when we don't have all this work, we have a rare happy hour. Given the demands of our work, school work, and the occasional social obligation, I thought I would dip into my rainy day fund and get an automatic door opener/closer. (If it matters, I'm looking at the Add-a-Motor D20.) Here's where things get complicated. Because we're coöperatively managing this coop, my housemates are uncomfortable with me making such a large individual contribution to our collective project. Even if we split $100 four ways, though, it would still be difficult for my housemates to manage another $25 each on top of all the other start-up costs we're incurring. Coming up with a DIY solution isn't feasible either: We're barely carpentry-competent enough to cobble together a coop. Electrical work is entirely beyond our capabilities without explicit, tried and true directions. We can't, for instance, figure out what's happening in this DIY guide. So we can't get an automatic door opener for 'political' reasons, we can't make an automatic door for aptitude reasons, but we still need something that lets the birds out so our neighbors don't complain of morning noise and lets them go in when they want to roost. Or do we? Our run will be a veritable Fort Knox of runs. The bottom will be entirely lined in 1/2 inch hardware cloth which will be secured to the foundation (and then covered with 6-8 inches worth of sand). The run will be completely enclosed on all sides and the top with very well-fastened hardware cloth. In theory, this should keep the raccoons and rats out of our coop. If this is the case, do we even need a pop door? Could we make do with just an opening that would let the birds in and out as they pleased?