How do you teach chickens to use auto door?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BettyJo, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. BettyJo

    BettyJo Out Of The Brooder

    After deciding that an automatic door would put us at ease in the evening when no one is around to shut the man door at dusk, we purchased an ADOR1. It works, but the chickens are being stubborn. Only 3 hens and 5 babies have figured it out. The remaining 2 roosters and 12 hens would rather roost on the railing than go inside. We keep the main door closed so they don't have a choice, and I've coaxed them with treats, and keeping the light on in the coop, but they aren't catching on.[​IMG]

    Any helpful hints would be appreciated[​IMG]

    The photo to the left is my coop.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    So what I'm reading is that you're asking them to use a different door than the one they're used to.
    They're creatures of habit and can be stubborn. I would keep the man door closed to force them into the new door and put it in manual mode so you can close it after they're in. When dusk approaches and before they roost elsewhere, give them some scratch grains inside the new door to encourage them to use it. Then lock them in.
  3. BettyJo

    BettyJo Out Of The Brooder

    I'll admit that I have kept the main/man door shut for only the second half of the day, due to my concern about hawks. When frightened, they will all run in the door they are used to, and I'm afraid they can't take cover quick enough. We have a 6 foot fence surrounding their 50 X 70 ft run, but only some netting (and string art, I call it) over top to deter big birds. I have put treats/grain on entrance to auto door, which the little ones figured out. I understand what you are saying, and I need to be more diligent with your recommendations. Thank you!

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