need quick help to decide on timed electric / solar coop door opener

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by BigCyg, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. BigCyg

    BigCyg New Egg

    Dec 17, 2011
    This is my first post, I am the newest of the new and look forward to being an active member of this forum. My dad is here in CA building an 8x10 coop for me and my 3 sons. He will build the back wall of the coop Saturday and that wall will contain the automated door for chickens to access the run. Dad is asking me what kind of a door am I planning. Will it go up and down or swing in and out. Please help? What door do you recommend? How can I get installation instructions quick? I have a fax. Who are the recommended sources? If dad frames a 15 x15 opening between studs in back wall of coop will this suffice?

    My friend is giving me (10) Americana 6-week old pullets New Years eve. We will have 6 external nesting boxes as flock may increase over time. We are also building an A-frame run that is 10x16. This run will be lagged into 4x6 foundation timbers. My boys and their friends are doing the site prep on this today.

    Thanks in advance for your tips and suggestions. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL from Los Gatos CA.
  2. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2011
    I'm going with a guillotine door (slides up and down).

    I researched (keep in mine I'm a Newbie) automatic doors and I ordered this one : <Click Here> Uses a timer to open and close.

    Ones with a electric eye that "sense" dawn and dusk made me a bit uncomfortable. My coop will be in a woods and on a cloudy day, door open or close.
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair &amp; Feathers

    I bought two of the Foy's Electronic Doorkeeper doors and one of another brand over the past two years. I bought the third one with the timer because the Foy's brand were out of stock. That door works fine but needs power, while the light sensor doors use batteries readily available anywhere. Four AA batteries. The sensor is adjustable but mine worked just fine with the factory setting, and one coop with the oldest door is in the shade under a tree. Works flawlessly and haven't changed the batteries yet.

    The one with a timer annoys me because you have to keep resetting it for the different length of day throughout the year AND it has failed twice; once wide open and once closed. Dust gets in the works. Plus, the little tabs on the timer get knocked down through chicken action, when they jump here or there... So the timer has to be covered, somehow, for best operation.

    I wish I had not been impatient and purchased it.

    I can't say enough good things about the Foy's auto door (Electronic Doorkeeper). Yes, it's expensive but it is worth every single penny I paid for BOTH of them
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  4. Green_Eggs_and_Ham

    Green_Eggs_and_Ham Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2010
    Hi BigCyg,

    First, [​IMG]

    I have the Add-a-motor and love it. I didn't want to frame in someone else door. Or work within their sizes.

    I already had a piece of scrap metal for the door itself. I just needed the motor. Hubby installed it real quick on a Saturday morning. I've had it in place for 1-1/2 years now and never had an issue. [​IMG]

    I highly recommend the Add a motor one. We bought it at Discount Automation . Seems to be the cheapest price. You can also hook it up to solar!!! [​IMG]

    Good luck, and have fun.

  5. swamy

    swamy Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 28, 2011
    I never thought we would do this, but I got the same one as Green Eggs and Ham. It is very very slick.

    My door consistes of two pieces of CDX ply sandwiched over 1" rigid insulation with a one-by frame around it. I framed in a track out of pine so it fits between the studs. When it shuts it recesses down into the jamb 1 inch so critters can't lift it. Pretty heavy duty vertical slider.

    Solar panel works well for keeping the battery topped off and timer is simple to figure out.

    It is nice if we are out late and not able to lock them up at dark...or for the occasional sleepy morning.
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  7. colonel sander

    colonel sander Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2011
    Vancouver, WA
    Another vote for the add a motor [​IMG] Mine has worked like a champ and am going to install another for the door from an inside run to an outside run.

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