New chicken keeper...


9 Years
Jan 4, 2011
Hi Friends,
My husband is building the coop, I've pretty much decided on the types of hens we want, and I'm probably over-studying what in the world I'm doing, but I still have questions and concerns. Last night, this one woke me up: Are the timed doors for coops worth the $$$ and does anyone have concerns about using them? I worry about our once a month weekend away over the summer, and who I might get to come let the girls out at the crack, then come back to lock them up. we are out on a farm, not suburbia, so it would be a little inconvenient for the morning. Also, If I plan on putting the coop inside our fenced yard, then completely fencing in the coop, would it be safe to leave the coop ladder hatch open for them? I know some just let them do their thing and aren't very fussy, but I think as a beginner, and all I'm gathering, I should lock them up. (I'll probably be a fussy-side keeper...) And has anyone ever kept a coop close to the house? we are planning to put ours against the back side for shade in Summer and protection in winter, with a long run attached. Thanks for your feed back! P.S. The farm is not a working farm and we don't have a barn.


Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Feb 18, 2011
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You might want to check out the Reviews section, there are member reviews on a number of the automatic doors. (I don't use one.) and there are quite a few threads on them, long one that covers a lot of ground
With leaving the coop door just open, it depends on how predator proof your run is / what predator problems you have. If everything is secure, no reason not to leave it open. We don't have a coop real close to the house, if you do a search there are a number of threads on it one thing to keep in mind is electric, easier if you have to run it or use extension cords.

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Aug 26, 2009
Out to pasture
I have no experience with the auto doors but, I would worry about some chickens not getting back in time and being locked out.

As to moving the coop close to the house, some insurance companies require a certain amount of space between the both of them. Chicken coops are considered fire hazards.


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Mar 21, 2011
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop

Welcome to BYC!

Drumstick Diva X2. I do not have any experience with auto doors, but I would be afraid that chickens will get stuck outside before the door closes at night. And I wouldn't think having the door close really late is a good idea either. Too many predators could be lurking. I like to get my birds in at dusk and do a head count to make sure. BUT you could always use the auto door for opening in the morning and do a manual at night.

Welcome to our flock and enjoy all your new poultry adventures!
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