I have my five hens (and 3 doves) in a 4' x 4' chick'n'barn that opens onto an 8' x 8' run (7' high) enclosed on all sides (including underground). The back quarter of the run is covered, it backs onto a high, dense hedge (minimal wind), and there is a rabbit hutch that also opens into the run. The back of the run has a high 'cliff' the doves hang out on. Two doves sleep in the rabbit hutch (which the hens also lay in). The other dove snuggles up with the hens. She's second to bottom in the pecking order. Because I feel fairly comfortable with the fencing, I've left the door to the henhouse open at night so the birds can get out at first light to start scratching. I haven't had any problem with predators from that side. (I did before I locked the back door on the henhouse, as racoons happily pried open doors and roof.) BUT winter is coming. Predators will be more aggressive and the top and bottom henhouse openings will cause a draft. I can open the door at 8PM or so and close it around 5, but I'd like to give them as much time out of the barn as they can get. Can anyone suggest plans for an automatic (or semi-automatic) door opener? We're currently using a slide door, but I can change that if need be. Thank you!