Automatic chicken door

Automatic chicken doorMark has been an armchair
automatic chicken coop door explorer for
years now, reading every website he can find about the topic.  His
inventive side loves the various options available for making your own
automatic door, including:

I’ve listed the options
he stumbled across from cheapest to most
expensive, but you should keep in mind that the list is also from
least to most likely to work over the long
haul.  I don’t think I’d depend on anything much below the power
antenna level ($35 plus timer, wood, and hardware) if I cared about my
flock and had predators around.

Mark also spent time
looking at all of the pre-made door options out
there.  Nearly all of them are based on a drapery motor, and he
finally concluded that it would actually cost just as much to make our
drapery motor-based chicken door opener/closer than to buy one of the
pre-made options once you factor in the associate wood and hardware.

When we moved the
chickens to a coop and pasture arrangement, Mark was finally able to
scratch that automatic chicken door itch.  Our broilers were
sliding under the gate and foraging in the woods every day, and we
wanted to let them keep free ranging after they got too big for that
trick.  But I was concerned that it would just be too tempting for
predators if we opened a door from the coop directly into the wild —
our dog patrols there now and then, but she usually stays on the other
side of the coop in the garden area.  Time for an automatic
chicken coop door!

Premade chicken doorJeremy Smith’s automatic chicken
coop door
is on the
high end ($206.94 for the pre-made version once you factor in
shipping), but his door is the easiest to install and is clearly high
quality.  The whole thing is already boxed in, so all you have to
do is tack the door module between two studs 16 inches apart and plug
it in.  The hardest part will probably be figuring out how to work
the enclosed timer.  (Don’t worry, it comes with instructions.)

A friend recently lost
his entire flock to a fox attack and my father lost all but one of his
birds for the same reason.  A really good dog is the best solution
to predators, but if your chickens range past the dog’s home turf,
you’d probably be better off trying out one of the automatic chicken
coop door options.

Latest Comments

  1. chicken coops July 18, 2011
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