While chicken farming is an age old practice, modern technology helps us keep our flock happy, healthy and safe! Free ranging is a great way to keep your backyard flock, but you may find yourself wishing you had an automatic chicken door opener.
Making your way out to the coop in the morning to let the chickens out, and again at night to lock them up, can be quite the hassle. And, what if you forget to lock up the coop one night? You may find that all of your chickens are gone the next morning. Fortunately, an auto chicken door is a real product on the market that can help you keep your free-range chickens safe.
Automatic Chicken Door Opener
If you’ve ever dreaded getting up in the morning to let the chickens out, or rushed home in the evening to ensure they’re locked up, an automatic chicken door opener is definitely something to consider adding to your coop. There are numerous products on the market to fit your specific needs.
Part 1 of a great DIY video series on making your own auto coop door:
If you're a do-it-yourself type person, you'll enjoy the video above and you'll also probably find that you can save a lot of money by purchasing just the electronic portion of the coop door opener. Add-a-motor makes a coop door opener kit that just contains the portion you need to automatically open and close the door for a reasonable price compared to the full door kits below.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Cheeper Keeper automatic chicken coop door offers a complete kit for an automatic chicken coop door to completely replace your current door. The door is built with high-quality materials and operated by a timer which makes it automated. The door is opened with an electric motor, and you set the time that you’d like to door to open and close. This chicken coop door size is 15 3/4" x 11 7/8". In the case of a power outage, the door can be opened manually. Ultimately, the door allows your chickens out and at the appropriate times, and keeps the predators out.
Solar Powered Chicken Coop Doors
If you’d prefer an environmentally friendly option, or simply want your flock up and down with the sun, a solar powered chicken coop door may be the option for you. Coop Tender offers a solar powered chicken coop door that will open when the sun comes up and subsequently closes when it gets dark. Made of wood and with programmable, wifi enabled electronics, this is the Rolls Royce of chicken coop door openers. These doors are 26 1/2" tall and 13 1/2" wide.
The Poultry Butler offers a solar powered chicken coop door constructed of poly wood and galvanized steel. This door operates using a light sensor, again opening the coop when the sun comes out and closing it when the sun goes down. The light sensor is adjustable to help you vary when the door opens and closes. It also features a digital controller that allows you to set your own daily open/close times. The door can be operated by either a solar panel or a battery. There are three size options available; standard (9” x 13”), large (11” x 15”) and horizontal 10” x 13”).
ADOR1 offers an industrial grade Automatic Chicken Coop Door that is to be installed on the wall of your chicken coop. This door is set to open automatically at sun-up and to close at sun-down, or later if you so choose. It offers a “last call” feature for late hens. The door can be opened manually by simply pressing the push button.
The chicken coop door size is 28.5”H x 11.5”W x 3.25”D. The door opens and closes in less than 12 seconds. It minimizes predator risk by continually engaging the sprocket drive (keeps predators from lifting the door) and engaging a bottom guard rail to prevent prying paws. This door is made from galvanized steel and operated on a 6b lantern battery. It features a low battery warning, sound-maker, and LED lighting.
Keep the Flock Safe While Free Ranging
Free-ranging chickens has numerous benefits for both the chickens and your home. Free-ranged chickens are typically in better health and produce higher quality eggs. They eat a variety of insects around the home as well as fertilize your soil with their pecking, scratching, and soiling. Reduced feed costs is another key benefit of free ranged chickens.
All of these benefits can be outweighed by the challenge of having to let the chickens in and out every day. If the hens don’t get locked up at night, there are real predator dangers. No one wants to make a trek out to the coop in the rain, snow, and sleet. And, if you’re working late and can’t make it home in time to lock up your flock, you need to ensure their safety. For these reasons, an automatic chicken coop door opener is a great option.