An automatic chicken coop door will certainly make your life easier – you do not have to get up early in the morning or put your chickens to bed at night!
There are several different types on the market and today we are going to take a look at them and see which suit your needs best.
When looking at the various designs make sure it has everything you need and that it is suitable for your coop.
Do you want the simplicity of an all-in-one kit, or would you rather DIY it and construct your own door?
If any of these questions apply to you or you are in the market for an automatic door, read on to learn everything you need to know…
Contents and Quick Navigation
- The Best 5 Automatic Chicken Coop Doors
- Why Should You Get An Automatic Chicken Coop Door?
- What To Know Before Buying An Automatic Chicken Coop Door
- Common Problems With Chicken Coop Door Openers
- Frequently Asked Questions
The Best 5 Automatic Chicken Coop Doors
|The Best Kit
|Run Chicken Automatic Chicken Coop Door Kit
|Runner Up Kit
|JVR Automatic Door Kit
|Best Door Opener
|ChickenGuard Automatic Door Opener
|Best Motor Only
|Add-A-Motor Door Accessory Motor
|Most Affordable Kit
|FarmLite Automatic Door Kit
The Best Kit: Run Chicken Automatic Chicken Coop Door Kit
Welcome to the RUN-CHICKEN Door Automatic Chicken Coop Door Kit. This is one of our favorite automatic doors. This door can either be battery or solar powered. It has an automatic light sensor and the door will open as the sun rises. The kit comes complete with the door, motor and installation screws. Not only is buying an entire kit convenient, it also means you do not have to worry about part compatibility.
- Door has a bottom guard to prevent it from being pried open.
- Kit is well made and simple to install.
- Obstruction sensor to prevent door closing on chickens.
- All metal door and rails.
- Weatherproof controller box.
- Need to check battery levels regularly.
- Kit does not come with comprehensive instructions.
- Customer service is hit and miss.
Runner Up Kit: JVR Automatic Chicken Door Coop Kit
The JVR Automatic Chicken Door Coop Kit includes everything you need to set up your door. It contains the motor and door so installation is easy and effortless. The control box is waterproof and you can set the door to open on a timer or with the manual override. One of the big advantages of this door is that it is very reliable because it is powered by mains electric – so you do not need to worry about batteries failing. Also if you want to you can upgrade the door to include solar and Wi-Fi.
- Great reliability because it is mains powered.
- Flexible upgrade to include solar and Wi-Fi.
- Heavy duty aluminium door.
- Comes with a large door opening (compatible with larger birds).
- Very simple to install.
- Door can struggle to operate in extreme cold.
- Wi-Fi can be difficult to set up.
- You need an electric supply in the coop for the control box.
Best Door Opener: ChickenGuard Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener
The ChickenGuard Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener is a good option for anyone looking for a customizable unit. You can set the door to open on either a light sensor or a timer. This is very useful if you live somewhere with a large difference between the summer and winter daylight hours. ChickenGuard’s door can be powered by battery or mains electric as well. Fortunately this model also has a low battery indicator, so you do not have to worry about the door suddenly not working. If you live in an area with lots of snow and ice, it is recommended you use the Extreme control box.
- Very flexible unit (multiple power and door opening options).
- Has a failsafe self-locking mode.
- Ability to choose between two power sources.
- Includes a 3 year guarantee.
- Can be powered by a USB cable.
- No closing safety sensor.
- Guide rails are made of plastic.
- Need to use the Extreme control box during winters.
Best Motor Only: Add-A-Motor Door Accessory Motor
The Add-A-Motor DoorMotor is great for those who would rather use their own door. Unlike the other options listed here, you are only buying the motor here. It can lift doors up to 10 pounds and has an electric timer-based control box. Just remember you will need to adjust the timer throughout the year as the daylight changes.
- Easily programmable timer.
- Can be set up in under 20 minutes.
- Uses mains electric as power source (guarantees a stable power source).
- Comes with 1 year warranty.
- Can use with your own coop door.
- Not complete kit (so other parts are needed).
- Safety sensor can occasionally fail.
Most Affordable Kit: FarmLite Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener Kit
The final door on our list is the FarmLite Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener Kit. This kit has an automatic sensor to detect if chickens are underneath the door before it closes. This setup can be powered by batteries or mains electric. It also has a light sensor to open the door and has a manual closing option. The advantage to a light sensor door is that the door automatically opens during the day and closes at night
- This door includes an automatic safety sensor.
- Kit comes with everything you need to get started.
- 1 full year guarantee or replacement.
- Can run on manual or auto mode.
- Some people do not like the guillotine style door closing mechanism.
- Does not have a low battery indicator.
Why Should You Get An Automatic Chicken Coop Door?
The number one reason most people get an automated door is convenience.
Going outside in the snow and rain every morning and evening can become something of a nuisance for many folks (especially as we get older). Also folks that have to get up at a certain time for work can be busy in the morning and forget to open the coop up.
A good automatic door takes off the early morning pressure.
Next up is vacations.
Some people do not consider an automated door until they are going away on vacation.
It can be difficult getting a chicken sitter, someone who is willing to get up early, go to bed late and feed your birds.
Although you still have to find someone to feed and water them, having an automatic door opener can make it easier – your neighbor only has to stop by once a day now, instead of two or three times.
Have you ever been guilty of forgetting to lock the coop?
Most people have!
Many times nothing happens, but if a predator happens to be passing by an open coop is an invitation for dinner. Opening and closing the coop can sometimes get overlooked, especially if you are in a hurry or running late.
An automatic door won’t forget to close and will keep your flock safe.
Finally, if you have mobility problems or are disabled, having an automated door can be a blessing.
What To Know Before Buying An Automatic Chicken Coop Door
Whilst the variety of automatic chicken coop doors might seem overwhelming, it is not really.
You only need to know a handful of key things to purchase the correct door for your coop and flock.
Below we have listed all the essential things that you should look for.
- Opening Mechanism: There are several different ways a coop door can open. Make sure the door you buy opens the same way as your current door. Otherwise you may find yourself stuck with something that does not work for your particular coop.
- Power Source: Make sure to choose the power source that is right for you. Most doors come in either electric, batteries or solar – some doors even have all three power sources which is awesome.
- Safety Sensor: You need to make sure your door has a safety sensor. You do not want to find your chickens beheaded by the door that was supposed to keep them safe. Most doors have a safety sensor that stops the door from closing when it encounters resistance.
- Simplicity: Not everyone can (or wants to) understand complex instructions or programs. Make sure to pick a simple door that is easy to program and use.
- Sturdily Made: Although it should not get too much by way of heavy abuse, the door and frame need to be weatherproof and able to withstand an assault by a determined predator.
- Door Size: If you have turkeys or other large fowl, they are not going to fit through a chicken sized door – make sure the door you buy will fit your girls!
- Programmable Control Box: Certain doors only have the dawn/dusk opening program. Predators are most active at dawn and dusk, so you do not want the coop opening up just as a fox. Make sure your door has multiple opening/closing programs.
- Complete Kit: Does the package you are buying include everything you need? Some kits do not supply the door or a certain motor may be extra, look carefully at what you are buying.
Just remember to try to look objectively at the item you are buying. It does not matter if it comes in a nice shade of pink or has a lovely design on it – you need reliability and functionality for this item.
The bottom line is if it does not work well, it could kill your flock.
Common Problems With Chicken Coop Door Openers
Automatic doors tend to have four common problems.
- Defective parts.
- Safety override fails.
- Uses lots of batteries.
- Unreliable and intermittently closes.
Most of these problems are usually resolved by making sure the door is installed correctly.
Always try to resolve an issue by checking through the instructions carefully. If you do not have any success with that try customer service before you do anything to the unit.
Most of the manufacturers are helpful and will send replacement parts quickly.
One thing to note is that winter time can be problematic for doors powered by battery units – batteries do not hold a charge well under 32°F. Try to buy a kit that has the ability to be converted to mains electric if needed.
You should check the door grooves regularly and keep them free from dirt, debris, snow and ice. Any of these things can prevent the door from completely closing.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you install an automatic door?
This will depend entirely on which door you choose as each one is slightly different. The only thing that is consistent with all of them is the need to cut out a doorway for the auto door to fit into. All units come with instructions and a few have YouTube help videos.
What size coop door do I need?
If you have only chickens, then you need to use at least a 12 inch square opening. However if you have ducks or turkeys you are definitely going to need a bigger door!
Can you use the automatic door during winter?
Although all of the products claim to work year round, several people had trouble with their doors during very cold weather (battery or solar powered doors are the most problematic). You would certainly need to keep the door grooves clear of snow and ice otherwise it would freeze shut.
It states that the door is Wi-Fi enabled, what does that mean?
Some doors can be programmed into your smartphone via an app. This makes it easy to monitor opening and closing from wherever you are.
If you do not have Wi-Fi or a smartphone do not buy the item since they need a phone to program them.
The kits we reviewed here are a bit expensive, but you pay for the convenience of having something let your chickens out for you!
Each door is fairly simple to install and the instructions are easy to understand.
The main thing to remember though is that they are all fallible regardless of how high their rating or how much they cost.
So make sure to check the door regularly to make sure it is running as it should be.
Ideally, the door should open out into a fenced secure area rather than a free range situation, that way the birds have at least the security of the locked compound if the door fails to shut.
If you have any questions about automatic chicken coop doors let us know in the comments section below…
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