How to Build an Automatic Chicken Coop Door
Anyone who has kept a flock of chickens at home will agree with me that the task of opening the chicken coop door at dawn and dusk every single day can be a very troublesome and inconvenient task so there is definitely a need for an automatic chicken coop door. Chickens follow their own internal clock and will make a lot of noise if they are not let out to roost on time. They certainly can be very vocal about their dissatisfaction if their daily routine is disturbed.
Of course, the simplest solution would be to just let the chicken roam around without any restrictions. For those used to having chicken around, this may seem no different than letting your dog run loose all over the house. Unfortunately, this idea won’t work because living a house that smells like a chicken coop is not going to be fun.
Secondly, you are probably going to lose all your chicken to predators, which may range from foxes and raccoons to your friendly neighborhood dog. So, there is no escaping the fact that the chicken coop door will have to be opened and closed in a timely manner to keep your chicken in good health.
Entering the Automatic Chicken Coop Door!
Your chickens don’t need you to usher them out at dawn or hustle them in at dusk. They just need the door to be opened and shut at the required times. This means you just need an automatic chicken coop door, which will ensure your schedule does not depend on the whims and fancies of a couple of chickens.
In my experience, purchasing plans and building the chicken coop on your own is a much better option than purchasing prebuilt coops. The same logic applies to the automatic chicken coop door as well. Just read ahead for a simple and elegant way to create an automatic door for the chicken coop even if you know anything about the automation and electronics.
Making an Automatic Chicken Coop Door
One very simple design involves using a motor drapery controller combined with a timer that will raise and drop the door at a specific time at dawn and dusk. This design requires electrical supply in the coop, although you can use batteries if you are comfortable with replacing cells at regular intervals.
The first step is to measure the dimensions of the opening of the chicken coop. Make sure you measure the gap after fixing the slides that will ensure the door rises and falls without going out of sync. Once the measurement is done, it is time to cut a sheet of aluminum or a plank of wood to the right size.
Next, drill a hole at the horizontal and vertical center of the door. This is where you will be affixing the cord that will connect the door to the motor drapery controller. The center is preferable because this ensures the door does not tilt or get stuck when it is being lifted and lowered.
The next step is to fix the motor drapery controller above the opening in the chicken coop. don’t mount the motor at the center as this will cause the cord connecting the motor to the door to slant. Instead, place the motor off center to ensure the cord is absolutely straight.
Now, it is time to run the cord through the drapery controller to complete the link between the coop door and the motor. Just affix a weight to the cord to ensure it remains taut on the other side of the controller. Don’t use an excessively heavy weight as this may cause the door to open on its own. We certainly don’t want that, do we?
Next, you should install and connect the timer to the drapery controller. You just need to ensure wiring connects the appropriate points of the two devices properly. This step will convert wooden plank or aluminum sheet attached to the drapery controller into an automatic chicken coop door. Place the timer apart from the controller to ensure the cord and door remains free of obstruction.
Finally, connect the two devices to power supply, and check the functioning of the controller. You may need to adjust the internal settings to ensure the door rises to the right height before stopping. Further, you need to make sure the door is lowered flat against the floor. This will ensure predators don’t enter the coop through any gaps.
You should test the timer by adjusting its settings to ensure the automatic chicken coop door opens and closes right in front of you. Only then can you rely on the mechanism to do its job properly at the pre-determined times at dawn and dusk.
Buy an Automatic Chicken Coop Door Kit
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Advantages of an Automatic Chicken Coop Door
The biggest advantage of opting for such a door is that you are free from the chore of opening and closing the coop on a daily basis. Just set the right time and watch the door open and close automatically.
Secondly, you are assured of the safety of your precious chickens. Cleaning up after an attack by a predator can be a grisly task. No longer will the safety of your chickens depend on your memory. The automatic door will ensure your chickens remain safe even if you forget to shut the coop.
Finally, the cool automatic chicken coop door will give you an opportunity to boast about your DIY skills. You can make videos and share them on your FB profile to enjoy complements from all your social contacts.
Your chickens represent a significant investment of valuable resources. Installing an automatic chicken coop door will ensure you can follow your schedule without compromising with the safety of your chickens.