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What is the best automatic chicken door on the market right now? That’s exactly what we will look into today.
We have taken 5 top-rated automatic door opening units, (both fully built systems and add-on motors) to give you a comprehensive low down on what to buy.
For our findings at a glance, just head to the table below. For a full review of each of our selected picks, plus a dedicated buyer’s guide, keep on reading.
Rearing free-range chicken involves letting them out of their coop every morning and locking them in the evening to prevent them from being attacked by predators such as foxes, raccoons, dogs, coyotes, and owls among others.
Therefore, you will need a door that shuts at the set time and remains intact overnight to ensure that your chickens are protected throughout the night.
What to look for when buying an Automatic Chicken Door?
There’s a range of options when it comes to buying an automatic chicken coop door. To help you in your research below is a list of desirable features you should look out for when purchasing your door.
Top Features to look out for:
A door that is easy to operate (top features include built-in fail safe and manual override).
A unit that can operate all year round wide (across a range temperature). Look for doors that can still work below zero.
Wire and other components are completely shielded from rodents and the chickens
A control unit that is enclosed, well protected and waterproof
A door that closes slowly and gently, with an optimal 30 second cycle time.
The timer and/or light sensor operation should be manually adjustable
Opt for a unit that provides a decent warranty and has proven quality customer care.
Okay, so now you know exactly what features the best chicken doors include; let’s look at some of the most important aspects of the automatic chicken door you need to know about.
Main Issues to Consider:
The power source for the main control unit
The type of control unit
The door opening mechanism
Door size and weight
Main Control Unit Power Source
There are in fact four main types of power source for today’s automatic doors:
A combination of all three
We recommend a battery-powered unit
Battery power is the most reliable and convenient source of power for your door. Mains electric can be difficult depending on the location of your coop, (and you don’t want cabling stretching across your yard on a permanent basis.
Solar power, on the other hand, can be erratic if you do not live in an area with constant sunshine.
where you don’t have to check anything much except the control box to ensure it is functioning.
Batteries are resistant to power outages and any quality control unit will feature a low battery indicator giving you prewarning of when to replace them.
Battery life is good too, with most units giving you 6-9 months from just 4 AA batteries.
Type of control Unit
There are 2 types of a control unit that will determine when your door opens and closes:
1. Light Sensor Operation
As the name suggests, a control unit with a built-in light-sensor will activate the door based on atmospheric light, opening in the morning and closing at night.
Problems here can arise if an alternative light source is nearby, (car headlamps, security lights a full moon). You also need to have the sensor positioned so that it will receive the early morning sunlight.
To overcome problems with light-sensitive operations some units feature a failsafe option which is triggered by a timer-based mechanism.
2. Timer Based Operation
So why not skip all that and buy a door with a timer-based solution. This is our recommended approach as they are often cheaper and are much easier to operate.
The only real disadvantage is that you do need to adjust the timer throughout the year as the days get longer and shorter.
Door Opening Mechanism
The inbuilt mechanism that opens and closes the door falls into two categories:
A Motorized Lift with Gravity Close
A Motor that controls both the Lift and the Close
We recommend that latter. A motorized mechanism that controls both the opening and closing of the door is much safer for your hens. This is due to the slow, steady nature of the door closing, no hen should come to any harm
Furthermore, some units include an electric eye or a positive step that will prevent the door from closing if a bird is in the way.
Door Size and Weight
The most common door size is 12” x 15” which is actually great for most breeds. (If you have larger birds you may need to upsize accordingly).
Chicken coop doors vary in weight in line with the material used. A wooden door could weigh as much as 4KG, while an aluminum option of the same dimensions could weight less than 0.5kg.
The weight is important because you will need sufficient power in the motor to lift a heavy door, (anyone attempting a DIY option needs to keep that in mind).
Overall, a light yet durable door that will not strain the motor is recommended.
Best Automatic Chicken Door Reviews
Automatic doors on the market differ in many ways such as material and operation as well. Therefore, you need to ensure that you have installed a door that serves your needs in the most convenient ways. Here are the best chicken automatic doors that you should consider checking out.
Top on our list is a special gadget world-leading chicken doors manufacturer Cheaper Keeper.
Having been made in Germany, it has been expertly designed as a dependable and reliable device for keeping you treasured chicken safe from sunset to sunrise.
It features a photoelectric switch that controls the motor which pulls the electric door using pulling cords to shut or open it. The kit comes with clear instructions on how to install making the process super easy.
You do not have to worry about wiring process since the opener runs on 4AA batteries that last for years.
If your chicken coop is mobile this is the perfect door opener since you will not have to rewire every time you move you chicken house. In addition, the batteries provided last for month before you recharge them thus making them very convenient.
Other than protecting your chicken from predators locking your chicken also protects them from other environmental factors such as hail storms, rain, snow and flooding just to mention a few.
The stainless steel door measuring 8 inches by 13 inches ensures that nothing will harm your girls in your absence. The door is firm and durable thus saving you on frequent replacement costs.
The door opener also features useful components such as overload safety and auto motor stop that allows the chicken to pass through for about three minutes if there is a problem with the door.
In addition the opener is also resistant to ammonia gases, dirt, moisture, and dust associated with most chicken coops and most important it also lightning strike proof.
2. Automatic Chicken Coop Door with Sunrise/Sunset Mode
Do you always find yourself forgetting or getting late to lock the door of your chicken house? It is time to take action and install the Automatic Door with sunset/sunrise mode.
This door is both battery and electric powered thus you do not have to worry much since if the power goes down the batteries will act as a backup.
The door opener operates on four different modes which include a timer, sunset/sunrise, manual and override. The sunrise/sunset mode setting automatically opens morning to let the chicken out and closes evening to lock the door once the chickens are back to their house.
You can also use the time mode to preset the exact time when you want the door to shut or open. On the other hand the manual and the override mode help you to physically operate the door.
This is very helpful especially when there is power failure and the batteries are dead or the opener has malfunctioned and the chickens are trapped inside.
The heavy duty aluminum door will serve you for years without rusting or warping. It is also impact proof thus will protect you from all kinds of predators or other environmental factors.
The Add-A-Motor is an excellent device that will automatically operate the door of your chicken house. It saves of from the hassle of waking up early to let your chicken out or cancel your evening meetings so that you can be home to lock them up.
You can set the motor to open the door on anytime you see fit. Sometime you may want to let your chicken out a bit late in the morning especially during rainy and cold season whereas other time you may want to let them out early mostly in summer.
Installation of the motor is easy for anyone whether experienced or not in installation electric devices. It comes with clear instructions on step by step on how to go about the installation process. Just plug the motor into your hen house lamp switch and you are good to go.
It attaches easily on different materials including plastic, wooden or aluminum well even on heavy doors up to 10 pounds.
You do not a counterweight since the motor is strong enough to lift most coop doors. It has long cords to pull up the door and close it up to 20 inches height giving your chicken even the hybrids enough space to pass through.
It also features a safety connector that reduces damage extent if the door jams, blocks or malfunctions in any way. The motor is fully automated and shuts and opens a door on the scheduled time.
The stop setting also helps to the position in which the doors stop when it opens or closes. If you have a swinging door instead of sliding door, you can convert it by to lift upwards by fitting it on the side rails.
The motor can be directly plugged into the normal US household electrical circuit (110VAC). This is because the motor is fed by a wall wart which has an out capacity of 12 VDC also rated for 800 amps.
It is great option since it can be used anywhere including off grid where you can power it using a small 12V battery rechargeable using a solar panel. To automate the door movements you need to attach the motor to a 12VDC timer.
4. ASTx Extreme Automatic Chicken Coop Pop Door Opener by Chickenguard
Do you always panic when you are late to lock up your chicken? This should not be the case anymore.
This unique door opener will help you to solve the mystery of locking up your chicken in the evening to offer protection and letting them out in the morning.
Being powered by several options solar, batteries and electricity a convenient and reliable automatic coop door opener on the market.
You have a choice for connecting to the mains supply especially if you have a permanent coop. your kitchen house is mobile you will be fine since the opener can be powered by solar or batteries.
The solar kit also recharges the batteries thus preventing any chance of power failure. It features a special LED fault indicator light that will always alert you when there is any power problem.
You can program the door to open when you want. You can program door to open up to four hours after dawn and up to four hours after dusk.
It also features a global positioning system that detects your latitudes and longitudes which helps it to adjust according to the time when the sun sets and rises in your area. If there is a power outage or the batteries die you can still open the door manually.
You do not have to worry about the rainy season since the automatic door is made of water-resistant materials which ensure your chicken remains warm and dry.
The aluminum door will not warp or rust thus will serve you for many years. The door is also impact resistant and lightening proof thus nothing can harm your chicken once in the coop.
The opener operates smoothly due to the easy gliding tracks and tight fit which allows the door to go up and down flawlessly.
The sensors and wires are safely positioned inside the motor box to prevent them from getting wet or ripped off. The opener components are also easily removable in case you want to clean them or check for the faulty ones.
The included manual also helps to make anything that looks complicated very clear.
Did you know that even chicken products can have military grade properties? The military grade fully automated door opener makes a great choice.
It features light sensors, timer and a microprocessor technology that helps to keep your chicken safe at night.
The light sensors and timers are easy to set due to the simple menu displayed on a digital screen. The opener can powered by either the batteries or electricity.
The wiring is not complicated since you only have to plug in a USB power cable and power it up. The military-grade electronics and the high powered motor ensures that the door operates efficiently even in extreme weather conditions.
The opener also comes with a full manual on how to operate the door giving you full control ion you want the door to shut or open. You can schedule a specific time you want the coop door to open in the morning or close in the evening.
The light sensors can also be used to trigger the door to open at dawn and shut at dusk. However, the advanced technology used to manufacture this extreme door opener allows all sensors to consult each other before taking an action.
This help to avoid inconveniences such as accidental shutting of the door when there is an overcast or opening the door triggered by the light of a flashlight.
If you do not have a coop door yet then the chick safe extreme kit makes an excellent choice. The door and runners are made of high-quality aluminum that is rot, corrosion and warping resistant.
Since its strong yet lightweight this kit is perfect for replacing heavy doors or for coops that require horizontal doors.
The door is also waterproof, impact resistant and lightening proof thus offering maximum protection for your chicken not only from predators but also from other environmental factors.