Listen to me right now. If you’re new (or old school) to chickens you NEED an automatic chicken coop door. It’ll save your sanity and their lives.
The other night as I was staring into the refrigerator willing it’s contents to change into stacks of leftover pizza, I heard a bit of action coming from the chicken coop. Being 11 o’clock at night, and chickens notoriously early-to-bedders I knew what I was hearing wasn’t chickens. Shoving my feet into my chicken coop shoes, I shuffled out the back door and looked around the corner into the coop run. There, hanging by their nails from the hardware cloth enclosing the coop was a family of raccoons. Some were climbing up the cloth and others were pulling with all their might to try and get it off. I was not the only one looking for a snack that night.
I threw pea gravel at them.
I went back inside. The raccoons would give up soon enough. The hardware cloth is screwed in every few inches and even though I’m always a bit worried, there’s very little chance a raccoon is going to be able to rip it off. Unless it owned a Crossfit gym obviously.
8 years into owning chickens and I have never lost a single one to a predator. I’ve lost them to egg yolk peritonitis, an embedded crop and Roosterism, but never to a predator. Part of that is because of the 1/4″ hardware cloth the coop is enclosed in. The other part is the automatic chicken coop door.
Automatic Coop Door
After a few go rounds with less than ideal chicken coop doors, I came across the Ador Coop door. I was really hesitant to buy it since it was made in America and I had to pay duty, tax, shipping costs to Canada and the exchange rate on it. It was already expensive, but adding in all of those things made it even more so.
I cut some of my costs by self clearing it with UPS. If you’re Canadian and you don’t know how to self clear an item with UPS you need to read this post immediately. You can completely eliminate UPS’s stupid, made up broker and import fees just by picking up your package yourself from a depot.
So why this door? It’s handmade by a couple of guys in the States, not in some Chinese warehouse. It’s entirely galvanized metal, no plastic and best of all – it requires no electricity. It runs off of a 6 volt battery which lasts for over a year. So you can put this door in a chicken coop that’s in the middle of a field with no electricity in sight.
The battery is housed in the bump at the top of the coop door that looks a little like an awning.
This automatic chicken coop door has worked unfailingly for the past 3 years.
It opens at sunrise and closes at sunset. I never have to worry about getting home by dark to make sure the coop door is closed.
That used to be an ordeal.
Before installing the coop door, if I was going out during the day and knew I wouldn’t be home until after dark I’d either have to lock the chickens up in the coop before I left, leaving them bored in the coop for the rest of the day, or I’d have to ask a neighbour to come over and close the coop door as soon as it got dark.
I can actually go on vacation for a couple of days now without needing anyone to let the chickens in or out! Not that I do that, but I could. It’s a possibility.
Since installing the automatic door I never have to get up at the crack of dawn to let the chickens out because they’re screaming at the top of their lungs to go outside and play. As soon as the sun rises, so does the coop door. And I get to sleep until my cat starts screaming at the top of her lungs.
And as soon as the sun goes down, yup, the coop door goes down too.
Which is a good thing. I had no idea how much was going on out there during the night until I set up security cameras around my house. The coop run has its own camera and this summer alone I spotted raccoons, a groundhog, skunks, opossums and mice all wandering through the chicken run at 3 in the morning looking for an open restaurant.
Sorry guys. The kitchen is closed. Until dawn.
Here’s the link if you want your own coop door. Nope. Not a sponsored post. Just a happy customer.
And happy hens.
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