Going outside to open your chicken coop can be pain, which is why an automatic chicken coop door can save you a lot of time and effort.
It can be a lot of work to go out in the snow or rain just to let your chickens out. So, having a special door for your chicken coop is super convenient, allowing you to have extra time to focus on other areas of your animals’ care.
What is an Automatic Chicken Coop Door?
An automatic chicken coop door can be installed on your chicken coop to open and close at set times. Most doors open at dawn and close at dusk, but you can adjust the settings to fit your chickens’ needs.
Let’s look over the pros and cons of an automatic door for your chicken coop.
Pros of Automatic Chicken Coop Doors
- Convenient for everyday use
- Keeps your chickens safe while you’re away
- Works well for all weather conditions
- Most have customizable features
- Easy to install
Of course, every product is different and has unique features. So, these are just some of the general pros, but specific doors might have even more benefits beyond these.
Cons of Automatic Chicken Coop Doors
- Defective products could interfere with chicken safety
- Closing could become unreliable over time.
- Might not operate well in cold temperatures
Most problems with chicken coop doors can be fixed with some minor maintenance. Making sure the door is installed correctly and cleaning objects and debris around the opening can keep it operating smoothly.
Features to Consider with an Automatic Door Opener
Before taking a look at automatic chicken coop doors, it’s a good idea to decide what you’re looking for. Here are some tips for choosing the best product possible.
Most openers operate using timers and light sensors while some only use one or the other. If your chickens usually go to sleep or get up later than usual, a timer might be more efficient than a light sensor. That way, the door won’t close before your chickens are inside.
The door should also be able to open manually in case something goes wrong. Hopefully, you won’t need to use it that way, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
The door should be able to withstand all types of weather conditions. Think about the climate you live in. If it gets cold in the winter, you’ll need to find a product that’s made to withstand frost and snow. Most automatic chicken coop doors are more likely to malfunction when it’s freezing outside.
Make sure the door is strong enough to keep out determined predators. Many products state how much pressure they can withstand to ease your worries at night. Most common predators won’t put that much effort into eating your chickens, but it’s always a possibility.
Some products have more safety features on them than others. These features can prevent the door from closing on a chicken or freezing shut. So, if you’re worried about something going wrong, it’s best to choose the product with the most effective safety measures.
Take a look at what the product comes with before buying it. Some kits come with a door while others don’t. If you already have a door to use, then you don’t need a door to come with the motor.
However, you’ll still want to ensure that the door is an ideal weight and size for the opener to move it. If the kit comes with a door, make sure it’s large enough for your chickens to get through. Most chickens need a door that’s at least 12 inches wide.
Best Automatic Chicken Coop Door Products
There are a lot of automatic chicken coop doors to choose from. So, here are seven of the best options to help you narrow down your search.
This chicken coop door usually takes less than 10 minutes to set up since it can plug in with no complicated wiring. It’s battery-powered with a battery that lasts for a year. You can set it to operate on a timer or a light sensor.
No matter the weather, this door will still operate smoothly. It only has one piece, which is an aluminum door with a slider. The exterior color is brown to fit in well with your chicken coop space.
- Easy to plug in and set up
- Programmable with timer or light sensor
- All in one design
The large hinged door of this kit comes with several parts to set it up. All you have to do is attach the door opener and plug it in. It has a programmable timer on an LCD screen.
As a safety feature, it has a sensor to ensure that it doesn’t close on a chicken resting in the doorway. It’s also waterproof, allowing it to be protected during all types of weather conditions. Plus, the door is shut so securely that no wild animals can lift it.
- Sets up within minutes
- Programmable timer
- Safety feature for closing mechanism
- Wild animals cannot open the door
This product is only the door opener mechanism, so it doesn’t come with a door. It has a LCD screen that allows you to easily set the timer with the push of a button. If the door is closed, it shines a light that can be seen up to 100 yards away. You can also open and close to door manually by simply pressing a button.
It’s easy to set up with no complex wiring. It can lift any doors up to 2.2 pounds, but the doors can be any sizes. It uses batteries, which have a long life, and it will notify you when the batteries are low. Also, it has a breaking strain of 50 pounds to keep out wild animals.
- Only timer – door not included
- Lifts doors up to 2.2 pounds
- Has breaking strain of 50 pounds
- Programmable timer
This is another product that comes with the timer and door motor, but not a door. It can lift any coop doors up to 10 pounds. It can be installed in only 15 minutes because it doesn’t have any complicated programming and wiring. All you have to do is rotate a dial to adjust the settings.
It includes some safety features to keep your chickens protected. It has a safety connector that prevents damage if the door becomes stuck or frozen shut. You can also choose how high or low you want the opener to lift the door.
- Comes with motor and timer, but not door
- Quick installation
- Settings adjust by rotating a dial
- It has safety features for all weather conditions
- Lifts doors up to 10 pounds
This chicken coop door opener uses batteries, so there’s no need to plug it in. The door runs on a light sensor, which you can adjust depending on how late your chickens stay up. Plus, the door is made with dirt-resistant alumninum.
It can sense if a chicken is passing underneath it to ensure that it doesn’t close on top of them. This product can also stay protected from all types of weather conditions. It also has LED light indicators and a way to open and close the door manually as needed.
- Programmable with light sensor
- Won’t close on top of chickens
- Dirt-resistant aluminum
- Resistant to weather conditions
If you have a swinging door, this automatic opener can be added to it. This durable product automatically opens at sunrise and closes at sunset. It works for any swinging coop doors that are between 16 and 30 inches wide. It can install quickly with standard tools, which aren’t included.
The product is battery-powered with rechargeable batteries. While it opens and closes using a light sensor, those sensors can be delayed to fit your chickens’ schedules. The battery doesn’t come with it, and you’ll need a piece of wood to help reinforce the door and coop. The door can be manually opened, and the batteries can be recharged with solar panels.
- Only door opener – door not included
- Opens using adjustable light sensor
- Fits swing doors between 16 and 30 inches
- Batteries can recharge with solar panels
This kit has an LCD screen that can be adjusted based on a timer or light sensor. It automatically opens at the set times. It’s an all in one design with no complex wiring, so set up is quick.
The opener runs on long-lasting batteries. It can lift any doors up to 2 pounds, although it comes with an aluminum metal door. Once set up, this mechanism has a breaking strain of 50 pounds. The door closes in a way that prevents wild animals from lifting it.
- Can be adjusted by timer or light sensor
- Can lift doors up to 2 pounds
- Has a breaking strain of 50 pounds
- Prevents wild animals from lifting it
What Happens if Your Chickens Don’t Go in the Coop Before the Door Closes?
If you’re considering an automatic chicken coop door, you might be wondering what happens if things don’t go smoothly. Since the door is set to close at a certain time each night, what happens if your chickens aren’t inside?
Luckily, most chickens will naturally enter the coop before dusk. They instinctively roost before it gets dark out. However, if you’re worried about your chickens getting trapped outside, observe their behaviors before installing an automatic door.
Watch your chickens for a few days or weeks and take note of the times they go out and come in the coop. Then, you can adjust your automatic door’s settings based on your chickens’ specific behaviors.
Can You Use Automatic Chicken Coop Doors Year-Round?
Yes, most automatic openers work well year-round. Most of them are water resistant to keep your chickens safe from rain and snow. In fact, most keepers appreciate automatic doors best in the winter since they won’t have to go outside as often when caring for their chickens.
However, not all products have the same features, which means some could be less effective during colder months. Doors that are battery-powered or solar-powered tend to be more likely to malfunction in the winter. Also, doors could freeze shut in extremely cold temperatures.
So, to prevent your door from getting stuck, be sure to clear snow and ice away from the entryway after every snowfall. Using a chicken coop heater is a great way to keep your chickens cozy during winter as well.
If you’re unsure how an automatic door opener will hold up against the weather, check out the reviews before making a decision.
Is an Automatic Chicken Coop Door Right for You?
Caring for chickens can be a lot of responsibility, so an automatic chicken coop door can make their care much easier. You won’t have to worry about remembering to open and close the door each day, which is a relief if you’re often away from home or if you don’t want to go out in the cold to do it.
So, if you’re looking for a little convenience, then an automatic chicken coop door is a good product for you. However, if you don’t want to fully rely on technology to keep your chickens safe, you might prefer to open and close the door yourself instead.
Either way, it’s important to close your chickens in their coop to keep them safe at night. Most chickens will naturally roost in there on their own, and with a closed door, predators won’t be able to get them. Thus, having a sturdy door on your secure chicken coop is the best way to keep your flock safe and healthy.