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Author Topic: Automatic chicken coop door  (Read 2707 times)

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2023, 10:06:50 am »
Acebird
" With the jack screw design it takes about a minute to close and makes a lot of noise.  There is no surprise snap shut closure."

Unlike what I am proposing. Mine will work like a guillotine with a dull edge! They had better be some fast chickens if the 'timer' is not set to trip until 'after' dusk and its dark ! lol 
:wink:
chickens go in the coup way before it is dark.  They are vulnerable if the door closes when it is dark.

Yes that is true Brian I posted as a solution to what Kathy described as some models of automatic door closers, being "chicken killers". lol
My suggestion would eliminate of the problem of the "chicken killing" door. lol  :shocked: :cheesy: As I stated before, if the door was set to shut just after dusk; when dark, this would eliminate the door killing chickens.

Yet another model with a sensor that 'will not' shut on chickens was also suggested by Kathy, which sounds good. The problem and question; Would this include not shutting on an early arriving coon or other variety of varmint, allowing them to enter 'along' with the chickens 'before dark' ? Remember gww told us of an occasion he experienced this problem, a coon did just that, entered before dark. It is doubtful the chicken saving sensor can distinguish the difference between a chicken or varmint, allowing varmints inside as well as the chickens even "before dark"?  So really this model, while sparing the late arriving straggling chicken, will also allow an occasional 'lucky' coon, weasel, or other varmint in with the chickens 'before' the door closes before or after dark depending on the setting? So what is gained?

Just for fun, let's consider, which method gives us the best odds or chances for preserving the most chickens over all? A door that will hypothetically kill a straggling chicken a day if the timing is not right on the example Kathy gave us of the "chicken killer door"? Or a model with a sensor that will not shut on a chicken or varmint, allowing both late comers inside without harm? Unless the sensor can identify the difference in creatures which is doubtful... 

'Humor intended' :grin: ; If we choose the killer door model without the chicken/varmint saving sensor, set to close at dust or before dark, we just might get lucky enough to have the door shut on that elusive varmint, which may be attempting sneaking inside, instead of killing our very own chicken!!  lol Just kidding. This concept would make a good ole fashion looney tunes cartoon with just a little imagination!  :cheesy:

Seriously, there may not be a 'perfect' solution. A good yard dog would most certainly be of good help in the matter, especially at roost time of twilight..
« Last Edit: January 20, 2023, 08:28:32 pm by Ben Framed »
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2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #21 on: January 21, 2023, 09:17:31 am »
Phil, have you had chickens?  They are stupid.  They will go in and out the door until the pecking order gets settled.  They also like to stick their heads out through holes for all kinds of reasons.  Mostly to peck the ground or forage.  They are very habitual.  The timing of the closure must be observed so that it is not too early or too late.  The more complicated you make it the less success you will have with its operation.  The environment the door must operate in is dusty, wet, and acidic.  This will take a toll on the mechanics and the electronics.  Battery operation is a pain to keep up with if there is not automatic charging in the circuit.
Everything I have said is based on experience.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #22 on: January 21, 2023, 09:21:09 am »
A good yard dog would most certainly be of good help in the matter, especially at roost time of twilight..
Even the most gentle pet will rip the head of a chicken in less then a second.  Experienced that too.
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2023, 10:07:53 am »
lol Im not speaking of a pet, but a 'good' yard dog. The word 'good' meaning one that does his job well, 'protecting' the yard.
A 'pet', (not being raised the ever presence chickens), has no place with chickens or you will 'most certainly' get the results you described and learned the hard way. 
Now, the two can overlap.  Almost every good 'yard dog' can and will make a very good companion and loves a good petting session.

Phillip
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2023, 11:28:41 am »
> Phil, have you had chickens?

All my life we had chickens until recently, along with Bobcats, Coons, Possum, Weasels, Fox, and later Coyotes as well an occasion 'stray dog' usually dumped by a 'pet loving' person from the city or town. lol. 
Speaking of the later, 'without protection' of a good yard dog, the strays can play havoc on a chicken population. The larger stray or dumped dogs can kill calfs also. They can run colts through a fence etc.
 
> They are stupid.  They will go in and out the door until the pecking order gets settled.  They also like to stick their heads out through holes for all kinds of reasons.  Mostly to peck the ground or forage.

Chickens are chickens meaning they do things the way they are designed. When they go through the roost house door they usually fly to a roost pole because it is darker in an 'enclosed' wireless chicken house , make their way upward from roost pole to roost pole. When another chicken dallies up beside them, they may peck at one another for a second or two for what ever reason and snuggle up for a nights rest.
We had our poles offset in tears, each higher pole off-set just behind the lower one for obvious reasons. I never seen a chicken stick its head out of the roost house. One because they are snug and settled on their roost poles for the night and two because our roost house was made of wood meaning even the most outer roosting chicken will have no hole to stick its head through even if it wanted too. There is no forging going on in a roost house at roost time, the forging is over for the day.  And, when the door is opened at the proper time in the AM, they do not hang around in the roost house, they are simply eager to leave for the days scratching for a living and doing what chickens do once they leave their roost pole.

>The timing of the closure must be observed so that it is not too early or too late.

As you know and most likely gained through your experience, they will go to roost early on dark cloudy overcast days, leaving them vulnerable to what gww described if the door is not shut just behind the last chicken in. (especially in the country without a good yard dog, and sometimes with one it may be 'tried'). Though we never had this happen as we always had a good yard dog. lol

The chicken roost house had a pole from the ground to portal door cut out well above ground used for their entrance place, (where the chickens entered in the evening at what they, the chickens decided was roost time). This type of entrance is what I had in mind for an automatic chicken door opener which I described earlier. The chickens would simply walk up the entrance pole, enter the roost house, make their place on the roost poles, then decided where their spot would be for the night.
Close the portal door which is about four feet up. The next morning simply open the main door and let them out and repeat the process daily. Of course this will not work for the circumstances that Kathy has a need.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2023, 05:23:54 pm by Ben Framed »
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Kathyp

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2023, 11:32:11 am »
Quote
The problem and question; Would this include not shutting on an early arriving coon or other variety of varmint, allowing them to enter 'along' with the chickens 'before dark' ? Remember gww told us of an occasion he experienced this problem, a coon did just that, entered before dark.

It's about the odds for me.  When we are gone I have to hire someone to come feed and that someone has to come back to close up the chickens.  In the summer, that's quite late and it means paying extra for that extra trip.  Yes, a predator might get in there, but they might do that anyway.  by the time my person comes to close things up, the deed would be done.  So the door would 1. be consistent where teens are not and 2. save me money in the long run. 

+ there are those nights when I forget to go out until it's dark. 

There is no week nor day nor hour when tyranny may not enter upon this country, if the people lose their roughness and spirit of defiance.? --Walt Whitman

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2023, 11:38:05 am »
Close the portal door which is about four feet up. The next morning simply open the main door and let them out and repeat the process daily. Of course this will not work for the circumstances that Kathy has a need.

I would say the odds are in your favor Kathy if you set it just at dark or just afterward. The chickens will be safe in for the night without the automatic 'door closer chicken killer' as you described, killing one. lol

+ having a good patrolling yard dog is a big asset.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2023, 01:32:24 pm by Ben Framed »
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2023, 12:01:16 pm »
lol Im not speaking of a pet, but a 'good' yard dog. The word 'good' meaning one that does his job well, 'protecting' the yard.
A 'pet', (not being raised the ever presence chickens), has no place with chickens or you will 'most certainly' get the results you described and learned the hard way. 
Now, the two can overlap.  Almost every good 'yard dog' can and will make a very good companion and loves a good petting session.

Phillip
Absolutely.  A pet dog (and even a yard dog) being raised in the presence of chickens is essential to a dog behaving around chickens (and other small game animals that tend to illicit prey drive in dogs).  We have a lab mix who is skittish, and not very trustworthy in many situations, but he's been around chickens since we got him, which was when he was only about 4 weeks old.  When he was very small we had chicks in the house in a brooder, which he was able to see into, and whenever he went outside there were adult chickens in the yard.  We obviously kept a close eye on him when he was in his "teenage" stage to be sure he didn't get any ideas about them, but they were such a normal part of his life that he never viewed them as prey.   

Our LGDs were also exposed to the chickens almost as soon as we brought the puppies home, and they had also been exposed to chickens at their birth home already.  Their natural guarding instinct makes it easier for them to not think of the animals as prey, and after being instructed several times that they were not allowed to play with the chickens, they understood they were supposed to protect them and are now completely trustworthy.   

Also, our male LGD loves petting and snuggling and hugging more than about anything in the world, so yard dogs can definitely also be good companions.  :grin:     
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2023, 12:08:30 pm »

It's about the odds for me.  When we are gone I have to hire someone to come feed and that someone has to come back to close up the chickens.  In the summer, that's quite late and it means paying extra for that extra trip.  Yes, a predator might get in there, but they might do that anyway.  by the time my person comes to close things up, the deed would be done.  So the door would 1. be consistent where teens are not and 2. save me money in the long run. 

+ there are those nights when I forget to go out until it's dark.
This is precisely why you want an automatic coup door and it doesn't need to be elevated.  Fox, skunks, weasels are not deterred by an elevated entrance.  Do not wait until dark!  The chickens will go in way before dark.  They are sitting ducks in the dark.  You won't lose one chicken you will lose them all.
Chickens normally roost in trees.  They are safer in trees then in a dark coup with the door open.  It is not the end of the world if one or two stay outside.  It will happen.  Don't sweat it.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2023, 12:14:02 pm »
I should add that you can add feeders that will last days.  If it is longer then that you are going to have a problem with poop and eggs in the nest.  The eggs are the problem because it attracts prey.  Everything eats chickens and everything eats chicken eggs, including a YARD dog.
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Online gww

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2023, 12:51:03 pm »
I would love to have one.  No need for baby sitters then.  On the other hand, now-a-days if I am out drinking and partying, I have a great excuse to get home at dark and my lackadaisy schedule does not get screwed up for days. :grin:

I would like one that opens and closes on it's own.  I thought about building one once and seen some were using those old car antennas that would retract.
Cheers
gww

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2023, 12:57:06 pm »
>They are safer in trees then in a dark coup with the door open.  It is not the end of the world if one or two stay outside.  It will happen.  Don't sweat it.

I respectfully disagree. We have lost many tree roosting chickens. No comparison to a good chicken house even if the door is shut after dark and while being patrolled by a good yard dog. Though gww has experienced varmints entering the door before dark, I can't remember loosing even 'one chicken' in the roost house unless it died of natural causes. I would say that is pretty good odds.  Owls will do more than their share of stealing helpless chickens sitting on a tree limb. Ever hear a chicken whaling in despair as its voice rapidly fades away into the distances of the night, while clinched in the talons of an owl? Pitiful sound. 






 
« Last Edit: January 21, 2023, 01:25:16 pm by Ben Framed »
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2023, 01:04:03 pm »
" I thought about building one once and seen some were using those old car antennas that would retract."

Sounds like a Good idea...
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Robo

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2023, 08:20:55 am »

I would say the odds are in your favor Kathy if you set it just at dark or just afterward. The chickens will be safe in for the night without the automatic 'door closer chicken killer' as you described, killing one. lol



With a swinging door like the https://chickendoors.com/, killing is a non issue and on the bonus side coons can't "pick up" on the door like the vertical sliders.
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2023, 01:25:12 pm »
I should add that you can add feeders that will last days.  If it is longer then that you are going to have a problem with poop and eggs in the nest.  The eggs are the problem because it attracts prey.  Everything eats chickens and everything eats chicken eggs, including a YARD dog.

Our nesting area was built 'off' the ground, reached by the chickens after 'climbing' the nesting pole. I do not know where your nesting area it located.  Its no wonder eggs have poop on them if the poor chickens nesting area in located close to the poop covered ground, stepping straight from there into the nest! 
:grin:
And:
Even the most clever untrained "pet-dog" can not climb the nesting poles which serves multi, common sense purposes. The chickens, by waking up these long poles, lose the dirt and 'other things' which are attached to there feet by the time they reach the top where the  'clean' 'straw lined' elevated nest are waiting and can not be reached by an untrained "pet",,  lol. 

Brian you have ask me if I have 'had' kept chickens.  I answered of course I have and I might add;  'successfully'.
When I was a kid eggs sales are how I made my spending money, by selling my sought after big brown country eggs with the good dark yellow yokes wholesale to the local country stores. I am enjoying our chicken door conversation even though it has drifted into chicken keeping 101 lol, thanks to the different twist and scenarios 'you' keep adding to the subject.   
:grin:

Phillip
« Last Edit: January 22, 2023, 04:26:53 pm by Ben Framed »
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2023, 04:47:28 pm »

I would say the odds are in your favor Kathy if you set it just at dark or just afterward. The chickens will be safe in for the night without the automatic 'door closer chicken killer' as you described, killing one. lol



With a swinging door like the https://chickendoors.com/, killing is a non issue and on the bonus side coons can't "pick up" on the door like the vertical sliders.

Rob after the marvelously designed bee vac that you have invented, "The Robo Vac", I have full confidence that you would not recommend anything but quality. I did not read the link that you had found and posted, my statement was referring to the type door that Kathy described as those being known as "Chicken Killers" lol.
I went on to make a joke with Kathyp of what I had in mind. lol  :wink: while I was also kidding with Brian/Acebird.

Kathyp
"some of the reviews claim the door they got was a chicken killer!"


Ben Framed
"Well in case you don't find a better one, all I can say is have the cook pot ready
:shocked: :cheesy: lol j/k"

And to Brian:
Acebird
" With the jack screw design it takes about a minute to close and makes a lot of noise.  There is no surprise snap shut closure."

Ben Framed

Unlike what I am proposing. Mine will work like a guillotine with a dull edge! They had better be some fast chickens if the 'timer' is not set to trip until 'after' dusk, and it is dark outside ! lol 
:wink:

Phillip
« Last Edit: January 23, 2023, 05:31:16 pm by Ben Framed »
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #36 on: January 23, 2023, 09:04:44 am »
Kathy, please report back on what you choose and you thoughts on it in a couple of years.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline Kathyp

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2023, 11:46:28 am »
I will do that.  Got sidetracked with some stuff here and have not made it to the chicken lady.  Will update when I find something.  I think I might be overthinking this   :grin:
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Offline The15thMember

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2023, 12:53:02 pm »
Hey Kathy, my sister noticed that MannaPro is having a 20% off sale on their chicken doors right now.  Just in case you are interested.
https://www.mannapro.com/promotions/auto-chicken-coop-door?_kx=X3TSB-Lh7ofODu_CJ-qNfRK0mdHBobBcf41t_r3socg8-cTuDkzdCiE1kP27w9kb.WcZhv6
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Offline Acebird

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Re: Automatic chicken coop door
« Reply #39 on: January 28, 2023, 09:20:37 am »
As mentioned before you need a door that can't be easily opened by predators.
Brian Cardinal
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