Ah, the chicken coop door. The times we’ve neglected to shut it. The times we’ve forgotten. The times we thought we did, but didn’t. The times it was out for repair. Over the years we have unnecessarily lost 5 hens to raccoons because of that door.
Not to mention the tedium of the evening and morning ritual – “Did you lock the chickens up?” “Did you let the chickens out?”
No more. I wanted to build my own automatic door, but didn’t feel up to learning the electrical side (my teachers were on strike during that portion of high school physics and I never did catch up). So I researched them online.
This spring I finally purchased the Pullet-Shut. I originally wanted a vertical sliding door, but there are fewer moving parts to go wrong on the horizontally swinging Pullet-Shut. The door can be programmed to open and close at specific times, or can be automatically tuned to the seasons with a light sensor. The small battery that operates the door can also be charged with a small solar panel. It was a cinch to install, and operates like a dream. Bonus, it is made in the U.S.A. Another nifty feature is that after the door closes in the evening, it will open up again one minute later for one minute to let in any stragglers.
I wish I was being paid to rave about this product cause it was kinda pricey, but it’s worth it.
Well, someone who likes chickens definitely did an engineering job on this one! Good choice.
Good plan Jen. Is it sensitive to a bird who might not quite in the door, i.e., standing on the ground outside the opening but in the path of the closing door? The bird would likely go one way or another when the door closes … and how ‘fast’ does it close?
Great behavioural question! The door closes over about 10s, with an audible mechanical (motor-whirry) sound. I tell ya, they did a great job developing this door!