Automatic chicken coop doors are exactly what they sound like: doors with a mechanism that can open without any intervention on your behalf. Instead of being manually operated, they have an automatic battery or solar-powered systems that trigger based on a schedule, light sensors, or, if desired, your remote input.
We’ve reviewed some of the best products that money can buy right now. We’ll also show you which features you should look for in an automatic chicken coop door system. Hopefully, we have a little something in here for every reader, so stick with us as we take you through the best of the best chicken coop door ideas.
Backyard Boss Top Five Automatic Chicken Coop Doors for 2021
|Cheeper Keeper Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener||Check The Price!|
|CHICKENGUARD 'Extreme' Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener||Check The Price!|
|Add-A-Motor Door Accessory Motor||Check The Price!|
|JVR Smart Automatic Chicken Coop Door||Check The Price!|
|Coop Controls Automatic Chicken Coop Door||Check The Price!|
Why You Can Trust Us
I’ve been raising chickens off and on since I was about ten years old, keeping the family’s pets and egg producers in line. Yes, I’m that homeschooled kid who sang to her chickens every afternoon to help them lay better.
As I’ve kept this poultry over the years, I’ve done a lot of research into ways to help them, ways to make life easier for the keepers, and much more. So these automatic chicken coop doors are definitely in my wheelhouse. Man, do I wish I’d had them when I was a kid! I could have saved my oldest chicken from foxes one summer with one of these!
Best for Sliding Doors
Why We Like It: We’re starting off this round-up by showing you one of the best automatic chicken coop door opener systems, which also happens to be one of our favorites. This is a product that has improved quite a lot compared to its original version and is now equipped with features like a battery pack that can house four AA batteries, and even LED light indicators.
The door itself is made from aluminum and has an opening of 9 x 13 inches, while the entire system will require 10 x 36 inches of space for suitable installation. It is operated based on a light-detection sensor that opens the doors in the morning and closes them in the evening.
The system has a sensor that will detect a chicken that’s standing in the door and won’t lower it if that could harm the bird. The circuit board is triple varnished and promises to resist in the face of dust, corrosion, or UV light. There is also an instructional video that will tell you how to operate it, which should be very easy considering how straightforward the system is.
Who Should Buy It: If you want a product that meets every requirement we’ve mentioned in the buyer’s guide section of this article, the Cheaper Keeper is a good solution and one that can keep your chickens safe.
Best for Frequent Use
Automatic chicken coop door that lifts doors up to eight pounds
Why We Like It: ChickenGuard is quite a big name in this niche, and it makes some of the meanest and coolest automatic systems for opening and closing the doors to your chicken coop. The Extreme model of this product packs a series of desired features that include a programmable timer and a really powerful motor.
It comes with an LCD screen that will provide control and information related to the current setting of the system. The control panel is encased in a sturdy material that’s backed by epoxy resin in order to make sure all electrical components are safe inside the unit. It can lift doors that are up to eight pounds in weight but note that the door is not included in the package.
The light sensors on this system work really well and there are multiple power supply options to choose from. The system can be either operated by a set of alkaline batteries, but there is also a USB cable that can be connected to the charger and then to a power outlet for people who have electricity near their chicken coop.
Who Should Buy It: The ChickenGuard system is the perfect option for people who want a product from a reliable manufacturer. It’s great both for those who want a battery-powered system, but also for those who have electricity next to their chicken coops.
Best for Budget-Conscious
Why We Like It: Let’s talk about a product that’s designed for people who are on a budget and want to test the possibilities that an automatic chicken coop door system can bring to the table. This particular system does not include the actual door, but it can connect to pretty much every type of door out there, be it metal, plastic, or wood.
Surprisingly enough, this little fellow can raise a door that’s up to 10 pounds in weight, which is more than we can say for other models out there. The system has a safety measure that will prevent bird injuries as it closes at a really slow speed, so your chicken will have plenty of time to get in or out of the coop.
The system includes all the mounting hardware that you need, but considering the fact that it’s electricity-powered, you can only use it if you have an outlet somewhere near the chicken coop.
Who Should Buy It: This budget-friendly DIY automatic chicken coop door option is quite a decent unit considering the price you pay for it. It’s a suitable purchase for people who are just interested in the mechanism itself and want to be able to use it with their existing chicken coop doors.
Best for Smart Chicken Coops
Why We Like It: The Smart tech on this one makes it a truly unique option for owners looking to control their chicken coop with WiFi technology. It’s a pretty awesome idea really, especially for folks who may not always have the steadiest of schedules.
The door is easy to install and pair with the app (though you must verify your WiFi signal reaches the coop clearly before purchasing) and the app itself is pretty easy to use. You can set timers for the door using the app or open and close the doors manually, as needed.
The door also uses sensors that sense your chickens if they fall asleep in the doorway and prevent the door from closing to protect them. The components are sturdy and rust-resistant.
Who Should Buy It: This WiFi-enabled Smart chicken coop door is a great option for anyone who’s into using Smart tech or for folks who don’t always get to keep a standard schedule or travel a fair bit and want to keep their chickens guarded and safe.
Best for Solar-Powered Chicken Coops
Why We Like It: Since we love solar energy products that help save the planet and save us money, this was a great option for the list. It works well and has a lot of great features.
The door opener automatically senses light and opens the doors at sunrise and closes them at night when the sunsets. It has an integrated photocell (solar panel) to sense everything. The opener works with swinging doors, sliding doors, and other types that fit the measurements.
The opener also uses a delay to open and delay to close setting of up to 60 seconds each and a manually operated push button in case something goes awry. Plus, the kit includes everything you need for installation (except the 12V 7Ah battery), with a board for reinforcing the door and coop.
Who Should Buy It: This one is perfect for the environmentally conscious chicken keeper thanks to the solar energy usage for powering the door automatically at sunrise and sunset (or as needed).
What to Look For
Buying an automatic chicken coop is not rocket science if you know a few basic things about the features that are best to have in a product of this kind. Basically, we’re talking about a system that can open the doors of your chicken coop at a specific time of your choice.
When you’re looking to buy such a product, you’ll most likely be interested in features such as adjustable timers and wire safety. People ask questions like how much are they? What size do I need? Why does a chicken coop have two doors? Hopefully, this article helps explain some of that.
One of the most important parts of an automatic system is the power source it comes with. Chicken coop doors with an automatic system can have one of four power sources – batteries, solar power, electricity, or a combination of two or three of these. The majority of chicken coop owners prefer to choose a battery-powered system because they don’t have electricity that goes all the way to the hen house.
A battery-powered system can save you the trouble of having to add extra wires. Depending on the system you buy and what types of batteries it has, you can get about 6 months, maybe even 9 months, of juice from a couple of 4 AA batteries.
The second option for those who don’t have electricity near their chicken coops is to opt for solar-powered doors. The drawback is that you’d need plenty of sunlight in order for the batteries to fully charge every day, which could be a drawback if you live in a cloudy climate or during the winter when the days are shorter and scarce in sunlight.
Control boxes for these kinds of products are based on two systems – light sensors and timers. Automatic chicken coop doors that have light sensors function similarly to solar-powered outdoor lights – the sensor will identify good or bad light conditions and can open and close the doors at dawn and dusk.
The tricky thing about light-activated sensors is that you need to make sure that outdoor night lights won’t activate them. They could also be opened by powerful moonlight if the sensor is too sensitive.
You can also opt for timer-based control boxes but know that some of them also have lighting sensors. These are basically operated by the light sensor in essence, but the timer acts as a failsafe mechanism in case the lights don’t open the doors until a specific time.
For the most part, chicken coops have two types of mechanisms – a motorized lift with a close and one with a gravity close. As you can imagine, judging by the name of these products, the latter basically uses the power of gravity to close the door, which could harm your hens if they’re in the way.
Instead, you want to opt for a system with a motorized lift and a close, as these mechanisms use an electric system that could stop the doors from coming down on your hens.
More Important Information
The weight of the door is very important in this particular setup. The size of the door is typically standard, measuring 12 x 15 inches. This should serve well for most chicken and hen sizes, but you also have other sizing options out there. Naturally, if you have really large birds tucked away in the chicken coop, you will need a larger door.
Aluminum doors are always a good option because they don’t put that much strain on the motor. For the most part, chicken coop doors weigh something like four kilos, which is roughly nine pounds, but if you buy the same size door in an aluminum version, it would weigh considerably less, which is good for the entire system.
Another important thing that you should know is that the cheaper your automatic chicken coop door system is, the less weight it will be able to lift. For instance, you can’t expect a really cheap system to lift an eight-pound door. Again, it’s super important to keep in mind that the weight of the door can influence the smooth operation of the mechanism.
How We Picked
After looking through all the qualities of a good automatic chicken coop door opener, we went in search of the best options we could find. Most are well-known companies, all have great reviews from real-life users, and all meet the standards required for a good auto door-opener.
The Best for Your Birds
While there aren’t that many things that you should know about before buying an automatic chicken coop door system, there are some really important items that you have to cross off your list if you’re considering getting one for your chickens.
You need to avoid gravity-lowered doors because they can trap or injure your chickens because of how they operate. Consider investing money in a really good automatic chicken coop door system because the quality of the motor is really noticeable.
Plus, cheap systems can cause a lot of electrical problems that you do not want to have to deal with. There’s also the risk of a cheap system giving in under low-temperature conditions, due to electrical components and wires not being properly insulated.
With that in mind, the Cheeper Keeper Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener is our favorite pick because it hits on all the key points we’ve mentioned above. It’s a complete battery-powered kit, meaning it works in any remote location, and you don’t need to purchase a door, separately. It also has sensors to avoid shutting the aluminum door while a chicken is in the way. Moreover, light sensors trigger the system to automatically open or close the coop door at dusk and dawn.
Let us know in the comments about your chicken coop door experience and whether you can recommend another product.