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Installing an Automatic Coop Door

If I can do it, so can you! I’ll take you step-by-step on installing an automatic coop door for your chickens.

What is an automatic coop door?

An automatic coop door is a simple door that is set either to a timer or to daylight to open and close on its own.

Do automatic coop doors need batteries?

That depends. Most coops that I have seen require batteries to work. Nothing fancy, just usually 4 triple a’s. I decided to spend a little more cash and get a coop door that can run on a standard outlet or on batteries.

inside of an automatic coop door from rough and tumble farmhouse

Is an automatic chicken coop door worth it?

YES.

Granted we haven’t tested it in the winter yet, this coop door has been worth every penny.

Timely Opening

Most mornings I am running around getting my children up and fed, meat pulled out of the freezer for dinner, etc. Our poor chickens sometimes don’t get until late morning or even lunch time.

Now right at seven a.m. their door opens.

At night during the summer months sometimes it isn’t dark enough for the chickens to go inside until 9:30 p.m. I’m usually wrapping up my evening, most nights getting out of the shower at this point.

The last thing I want to do is hoof it down to the chicken coop and close the door.

Vacations

We have our farm set up so we can get away for at least a weekend without having to need someone doing farm chores. This is very important for us as a family.

Previously when we would be traveling, the chickens just stayed closed up in the coop with ample food and water. They had plenty of room to roam around but were stuck inside.

Now when we are away the chickens can get let out and closed back up without our neighbors having to make the trip.

dusty gray old chicken coop door from rough and tumble farmhouse

How much does an automatic chicken coop door cost?

This will vary from $40 up to $200+. Unless it is in relation to a garage sale or thrift store find, I tend to believe “you get what you pay for” and would invest in a higher quality one rather than a cheap one that doesn’t work. You will likely end up having to buy the more expensive replacement and you might have your chickens eaten by a fox in the process.

Can you set an automatic chicken coop door to open at certain times?

This depends on the model you are using, but yes!

Our coop door can either open at dawn and dusk with a daylight sensor, or it can open at certain times. It even allows for different time settings for weekdays and weekends.

We chose to use the time setting rather than daylight sensor as our guineas are sometimes a little slow to scoot in the coop.

Are automatic coop doors safe?

I would say yes on this one. The door itself is not very heavy and it closes so slowly, that if it started to smoosh a chicken they would have ample time to skeedaddle.

If for whatever reason your toddler was goofing around in the chicken coop door when it shut, the door is so light and there is no downward pressure so it wouldn’t be able to hurt them.

How well does an automatic chicken coop door work in the winter?

As of writing this it is mid-May, so I can’t give you a solid answer on that one. I’ll be sure to update this post sometime around January 2023 with how it does.

Tips for Installing an Automatic Coop Door

Tools

This coop door didn’t take anything fancy to install. Still, it did take about a half dozen trips back and forth to the house to gather various tools.

For ours we needed:

  • Screw Driver or Drill
  • Wood (To adjust our door size)
  • Circular Saw (to cut said wood)
  • Measuring Tape
  • Level – This makes it easier to get the brackets placed properly so the door opens easily

Measurements

The coop door will come in a certain size, so you should cut the hole in your coop for a door to match it. Or if you are like most people and already have a coop door, you may need to add wood around it to make the hole small enough for the door to cover it.

Make sure you follow the measurements on the installation guide for the best results.

Level

Make sure the brackets you install (assuming yours has bracket sides) are good and level as this will help the door to open and close smoothly.

Does an automatic coop door come with all the supplies I need?

Maybe!

Be sure to check the details when you order it. Sometimes it’s just the door or the actual opener/motor you are buying and not a complete kit.

I have enough things to manage around here I went with a complete kit so I didn’t have to track anything down, I could just put it together.

Review of the Premier1 Chicken Coop Door

bright blue chicken coop door box that says poultry door from premier1 brand from rough and tumble farmhouse

Overall I found this door straightforward and easy to install. It came with a quickstart guide which was all I needed to use to successfully install the door.

Some features I like about this door:

  • Can Run on Batteries
  • Can Run on an Outlet
  • Comes with batteries (not huge but a nice touch I thought)
  • The motor can be mounted directly over the door or it comes with pulleys to mount it off to the side if necessary.
  • It can operate either on set times or using a daylight sensor
  • The door can be set to open and close at different times for weekdays or weekends.

If you’d like to see this door in action and how I installed it, check out the video below!

Watch and Learn

Seriously, if I can install an automatic chicken coop door, anyone can! In the video below I show you the entire process of installing the door on our coop. My mom was on deck to hold things in place while I screwed, but other than that I did this one on my own.

More Chickens Please!

Check out all the chicken posts from our farmhouse.

Pin it for Later

pinterest graphic of a thrilled woman with her automatic chicken coop door rough and tumble farmhouse

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