A Clever Automatic Coop Door – No Electricity or Battery Needed

I feel a automatic coop door opener is a must have for every urban chicken keeper, especially if your spouse, like mine, is not too keen about being woken up at dawn everyday by hens anxious about getting on with their business for the day. However, getting power to a coop can be a challenge and some of the battery powered or solar powered automatic door openers can be very expensive. I stumbled on to this nifty automatic coop door opener in the U.K. on Youtube the other day. It is chicken powered! It has a weighted lever and pulley system designed into the roost.

If something happens to one of the chickens or the flock size is reduced or increased, an additional weight would need to be added or removed to rebalance. From looking at the invention, the sand filled jugs on the bottom lever appear to be easy to remove or add as needed to make weight adjustments.

Very clever!

 

Below is a picture of my homemade step up with a drapery motor/ motorized auto coop door opener.  More pictures of it and my coop and can be found HERE. If you have a automatic coop door opener to share, leave me a comment with a link or email me a photo. I plan to eventually redo my own coop door opener when I move to coop to the other side of yard and would love some more ideas or suggestions. Thanks.

This is my current automatic coop door opener. It is a curtain opener made by Add A Moter and it lifts the chicken coop’s sliding panel pop door. It runs on electricity, but when the time comes to build a new coop, I think I might try building a lever system opener instead.

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Comments

A Clever Automatic Coop Door – No Electricity or Battery Needed — 5 Comments

  1. Wow that is really clever. For now I use my power. Let me ask you a question. I put the chickens to bed just before dark and usually let them out around 7:00. They are quiet still. Will they want to start getting out earlier as they get older and what about in the winter when the nights are so long. I take the food up and put away every night as we have had some rats in the coop which is distressing me. Hubby is going to cover the run with hardware cloth this weekend. I sure hope they can’t get through that. The run is behind our garage and they come through the drainage holes in the back walls from neighboring yards. Our one neighbor has a rat heaven in his backyard with a couple of old sheds. Gross right?

    • Hi Elaine,

      Are your chickens old enough to be laying yet? Usually chickens get more vocal about the time they are old enough to lay. Daylight hours play a large role in the timing of a chicken’s daily regiment. Chickens sleep in later in the winter and get up really early in summer, depending on when the sun is up. Having access to their feed when they wake up hungry can help keep the noise down.

      But temperament can also have an influence on how noisey chickens are. Some breeds are quieter than others. My Cochins are generally pretty quiet, regardless of whether or not they are in the coop, the run, or free ranging.

      Best wishes with the rat proofing. I hate seeing rats on the power lines. Gracie is a serious hunter, and since getting her, we never see any signs of rats in the yard. Years ago, we used to have one dense star jasmine that we discovered rats set up house in. I know what you mean about it being gross. We decided to solve the rat problem by getting rid of the vine.

      • Our cat is a great hunter but these buggers are coming through the drain holes. Through screening those and going over the chicken wire with the small hardware cloth we may be lucky enough to get them out. At least I hope. I have thought of buying a new coop and having it in the yard instead of behind the garage. I hate it back there as I don’t get to see them unless I let them out. Rats would have a hard time surviving in our backyard long as our cats and chihuahua would hopefully get them. Not sure what to do but my poor hubby. All changes require his involvement.

    • I was able to buy my first curtain motor for the automatic chicken coop door opener via ebay, used and damaged for about $50, but i repaired it. That was about 5 or 6 years ago. After about two years of use, one of the plastic gears broke and i couldn’t find a relacement for it. The company i bought the replacement/ second one from is no longer in business. The add a motor company now makes a similar model specifically for coop door openers. Both models are available on ebay, amazon, and a place called smarthome. They range in price from $80-$100 new.

      The opener set up is just the “add a motor” drapery motor plugged into a programable timer with multiple on off settings, the motor tied to a string attached to the sliding pop door, and an extension cord. When i have time next week, i will try to make a detailed post and pictures how i did it. In the meantime, I think there might be similar plans that can be found at byc.

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