Backyard Poultry Review Clarifications
Jeremy Chartier provides an insightful overview for each of the top automatic chicken doors, including Coop Tender®. If you haven’t come across his article, you can check it out here: https://backyardpoultry.iamcountryside.com/coops/automated-chicken-coop-doors/.
This is what Jeremy had to say about Coop Tender® Automatic Chicken Coop Doors:
“The Coop Tender [Automatic Chicken Door] is a standout in the crowd for many reasons. Visually, it’s the robust, hefty wooden construction of the cabinet and door. Mechanically, it’s the impressive machine screw that actuates it; it’s a slow actuation but the most forceful of all our contestants. Operationally, it’s the web connectivity it offers. It really is a unique offering at a minimum…The Coop Tender is truly an automated chicken coop door in the highest sense. One must appreciate the amount of ingenuity baked into this unit. With all its [optional] add-ons, the Coop Tender is more of a remote coop management system than a door. “
We value Jeremy’s evaluation and believe that it would be beneficial to add some clarification to a few of his observations.
O: “the order number you need to register the device with is printed on the wifi manual, not your actual order number from your emailed receipt.”
C: We’re not sure what 'the actual order number from the email receipt' refers to and why it would be different from the order number provided on the Quick Start manual. Your order confirmation has Subject: Order [Order Number] Confirmed. Message: Order #: [Order Number]... The [Order Number] is in the format of CTXXXXXX, where XXXXXX is a series of 6 numbers. We are not aware of other order numbers appearing on the order confirmation message which you receive. Regardless, the information is printed on the front cover of the Quick Start manual which comes with the wi-fi module as indicated.
O: “The [wi-fi module] setup procedure is not insurmountable but certainly not self-explanatory by any means.”
C: The Quick Start Manual which come with the wi-fi module contains the instructions and steps necessary to connect the module to your wi-fi network. The process itself is relatively simple. We do recommend that you read through the instructions before attempting to connect the module to your network. Note: you may view, print, and download Quick Start and Owner’s Manuals by pointing your Internet browser to CoopTender.com/manuals.
O: “it behooves you to place studs on either side of the cutout.”
C: It is not necessary to place studs on either side of the cutout. Coop Tender Automatic Chicken Coop Doors are built strong and need only to be mounted with 4 screws (provided) through the mounting panel to the outside of your chicken coop. Our Automatic Chicken Doors are designed to fit between standard 16 inch on center stud spacing. If studs are spaced wider, there is no need to add more. If studs are spaced less than 15 inches, then you may need to cut into them. The door unit itself is strong enough to support whatever the studs were holding.
O: “There is a plate across the entire door that serves to hold it from falling in, and you can screw that to your coop. Long story short, cut the prescribed hole, frame it, slide the door in, and secure it.”
C: The plate referred to is the Mounting Panel. Installing the 4 included screws through this panel to your chicken coop is all that is necessary to mount your door. Short story shorter, cut the prescribed hole (cutout), slide the door in, secure it with 4 screws through the mounting panel (pate). If you take extra care cutting the rectangular cutout, trim will not be necessary. A small gap (1/4 inch or less) between the door and the coop is ok. You don’t want your chicken coop to be airtight. If it is, ammonia can build up and be detrimental to the health of our chickens.
O: "The front of the unit has a 12 key number pad, four LED lights, and an LCD screen. I admittedly did not read up on the number pad; however, it’s far from intuitive.”
C: Far from intuitive is accurate. However, the Quick Start Manual which is provided with the door gives a brief overview of keypad menu operation with pictures. This is enough for most to grasp the process and be on their way. More detail regarding keypad menu operation along with examples are provided in the Owner’s Manual. Note: we send Quick Start manuals with our products. The Owner’s Manuals are more detailed and are available to view, print, and download by pointing your Internet browser to CoopTender.com/Manuals.
O: “This door requires wifi.”
C: Not entirely accurate. Coop Tender Automatic Chicken Coop Doors are Wi-Fi Enabled, but do not require wi-fi service to operate. The Internet Wi-Fi Module is an optional accessory which is available for those who do have wi-fi connectivity at their chicken coop and wish to benefit from the features of our remote control and management technologies. Those who don’t have wi-fi service at their chicken coop can still program and monitor their door using the keypad menu and visual review of status lights on the control panel.
O: “My parents, however, would be utterly lost.”
C: This may be true. However, older individuals and seniors are a large portion of our customer base. We have found that older individuals may be more likely to review the Quick Start materials which are sent along with our product. In doing so, they gain the necessary insight into the relative simplicity of managing a robust set of features.
O: “Cost* $475 - * ...at the time of writing.”
C: The cost of the [Automatic Chicken Door + Internet Wi-Fi Module Bundle] as reviewed is currently $427.48 The base Automatic Chicken Door without the Internet Wi-Fi Module is currently $299.99. Cost at time of writing was higher due to hugely inflated lumber and electronic parts costs. Example: The select grade lumber used to manufacture Coop Tender Automatic Chicken Coop Doors doubled from about $33 per 1” x 12” x 8’ board to over $70 per board. Many electronic parts remain at inflated prices and are often difficult to acquire unless you are willing and able to pay more. Since the higher cost of $475 was primarily driven by higher lumber prices, we rolled prices back to pre-2020-pandemic levels when lumber prices and availability became more reasonable. By far, the largest portion of the cost associated with our automatic chicken doors is parts and labor. The manufacturing process for each door take several hours.