As you may already know, installing an automatic chicken door in your chicken coop can be beneficial to you and your chickens, but what is the best method for automatically opening and closing your coop door?
The two primary methods of automatic operation are Time Schedule and Dusk-to-Dawn (a.k.a. Dawn-to-Dusk depending on whether you are looking at an automatic chicken door closer or automatic chicken door opener respectively).
Some automatic chicken door solutions work with a timer to open and close the coop door based on a time schedule. This can be an effective means of managing your coop door, but there are some issues you should be aware of.
The biggest problem is that your chickens have no concept of time, so they don’t know when the door is scheduled to close and may be unfortunate enough to miss the scheduled closing and get locked out of the chicken coop – leaving them vulnerable to nighttime predators.
Another issue with schedule-based door operation is the variance in daylight hours throughout the year. If you set your schedule during the summer, then as winter approaches, the door will be opening too early and closing too late. When opening too early, nighttime predators can still be out looking for an easy meal. When closing too late, your chickens are susceptible to predators until the door closes. The same type of issue arises if you set your schedule based on winter daylight hours (i.e. the door will likely close too early as summer approaches and can lock your chickens out of the coop).
When operating your automatic chicken door using a time schedule, it is very important that you monitor and update the schedule throughout the year – adjusting the open and close times based on current daylight hours. It is probably best to monitor and adjust the time schedule monthly.
Automatic Chicken Door closer operation based on actual daylight (Dusk to Dawn) is generally the most preferred method of operation since it is in tune with how chickens decide when to roost. Your chickens instinctively know to roost in a safe place as daylight transitions into nighttime (dusk). An automatic door closer which closes at dusk will automatically adjust when it closes based on actual daylight hours.
When researching the various automatic chicken doors available on the market, check if it can operate in Dusk to Dawn mode. Then, also check if it is programmable, allowing you to adjust settings based on the behavior of your flock.
For Example: Some chickens may stay out a little later than others. An important feature in this situation would be to program a delay which allows for the stragglers to get into the coop before the door closes. Once the settings have been programmed and adjusted to your flock, you don’t need to make any adjustments throughout the year – which would be necessary if using time schedule operation.
What if you want to remotely control your chicken door instead of going out to your chicken coop to open and close the door each day? Maybe you just want to be notified when your automatic chicken door opens and closes, or a way to monitor door status when you are away. This is where an Internet Wi-fi enabled automatic chicken door is an ideal solution.
With an Internet Wi-Fi connected automatic chicken door and a Wi-Fi network which can be accessed from the chicken coop, you can remotely control your coop door from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection and browser, and you can receive notifications when your door opens and closes.
Regardless of which automatic door operating method you decide to use, Coop Tender® Internet WiFi Enabled Automatic Chicken Doors allow you to choose the control method (Schedule, Dusk-to-Dawn or Manual) and are programmable, so you can adjust operation parameters. These doors come pre-programmed to operate in Dusk to Dawn mode with settings that work for most chickens – out of the box. Using the keypad menu on the door controller, it’s easy to adjust settings if necessary. You can also program the door with the Universal Web App™ which is integrated with the Coop Tender® Automatic Coop Door Internet Wi-Fi Module.
In addition to the various operation modes, Coop Tender® automatic coop doors use a solid steel Acme threaded worm / screw drive to open and close the door. This makes them 100% predator proof. Nothing can open the door when it is closed.
Read more about Coop Tender® Automatic Chicken Doors and you’ll know why it is the Top Rated Automatic Chicken Door on the market.