Anyone who has engaged in the endeavor of raising and tending free range backyard chickens knows how important it is to open the door early in the morning, but more importantly, securely closing the door before nighttime predators are active.
Some nighttime predators can and will destroy your entire flock if they have access to the inside of your chicken coop when your hens are roosting.
A recent study by the University of Minnesota shows that nearly 80 percent of all cause-specific losses of chickens are directly related to predators.[i]
If you consider that it costs up to $25 per month to raise one chicken[ii], that’s $300 to raise and feed one chicken for one year. If you feed your poultry organically, then your costs could be even higher.
Losing even one chicken to a predator has a financial and emotional impact.
The best way to ensure that your coop door is opened and securely closed every day is to install an automatic chicken coop door.
Coop Tender® Automatic Chicken Door was introduced to the market in 2014.
Requests for a slightly larger door for ducks and smaller backyard turkey breeds led to the introduction of the Coop Tender® Large Automatic Chicken Door in 2016. The Large Automatic Chicken Door Opener has done well to provide automatic coop door operation for large chicken breeds, ducks, and smaller turkey breeds.
More recently, we began receiving requests for an even larger door, to accommodate geese and larger turkey breeds.
We are pleased to introduce the Coop Tender® Extra Lage Automatic Chicken Door.
The Extra-Large Automatic Chicken Coop Door maintains the durable, aesthetically pleasing design and unparalleled functionality aspects of Coop Tender® Automatic Chicken Doors. Furthermore, the 15-inch wide by 15-inch high (38 cm x 38 cm) opening is suitable for all chicken breeds, ducks, geese, and turkeys.
Coop Tender® Automatic Chicken Doors are manufactured in the USA to exacting standards. Automatic Coop Door production includes numerous quality control checks and diagnostic tests throughout the process.
Three distinct manufacturing processes culminate into final product assembly and quality assurance testing.
This process begins with manual selection of top-quality lumber. Warped, bowed, marked, and damaged lumber is eliminated from the manufacturing process. Only high-quality, indoor-outdoor rated lumber is used.
Woodworkers then cut and assemble the core automatic chicken door components which include the controller housing, door frame, door, and mounting panels.
Precision woodworking tools are used to achieve less than 1/32-inch (0.8 mm) variance in cuts, cutouts and holes.
Woodworking jigs are used during manufacturing to ensure that each unit being produced matches specifications. Squareness of the door frame is checked and ensured multiple times throughout assembly.
Only Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue is used. Titebond III is water resistant and offers superior bond strength. Wood clamps are used on major joints to ensure a bond which is as strong as the original wood.
After assembly, each unit is routed to give the chicken door unit a more finished, refined look.
Finally, Rain Guard Non-Toxic Water Sealer is applied and the woodworking portion of automatic chicken door manufacturing is complete.
Electronics manufacturing starts with parts acquisition. If even one of the nearly 200 parts (bill of materials) which go into a single automatic chicken door is missing, production is halted.
Electronics manufacturing begins with a good BOM (Bill Of Materials) management system. ERPAG (erpag.com) is our system of choice. With it, we can quickly and easily manage bill of materials to ensure parts are available.[iii]
Electronic circuit boards for Coop Tender® Automatic Chicken Doors and accessories all follow the same manufacturing process:
- Apply solder paste to circuit boards.
- Place surface mount (SMT) electronic components onto the circuit boards.
- Re flow / heat the solder paste in a special oven to create a solid electrical connection between the components and the circuit board.
- Inspect solder joints and refine if necessary.
- Place and hand solder thru-hole (THT) components onto the circuit boards.
- Program / flash the micro-controller with the latest firmware.
- Install and connect auxiliary electronic or electrical components.
- Perform thorough electrical and functional testing.
The mechanical aspect comes in during final assembly.
- Solid state, magnetic limit switches are installed
- The motor and 5/8 inch Acme threaded worm/screw drive are installed, ensuring proper alignment.
- Door controller electronics are connected to the door, then final mechanical and quality assurance tests are performed.
Only after all mechanical, quality, electronic and functional tests have successfully completed is the product released for shipment.
Whether you are raising chickens, ducks, geese or turkeys, Coop Tender® has an Automatic Chicken Door to fit your needs.
The chart below helps to determine which automatic coop door is most suitable for your backyard poultry.
Suitable for small and medium backyard chicken breeds. For larger chicken breeds such as Brahma, Jersey Giants, and Cochin breeds, consider the Large Automatic Chicken Door.
Suitable for all chicken breeds, including the larger Jersey Giants, Brahma and Cochin breeds as well as ducks. It is also suitable for smaller turkey breads such as the Midget White, Royal Palm and Bourbon Red varieties up to about 20 pounds. For larger turkey varieties, consider the Extra-Large Automatic Chicken Door.
Suitable for all chicken breeds, ducks, geese as well as small and larger turkey varieties up to 30 pounds.
[i] Alfred, B., P.L. M. Msoffe, F. F. Kajuna, D. Bunn, A. P. Muhairwa, and CJ Cardona. "Causes of Losses in Free-range Local Chickens following Control of Newcastle Disease in Three Villages in Morogoro, Tanzania." Causes of Losses in Free-range Local Chickens following Control of Newcastle Disease in Three Villages in Morogoro, Tanzania. University of Minnesota, USA, 1 July 2012. Web. 17 Aug. 2014.
[ii] "How Much Does It Cost to Raise Backyard Chickens?" BackYard Chickens. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2014.
[iii] The current Electronics Components and Parts Shortage (2021-2022) has created challenges to ensuring that parts are available to build our automatic chicken doors and accessories. We have had to redesign our circuit boards to work with a different micro-controllers and micro-controller formats due to non-existent availability of components.