There is a long list of nighttime predators that would love to get into your coop at night and eat or kill your chickens. This is a challenge if you want to allow your chickens to free range because it means that you will need to open your coop door to let your chickens out during the day.
More importantly, you need to ensure that the door is securely closed after your chickens have gone back into the coop to roost. Therein lies the challenge, ensuring that the door is closed before the nighttime predators are out.
Most backyard chicken owners are busy and often go to work at least one day per week (lucky duck). If you are not able to get home before dark for some reason, or you just happen to forget to close the coop door just one night, you could find that your entire flock has been decimated by a nighttime predator. Raccoons are notorious for needlessly killing your entire flock and they are pretty much everywhere. Most areas of the country harbor more than one type of nighttime predator. Check any nighttime predator list online and you’re likely to identify at least two which are in your area.
What I have just illustrated is not a pretty picture, but it is the reality that you need to face if you want to reap the benefits of your free-range backyard poultry flock, whether it be for eggs, meat, fertilizer, entertainment or companionship. Chickens are simple to care for and provide many sustainability and emotional well being benefits.
If you have already had one or more of your chickens killed by a nighttime predator, you know how devastating it can feel. It might be your favorite “pet” chicken, or your best rooster.
If you’re new to backyard chickens and haven’t lost a chicken yet, be extra cautious and ensure that there are backup plans in place to ensure that your coop door is closed at night. You might talk with your neighbor and ask if she would be willing to close the coop door at night if you aren’t able to get home in time. If you have children, this is a good task to assign to them as well.
Another way to ensure that your coop door is closed each night is to install an automatic coop door. An auto door is more than a convenience, especially if the door can connect to the Internet to send SMS and email alerts to you. You would be alerted when your door opens and when it closes. A Universal Web App™ lets you check status of and control your door from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection and browser. The Universal Web App™ works on iPhone, Android devices, iPad, notebooks, tablets, personal computers, MACs – anything with a standard Internet browser and connection.
You might be interest to know that Coop Tender® is a company which has been manufacturing Internet WiFi Enabled Coop Doors since 2014. They designed their products from the ground up to ensure the safety and comfort of your chickens. In addition to Internet door control and monitoring, they offer accessories to provide coop lighting, ventilation, heat and predator motion detection.
Another great feature of Coop Tender Automatic Doors is solar operation. The door controller uses advanced low voltage electronics and can be operated with a standard 12-volt battery. A battery charger / maintainer is built into the electronics. Connect a solar panel and your door will continue to operate without electricity.
You can also plug the door in to an AC electric source. If your AC electric power should fail, the backup battery will run your door for up to 5 days, until power is restored. The built-in battery charger will then recharge the battery in preparation for the next time your AC power might fail.
When comparing automatic chicken coop doors, be sure to take durability, safety and comfort features which are available into consideration. You will find that some doors claim to be predator proof, but they’re not. Predators can be very clever. Coop Tender® auto coop doors use a solid steel Acme threaded screw drive mechanism that no predator can open when it is closed. This is true lockdown. No predator access to the inside of your coop from the door.
If you’re raising your backyard chickens for eggs, the comfort of your hens is very important. Too hot and they lay less. Too cold and they lay less. Not enough light and they lay lass. The folks at Coop Tender ® have got you covered. They offer integrated Internet Wi-Fi accessory control solutions which help to ensure the comfort and safety of your hens.
Have a look at the coop management solutions which Coop Tender® offers and check their feedback ratings. You’ll find that they are a great company to work with and customers love their products.