You’re settling down into bed, ready to close your eyes for sleep. Then, a thought runs through your head: Did you close the chicken coop door? Panicked, you jump out of bed, run out into the darkness, do a headcount, and then quickly shut the coop door closed. You return to bed, relieved but exhausted.
What if there was a way to avoid all this? Thankfully, there is. Automatic chicken coop doors keep your chickens safe from predators and the elements. Even so, they’re not for everyone. While handy, there are risks involved. This may make manual doors preferable for some owners.
Here we discuss the pros and cons of different chicken coop doors to help you decide which is best for your flock:
Automatic Chicken Coop Doors
Automatic doors are just that—automatic. You program them to open and close at specific times throughout the day. This saves you the time and effort of walking out into the cold to open or close the door yourself.
- Programmed for any time throughout the day
- Great for owners who have limited time or a rigid schedule
- Ensures that the coop door is always closed for the night
- Some have a light sensor, opening and closing the door at sunrise and sunset
- They’re more expensive than manual doors
- Your chickens could become trapped outside if they’re not in the coop before the door closes. You’ll want to do a headcount every night before going to bed
- Some automatic doors don’t work well in below-freezing temperatures. Ensure that you get one that can operate in cold temperatures
The Best Automatic Chicken Coop Doors
If you decide an automatic door is right for your flock, here are some of the highest-rated doors on the market:
- Chicken Guard Premium Door Opener
- Happy Henhouse Automatic Door Kit
- Brinsea Chick Safe Premium Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener
Manual Chicken Coop Doors
With the conveniences of automatic doors, why people would opt for a manual door instead? Well, there are a few good reasons.
- You alone open and close the coop door. This prevents any chickens from getting stuck outside all night
- Manual doors will open and close at any temperature (within reason)
- You will need to close the door yourself every morning and every night, no matter the weather
- If you have a tight schedule, you may forget or not have time to run out and open/close the door
- If you go on vacation or have an emergency, you will need to have someone at your home to open and close the door