How to choose the best automatic chicken door for your coop

Automatic chicken doors have become popular as more poultry keepers warm to the idea of sleeping in and not rushing home to secure their chicken coop every night. With many new automatic chicken door offerings available, choosing the right door can be a time consuming decision.

Here are the top five things you should consider when choosing an automatic chicken door for your coop or run.


1. Can the door be trusted to close automatically every night? 

You’re investing in an automatic chicken door to ensure your precious hens are protected from foxes every night. There’s no point installing an automatic door if you need to check it’s actually closed (and not glitched out) every night.

Only a chicken door from a reputable manufacturer with a reputation for reliability can save you this hassle and provide you with peace of mind.  


2. Is the automatic door safe for your chickens? 

Some automatic chicken doors use a gear and cog mechanism to open and close the door. The motor connects directly to a gear that forces the door open and shut. These geared doors are cheaper to make at the expense of being dangerous for your chickens. If one of your chickens happens to be under the door when it closes it will be crushed or seriously injured. 

Some automatic chicken doors with a geared mechanism say they are safe because they detect the blockage and open the door before a chicken is harmed. These doors are a recipe for reliability issues. All it takes is some straw or manure to get in the way and the door will think a chicken is underneath and remain open. This leaves your flock vulnerable to foxes.

Only automatic chicken doors with a door controller and separate door connected by a cord are reliable and safe for your hens. These doors close under their own weight, and won’t trap or harm a chicken that’s underneath. 


3. Does the door automatically lock shut every night? 

It’s well known that foxes are intelligent creatures. Just how intelligent they are still often surprises poultry keepers. Foxes will use their paw or snout to get underneath a closed door and slide it up the door runners. They’ll then waste no time killing your entire flock.

An automatic chicken door should have a reliable locking mechanism that automatically locks the door shut every night. This will prevent even the most intelligent fox from getting to your chickens. The locking mechanism should be designed to automatically unlock the door in the morning so you don’t have to. Only a quality automatic chicken door, such as the Safe Coop® automatic chicken door, can perform this function reliably over a long working life.  


4. Is the light sensor programmable? 

Every quality automatic chicken door will provide you with the option to automatically open and close the door using a timer, light sensor, or control the door manually. Light sensors are by far the most used setting, as they ensure the door opens at the right time year round as daylight hours change. However, not all light sensors are born equal. Some light sensors only provide one opening and closing setting. This means if you set the door up in a shady spot the door could close too early, leaving your chickens stranded outside their coop. If you set the door up in full sun, the door might not close until dusk and an early fox could threaten your flock. Therefore, it’s important to choose an automatic chicken door with a programmable light sensor, such as the Safe Coop® automatic chicken door, that lets you choose the light level at which the door opens and closes. 


5. Will the door fit on your chicken coop? 

The truth is there isn’t much difference between how easy or difficult different automatic chicken doors are to install on your coop. It all comes down to the material and design of your chicken coop. No matter which automatic chicken door you choose, the installation will be easy if the coop wall has a flat surface. If the coop wall is made using wire or corrugated iron, you’ll still be able to install an automatic chicken door. However, you might need to take some additional steps during installation. See our guide on how to install an automatic chicken door for further details. 

Looking for an automatic chicken door that has EVERY advantage described above? You’ll LOVE the Safe Coop® automatic chicken door. Order online directly from Safe Coop® today.


Why choose Safe Coop®?

We’re an Australian company that designs automatic chicken doors to reliably defend your chickens from the toughest Australian predators.

Our chicken doors are made to last using quality materials including durable ASA plastics, stainless steel, aluminium, and brass. You can trust a Safe Coop® automatic chicken door to keep your flock safe every night. 

Every chicken door we sell comes with intelligent and reliable technology, allowing you to enjoy sleep-ins and go on holiday without needing to worry about your flock. 

Learn more about Safe Coop® chicken doors