If you’re rearing chickens, you need to provide them with a secure and comfortable environment. That’s the only way they can thrive. The good thing is that creating such a safe space isn’t difficult, as you can go for a coop.
The structure shields your livestock from all harmful elements. It’s simple, with few components. But when building one, you should focus more on the home chicken coop doors.
Why? That’s what we’ll be discussing. We’ll also touch on how to set up one for easy operation.
Importance of Quality Home Chicken Coop Doors
Installing a coop with quality doors is of vital importance. However, it mainly boils down to protection. After all, the primary essence of having an enclosure is to shield your chickens and keep them safe.
If the door isn’t sturdy and secure, then, the entire structure is pointless. Your chickens can easily stump over it and walk into the open. Not to mention, other animals like rats and small snakes can get in and harm your livestock.
When you use a sturdy door, the above trouble becomes non-existent. Your chickens will only come out of the coop when you want. Also, no external threat can get in.
Having a quality home coop door can also foster chicken health. For chickens to reproduce, for example, they need a stable environment. An environment that creates a balance of factors like temperature and light exposure.
With a quality door, regulating the temperature within the coop becomes easy. Particularly, this is obtainable with an adjustable door, which you can design with an automated mechanism like a linear actuator. That begs the question: should you use a traditional or automated door?
Traditional vs. Automated Home Chicken Coop Doors
The two types of home chicken coop doors have their pros and cons. We discuss them in detail below.
Traditional home chicken coop doors
Many chicken coops you’ll find feature traditional doors. That’s understandable. Conventional doors are simple, don’t cost much, and you won’t need to provide any power source.
However, there are some notable cons when using such home chicken coop doors. Chiefly, you operate them manually. That means you must always get near and touch the coop before opening and closing.
There’s also the issue of inconsistency. You can forget to close the door, for example. It’s a mistake, but one that places your chickens at the mercy of external threats.
Automated home chicken coop doors
Automated home chicken coop doors usher in a whole different experience. You can avoid all the problems of manual operation. That doesn’t mean there are no cons, but the pros carry more weight.
Automated doors ensure consistency. There’s minimal chance of leaving the coop open, as you can designate when the door opens and closes every day. This is possible with feedback sensors.
Furthermore, automation introduces convenience. With sensors, for example, you won’t need to be near the coop to open or close it. The more common option is operating the door using a remote, which is still ultra-convenient.
Another advantage is enhanced security. When the door is locked, it’s locked. No one can open the coop and access your chickens unless they have the remote control.
About the cons, an automated home chicken coop door will need a power source. Also, it’ll relatively require more from your pockets than a traditional one. From time to time, you have to perform maintenance, too.
However, you can worry less about the cons when you pick the right automated mechanism. The best option, from expert experience, is using electric actuators. These devices don’t consume much power, are affordable, and have fewer components to maintain.
Automating Home Chicken Coop Doors with Actuators
Electric actuators are simple motion devices you can employ to control your chicken coop door. They’re of different types based on the direction of the movement they generate. First, you have rotary actuators that travel a circular path; then, there are linear actuators that follow a straight route.
Your home chicken coop door will likely open from left to right. Alternatively, it can open vertically — down to up. Whichever, the motion is not circular, so you’ll need linear actuators.
Installing the linear actuator to your home chicken coop door is a task you can handle. Follow the steps below:
- Assess the coop door and note its size and weight. Also factor the opening direction (horizontally or vertically) and measure the distance the door travels.
- Get a suitable linear actuator that works for the coop door. The device must have sufficient load capacity to push and pull the door and enough stroke length to open it fully. Our linear actuator calculator can help here. Enter the dimensions of your chicken coop door, and it’ll recommend the right device.
- Mount the linear actuator in a secure position where it can freely travel to open the door. It’s best not to keep the motion device where it’s easily visible or assessed to prevent obstruction. So, you can get a particular covering for it.
- Attach the actuator’s rod to the door and connect it to a power source. For the latter, you either use a battery or a direct electric socket. It’s best to use a battery — a rechargeable one — so the door can operate even during outages.
- Test the setup and confirm it works properly. You should do this multiple times and apply adjustments as needed.
Create a more secure and safe home coop for your chickens by using automated doors. You also benefit as operating the enclosure becomes more convenient and consistent. However, these advantages only actualize with the right motion mechanism. That’s why we advise using linear actuators.