The Best Automatic Chicken Coop Door: A Foolproof Solution for Effortless Poultry Security
In the market for the best automatic chicken door? If you’re a chicken keeper, then these handy doors can help to make your life easier — and make your chickens’ lives better, too.
While there’s some charm in getting up to manually open your chicken coop door, there are times when you’d just rather let technology take care of the job.
You’d rather be in bed on those frigid winter mornings, and you’d like to go out for the evening secure in the knowledge that your chickens are locked up safe and sound.
And with the best chicken coop door, that’s just what you’ll get. Automatic chicken coop doors have been available for a few years now, and it’s not hard to see why they’ve become so popular with chicken keepers.
They just make everything easier.
You can just program them to open/close at the times of your choosing and go about your day.
Still, as with all things, you can’t expect excellent results from subpar products. Only the best automatic chicken coop doors will do.
In this post, we’re going to run through everything you need to know about adding the best chicken coop doors to your property, including the benefits, how to choose, frequently asked questions, and, of course, those all-important automatic chicken coop door reviews.
Top Picks: Automatic Chicken Coop Doors
You’ll need to think carefully about what you’re looking for from your chicken coop doors before purchasing.
Different models have different functionalities and uses, after all.
Still, there are some products that can be considered the best automatic chicken coop doors because of their ease of use, high functionality, and appealing price point.
Some of the best on the market include:
There’s much to love about this chicken coop door opener from Run-Chicken. Not only is it reliable and trustworthy, but it’s also extremely easy to set up.
It’s a plug-in door opener that takes essentially just ten minutes to get up and running. It’s particularly recommended for chicken keepers that live in cloudy regions since the model runs off batteries.
While that can sound a little risky — if the batteries die, then your doors won’t open or close — the company does say that you’ll only need to replace the batteries once a year.
You can adjust the timer settings via your smartphone, and it even comes with some handy features that you may not find elsewhere.
For instance, it has an in-built light sensor, so you can set the doors to open automatically once the sun comes up.
Chicken keepers that have a vertical sliding door that weighs under 2.2 pounds may well find that the Manna Pro Harris door is perfect for their needs.
Slightly cheaper than the Run-Chicken offering, this automatic chicken door also includes a light sensor that’ll automatically open/close the doors depending on the light levels.
But if you need to have different opening/closing hours, then fear not — you can also program the door for hours of your choosing.
A potential downside is that you’ll need to remember to replace the battery. The company says that it’ll last around six months, which is less time than similar models on the market.
Still, if you don’t travel that much — or you just have a good memory and will remember to change the battery — then this won’t matter too much.
If you need the best automatic chicken coop door for cold weather, then the offering from Chickcozy could well be what you’ve been looking for.
In fact, this automatic chicken coop door opener does more than just protect your chickens from those freezing temperatures and snow — it’ll protect them from all types of inclement weather.
The product is made from a type of ultra-strong material called ABS, which means it can comfortably handle extreme heat, fierce rainfall, and a whole load of snow without malfunctioning.
Of course, not all chicken keepers need such weather-resistant doors, but if you live in an area that routinely experiences extreme weather, then it could be a game-changer.
The high quality of the material means the door opener will last years without cracking or breaking.
The company has gone above and beyond to ensure that every consideration has been taken into account.
The horizontal door includes a bunch of impressive safety features — for example, there are in-built sensors that stop the door from closing if it detects an object (such as your chicken) in the way, helping to prevent injuries.
The high-tech LCD screen will tell you the current settings, which are easily programmable. The handy ‘remaining battery life’ feature ensures you know exactly when the battery needs some TLC.
As with other models, you can program the doors to open at a specific time or via the light sensor.
The ChickenGuard offering is another automatic door opener that has been designed for use in areas that receive extreme weather conditions.
Indeed, the company claims that it’s suitable for keeping your chickens safe from temperatures as cold as -4 and as hot as 140 degrees. It has a bunch of handy features, including the ability to program the doors at set times or when it detects light, whichever comes first.
That’s a convenient touch that can be beneficial year-round.
It’s also extremely easy to set up and use, so you can be up and running within a matter of minutes.
A host of safety features, such as door sensors that prevent them from closing when there’s an obstacle, and a strong latch that keeps predators away, will keep your chickens safe and sound.
Cold Weather and Chicken Coop Doors
If you’re a chicken keep that lives in the northern part of the United States, then you’ll need to think about how the cold winters will impact your chickens — though how much you need to factor this in will depend on the severity of the winters.
If you regularly receive snowfall and sub-zero temperatures, then it should be a concern.
But first up, let’s clear up some confusion regarding chickens and cold weather. By and large, chickens can handle cold temperatures very well — better than humans can.
They’re not going to suffer or get frostbite just because it’s snowing; they’re built differently. And you also don’t need to invest in heating equipment for your coop.
They’ll be fine without it, and in fact, may be better without it — many fires happen each year, and many chickens die, due to problems with coop heating.
Still, just because you don’t need to invest in heating for your chickens, that doesn’t mean that you should just leave them to their own devices.
They will be fine in freezing conditions, but they’ll be cold. You want them to be comfortable. And that’s just what they’ll get from your coop, provided you’ve invested in a good door.
A good door that opens and closes well will prevent drafts from entering the coop, which will help your chickens naturally preserve their warmth.
Solar Powered vs. Traditional Chicken Coop Doors
Chicken keepers tend to care for the environment. If you’re one of those people, and you want to make your coops as earth-friendly as possible, then you can consider getting the best solar-powered chicken coop door.
As you might expect, these doors don’t use a traditional battery or power source to open/close the door; they use the sun’s energy.
Of course, there are some obvious drawbacks to keep in mind. If you live in a place that rarely receives sunlight, then it probably won’t be a viable option.
However, if you’re looking at the best solar chicken coop door, you can have confidence that it’ll come with an alternative power source for when you need extra power when the sun isn’t shining, which still makes it a good option for chicken keepers that live in areas that only receive minimal sunshine.
In some cases, solar-powered chicken coop doors don’t come with the solar panels included. You’ll need to invest in them separately.
But even still, there’s much to love about powering your automatic doors (and other aspects of the coop, such as lighting) via solar energy.
For one thing, you’ll have lower energy bills, and you won’t need to worry about replacing the batteries of your coop door.
Plus, there’s an increased sense of self-sufficiency. If you’re running a homestead, then that might be a big consideration.
That’s not to say that traditional chicken coop doors don’t have their benefits, too. It’s really just a matter of power source, and if that’s not a big deal for you, then a traditional door will perform just as well — and will likely have a lower entry price point, too.
The Benefits of an Automatic Chicken Coop Door
You don’t need to buy the best auto chicken coop door, but it can certainly make your life a lot easier — and bring a lot of peace of mind, too.
Some of the key benefits of an automatic chicken coop door include:
Improved Security For Your Chickens
A traditional, manual door will keep your chickens safe — but only if you remember to close it each evening.
If you don’t, then your chickens will be at the mercy of predators. Plus, if you’ve somehow forgotten to open the door (or you sleep through your alarm), then your chickens will be cooped up all day long, which can have a physical and mental impact on their well-being.
When you have an automatic door, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the doors of your coop will be opened and closed even if you’re not around.
It’s Convenient For You
Your chickens will be an important part of your life, but they won’t be the only important part. You’ll have a life that doesn’t revolve around chickens — and even less around opening and closing their coop doors.
There will be times when you’re up early and you’re happy to leave your bed to open their door.
That’s a nice morning activity in Spring, for example. But in the dead of winter, you’ll likely prefer to stay in bed rather than step out in the cold air.
An automatic coop door gives you the freedom to enjoy your mornings, secure in the knowledge that your coop door is open.
Similarly, automatic chicken coop doors provide a degree of flexibility to your evenings. You may be home on time to let them out of their coops, but what if you get a last-minute invite to an event?
If you’re thinking of getting chickens but worry about your busy schedule, then automatic doors are the way to go.
Higher Egg Counts
You may not have got a chicken for their eggs primarily, but every chicken keeper knows that it’s one of the big advantages of keeping chickens as pets. As such, you’ll want to have as high a level of production as you can.
This is where automatic coop doors can come in to help. Having an established routine is highly important to chickens, who also produce more eggs when they feel comfortable.
You can set automatic doors to open and close at the same time each day, which helps to give your chickens a rigid in-built schedule.
Nobody wants to replace their chicken coop doors more frequently than necessary. The best automatic chicken coop door will be resistant to the elements.
Well-built and made to last, modern automatic coop doors will stand the test of time, ensuring that you don’t need to replace them anytime soon.
And the high quality of the materials is also good for your pet chickens, who will have an extra level of protection from the elements.
How to Choose the Best Chicken Coop Door
Once you start researching chicken coop doors, you’ll soon find that there’s a whole host of options available to you.
And not all of them will be appropriate for your needs. In other words, you can’t just expect to buy any automatic chicken coop door and expect it to do the job you need it to.
They all have different capabilities, after all.
So what should you be looking for from a chicken coop door?
You’ll want to assess the following considerations:
Timed or Light-Sensor Door?
Most automatic chicken coop doors fall into one of two categories. There are ones that you program manually; that is, you input the time that you want the doors to open and close.
The other option is light-sensor doors, which open and close relating to sunlight. That is, they open automatically when the sun rises, and close when the sun sets.
Timed doors are more common than light-sensor doors. Timed options have a few advantages over light-sensor doors, the main one being that they are generally cheaper.
You can also place the device inside the coop, rather than outside, which helps to protect it from the elements.
The downside is that you’ll need to change the settings throughout the year — the sun rises and sets at different points throughout the year, after all.
Twilight doors offer greater levels of convenience and peace of mind, but they’re typically more expensive. The downside is that it can result in the chickens spending more time away from the nest.
If you want all the advantages — and convenience — of both timed and light-sensor doors, look at investing in a hybrid model. They’re more expensive, but not overly so.
What Type of Door Do You Want?
There are two types of doors in the chicken keeping world: hinge doors and guillotine doors. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but in general, most experts believe that hinge doors are best.
They have the advantage of being simple to install and having reliable opening/closing mechanisms.
The downside of hinge doors is that, due to their greater complexity, they can tend to cost more to make — and thus cost more to buy.
Guillotine doors have a straightforward design and construction, making them budget-friendly. The drawback is that they typically offer less protection from predators.
That may not be important if you live in an area with minimal threats, but if it’s a concern, then it’ll probably be best to purchase and install a hinge door.
As with all things, how much you spend on your chicken coop door will vary widely.
You could spend under $100, or more than $500. For most chicken keepers with just a single pet, then a cheaper model that still offers a high level of reliability will likely be fine, so long as it offers adequate protection from predators.
Keepers with a larger number of chickens who rely on egg-laying will want to invest in a higher-value model that offers reliability, which will increase egg production.
Expert Reviews: Automatic Chicken Coop Doors
When making any decision, it’s always good to see what the experts in the field have to say. And that’s true when it comes to buying chicken coop doors, too.
While experts in the field have recommendations, just as important is what they recommend when it comes to what you should be looking for in a chicken coop door.
Many brands will include features that sound good, but which in reality actually aren’t all that needed.
Experts recommend that you pay particular attention to:
The Source of Power
You’ll have four options when it comes to the power source: batteries, solar panels, electricity, or a combination of those three.
You’ll only be able to use electricity if it stretches from your house to the coop; otherwise, it’ll be batteries or solar panels. If your area doesn’t receive much sunlight, then the only viable option will be batteries.
If you’re not planning to keep chickens for a long time, then the materials used in the construction of your coop door won’t be important.
But if you’re planning to make them a part of your foreseeable future, then you’ll want to invest in a coop door made from high-quality materials.
Experts tend to recommend ones made from high-grade aluminum, since it’s durable, strong, and lightweight, and also keeps predators at bay.
Experts in automatic chicken coop doors typically recommend the following products:
This automatic chicken coop door comes jam-packed with impressive features, such as an LCD screen that makes it easier than ever to set the door to open and close at your preferred times.
Indeed, this automatic coop door is so advanced that you can set it for different times each day of the week, if required.
Made with military-grade materials, the ChickenGuard automatic coop door opener is built with keeping the elements at bay in mind. As with the JVR model, there’s an LCD screen that comes heavily laden with features.
This is a hybrid model, meaning you can use predetermined times or use the LUX light sensor that’ll open the door at sunrise and close it at sunset.
This is one of the most secure models on the market, too — once the door is closed, locks engage which keep it extra secure from the threat of predators.
Experts list this door kit as the best in the budget category. Noticeably cheaper than other models on this list, the door still packs a powerful punch, and will more than suffice for chicken keepers that have just a couple of chickens. Indeed, many of the features that you’ll find in more expensive models are also present here. The only downside is that it’s made from slightly cheaper materials than the more expensive options, so it may not handle wear and tear from the elements quite as well. Still, if you’re looking for a wallet-friendly option to get started, then this could be a great option.
FAQs About Chicken Coop Doors
Why Should I Invest in an Automatic Chicken Coop Door?
You don’t need to have an automatic chicken coop door. Manually operated chicken coop doors can work just as well.
But it’s important to remember that manual doors only work well if you remember to open and close them. If you’re caught up at work or are otherwise not in a position to do the job yourself — say, you’re traveling — then your chickens may be trapped in the coop, or the door may be open, which would make it accessible to predators.
Automatic doors offer a high level of convenience, safety, and security.
Can I Build My Own Chicken Coop Door?
Yes, you can build your own chicken coop door.
They’re a relatively straightforward project provided you have the skills and time required. However, homemade chicken coop doors tend to be low-quality, because builders don’t have access to the wide range of tools — and expertise — required to make modern, advanced doors.
Though you’ll need to pay for an automatic chicken coop door, it’s generally considered a better option than building your own because of all the additional features that they include.
How Big Should My Chicken Coop Door Be?
The main criteria for chicken coop doors is that they should be big enough for your chickens to fit through. Different chicken breeds come in different shapes and sizes; some are larger, while others are smaller.
Doors tend to be in the region of 10 - 12 inches wide and 10 - 14 inches high.
If you’re looking to buy an automatic chicken coop door, then you don’t need to think too much about the size — they’re all built to fit chickens, so unless you have especially large breeds that require special treatment, then you’ll be fine with the one you buy.
When Should I Close My Chicken Coop Door?
Chickens are creatures of habit. When the sun begins to go down, they all return to their warm and comfortable home — the chicken coop. As such, you should set your chicken coop door to close at sunset.
If you buy a coop door that uses a light sensor, then you won’t need to set anything: the door will close once there’s no more light. Wondering how to get your chickens back into the coop once the sun begins to set?
Provided they know that the coop is their home, you won’t need to do anything. Chickens can’t see in the dark, so they’ll always make sure they’re back home before the last light has left.
What Will Happen if I Leave My Chicken Coop Door Open Overnight?
Ideally, nothing at all would happen if you left your chicken coop door open overnight. However, when we’re talking about your precious pets, it’s best not to take any chances.
The reason why people close their chicken coop doors overnight isn’t because they think their chickens will escape (they won’t), but because it’ll give predators a chance to enter the coop.
You close the door for the chickens’ safety, essentially. With an automatic coop door, you’ll have peace of mind in knowing that the door is always closed when it needs to be.
Are Programmable or Light-Sensor Automatic Coop Doors Better?
There’s no single answer to this question. It depends on your needs. But in general, it’s best to have a programmable coop door.
It requires a bit more work since you’ll need to program the door for different times throughout the year, but they’re generally more reliable.
Comparison: Best Chicken Coop Doors
So now that you know everything there is to know about automatic chicken coop doors, it’s time to take a look at some of the best on the market.
As we mentioned earlier, there’s a host of automatic coop doors on the market, and they won’t all be right for your needs.
But in general, you’ll find that you can’t go wrong with the following models:
This one gets rave reviews from chicken keepers, and it’s easy to see why: it basically does everything that you’d want an automatic chicken coop door to do, and it does it well.
Reviewers typically mention the smoothness of the opening and closing, and the many features that are included.
It’s a hybrid model, so you can choose to set the time yourself or let the light sensor do the work, and there’s an optional extra to include a coop light, which can be useful for encouraging your chickens to return to the coop once the sun sets.
This automatic chicken coop door doesn’t have as many features as the more advanced models, but it is attractively priced, and that’ll make it an appealing option for newcomer chicken keepers that don’t want — or need — to invest in a high-powered device.
Though it may not boast as many features as other doors, it still performs extremely well, and it’s also easy to install and waterproof.
The ChickenGuard Premium Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener routinely appears towards the top of the ‘best automatic chicken coop doors on the market’ lists.
And that’s because, for a while, it was the standard bearer of what an automatic chicken coop door should be. It’s a hybrid model, so you can set the times directly or have the light sensor do the work.
There’s also a convenient LCD screen with which you can adjust the settings with ease.
As we’ve seen, there’s a lot to know about automatic chicken coop doors — more than you might expect.
But the bottom line is that they can really help to make managing your chickens easier, and, more importantly of all, they help to add an extra level of safety and security for your chickens.
While they’re not an essential piece of kit for chicken keepers, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever go back to the manual option once you’ve seen all the convenience and security automatic chicken coop doors can bring.