Maintaining a flock of chickens is a tough task, especially to protect them from predators, but it is not that complicated like you are thinking! It just requires continuous efforts that you need to tend to daily. To keep your hens happy, healthy, and safe should be one of your top priorities. For hens and chickens, there is a threat of predatory animals like foxes and bears, etc.
An automatic chicken door will surely help you for that. It not only keeps your chicken safe, but also provides you relief to open the coop door manually in the morning and evening to let your flocks in and out. There is very few information available on the internet if we talk about the DIY chicken door opener. And those coop doors which are readily available for sale on the sites may be quite expensive or complicated in fitting.
In this article, you will get the step to step guide of making a DIY automatic chicken coop door. Check it to have an easy and quick ‘do-it-yourself’ experience.
What will you need?
To make this DIY project successful, you should get these below things first.
- chicken hatch,
- electric antenna,
- a timer,
- a 12-volt battery or a power source of the same,
- terminal strip,
- small and large screws,
- aluminum C channel,
- solar panel and regulator,
- small switches, and
- voltage meter.
Apart from these, you will also need some tools like bench saw, glue, drilling machines, etc.
Note: Try to use the battery, so that the automatic door can work even when there is no electricity.
Step by step guide for DIY automatic chicken coop door
Step 1: Buy all the mentioned tools and accessories to make the door. You can buy all these stuff from online shopping sites or some nearby hardware store.
Step 2: Test the antenna and timer so that you can know that everything works well or not! Take a look at the attached antenna that it gets the continuous power supply. Now keep checking the reactions of the antenna when the electricity is active.
Step 3: Now make a plan to mount the antenna inside the chicken coop. Here, you have to take care that the place where you are planning to keep this antenna must have a lot of room. The reasons are;
- The antenna should have enough space as it will be moving up and down.
- The battery and wiring may also take a lot of space.
Step 4: After deciding the place to put the antenna, design exactly how the door will move and work for the chickens. This design should be according to your coop’s model.
Step 5: Now it is the time to use the long piece aluminum channel (C-shaped.) From this level onwards, the actual work of making the door starts.
- Cut the wood according to your coop’s measurements.
- After that, take your C channel and do the drilling. The holes should be at least 300 mm long.
- Use a larger bit as we have to fit the screw in them. If needed, measure again and drill twice.
- Now, insert the pin and attach the channel into the logs. Keep the wood straight.
- Attach the wood and the channel to the chicken hatch and be sure about the distance.
The door is going to up and down with these connected channels, so they are expected to be straight otherwise they may jam.
Step 6: Once completing all these processes, attach the antenna. For that, create a bracket of wood. Decide the place when you want to put the antenna and mark it with the pen. Then, drill at that location.
Step 7: Now it is the time to attach the wires, as all the steps including the attachment to the coop have been completed. For the cable attachment;
- Cut a same-length log and put the timer at the decided place. This wood piece must be attached to the wooden bracket.
- Drill the needed holes in the wood and attach a wire pass. Add the wires.
- Attach the board to the antenna bracket and all the wires to the timer.
Step 8: Attach the antenna to the coop after taking a measurement and then proceed to make a chicken coop door. For making the door, you just need to find out the gap between the channels and then cut plywood to fill the excessive gap. Then slip the door and be confirmed that the door moves smoothly.
Step 9: Now it’s time to attach the door to the antenna and later, adding a solar panel. You can also add voltage meter if you want. It is entirely optional.
Step 10: At last, test your DIY automatic chicken door opener. For that, first of all, set the time so that the door can be opened up in the morning and shut at night. Keep a track initially, so that you can find out some issues (if any!) Check the batteries and the level of voltage regularly.
So, here it completes. You may find difficulties initially. But, it is way much simpler than it seems! The critical part of the process is to take the accurate measurement while attaching the antenna and maintaining the same (lower and upper) distance of C channel. If you can correctly do these things, then the chances of errors are less.
We hope this article is helpful for you and your chickens. Try this automatic chicken door DIY and share it with your friends and family, so that they can get some solutions too. Have a happy creation!