For this review, we were sent a ChickenGuard Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener with Self Locking Door Kit to test. All opinions expressed are our honest review of this product.
In this article, we’ll cover our review of the self-locking door kit and standard automatic door opener. In a subsequent review, we’ll show how we installed the standard automated door opener on a door we built ourselves. Below are our first impressions, testing results and overall recommendations! Read on to find out about our experience. (You can read about all the products we’ve reviewed right here).
What it is
The Chicken Guard Self-Locking Door Kit is an aluminum door with runners intended to be used with a standard automatic door opener. The door is 10 inches by 12 inches with 23.5 inch runners, and the door raises and lowers itself on the runners. The standard door opener is a motorized device that can be programmed to open and close the door so your chickens can access their run at the designated time and be locked securely in their coop at night.
To program times into the Chicken Guard door opener, you use an LCD screen with buttons. Unlike other automatic chicken coop doors we’ve tested, Chicken Guard door opener runs on 4 AA batteries. It also has an option to run via a USB cable and charger. Both the self-locking door kit and the automatic door opener prevent predators from getting into your chicken coop and attacking your chickens.
The Chicken Guard Self-Locking Door Kit currently retails on Amazon for $294.99
Where to buy the ChickenGuard Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener with Self Locking Door Kit
The Chicken Guard Self-Locking Door Kit can be purchased on Amazon right here. It’s gotten several 5 star reviews.
What the company claims
- Convenient opening and closing of chicken coop doors
- Long battery life
- Save you from getting up in the morning and protect your chickens from predators.
- Can be open automatically or manually.
- Simple to setup with no complicated wiring or cabling.
We were excited to test the ChickenGuard Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener with Self Locking Door Kit! We live in the South, and I always worry over summer whether the chickens are too hot. With this automatic coop door, we could let them out at 5 am instead of after we wake up.
When we received the ChickenGuard Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener with Self Locking Door Kit, we first unpacked the full kit, which came with directions. All the parts were included, and the directions were easy to follow. When we set out to install the door, we felt confident.
We first had to select a spot in the chicken coop for a new door. We have a side run in addition to the main run, but it can’t be accessed easily by our flock. So we decided to install the ChickenGuard Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener with Self Locking Door Kit so the flock could use it in the early morning hours before we get up.
The door is made of aluminum with plastic runners, and seemed sturdy. Installing the runners was easy, and the kit comes with the hardware you’ll need. We didn’t forget to bring our electric screwdriver!
After installing the door, we then added the opener to the wall, and attached it to the door itself. The door lifts up via a string attached to the door opener, which raises and lowers the string at the pre-designated times. While it seems simple, it’s very effective. To program it, we followed the directions in the manual (it’s very simple), and in the span of 10 minutes, our new automatic coop door was installed!
Because we installed it in the middle of the day, we left the door open, but programmed it to shut at 8 PM. Because it was summer when we performed our test, there was still enough light and no predators around. However, if it were winter, we would have programmed it to close earlier in the day. The door closed at the designated time, but none of the chickens used it (they’re trained to go through a different door) since they hadn’t yet realized there was a new entry portal into their coop. The door was silent, but operated as promised.
The following day, I noticed my chickens were all out when I woke up. We had programmed the ChickenGuard Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener with Self Locking Door Kit to open at 5 AM. The door and automatic opener worked! My chickens and ducks were happy – they could wander around during the cooler hours of early morning, and didn’t have to wait for me to wake up.
By the following evening, the chickens and particularly the ducks understood they could go back into the coop at sundown via the automatic door. The ducks appreciated the door was at their height.
Note that since our coop is a large walk-in, we installed our kit on the inside. If your coop is smaller, you will need to install the programmable door opener on the outside of your coop. We did not test the weather-proofing of the door opener.
Does Chicken Guard’s Automated Chicken Coop Door Opener live up to its claims?
Yes! This door and the opener are convenient, operate as stated, and lets our flock out at the proper time. The chickens quickly learned how to use it, and appreciate getting out of their coop earlier in the morning. It fully locks at night, and we don’t need to worry about predators getting into the coop.
What don’t we like
The only qualm we have with the ChickenGuard Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener with Self Locking Door Kit is that the opening (not the door itself, but the opening in the wall of your coop) will need to be framed. Although the door locks tight and predators cannot get in, we can still see daylight between the door kit and the wall of the coop. Framing the opening with 1×2 boards and brad nails will prevent this.
Is it useful for chicken owners?
Yes! We recommend the ChickenGuard Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener with Self Locking Door Kit for flocks of all sizes with chickens at least 8 weeks of age (younger chickens that don’t yet roost or who do not have older chickens who will return to the coop at sundown should still be herded into the coop to ensure they’re locked safely away).
The best part is that it automates opening and closing the coop. If you want to go away for a weekend, you won’t need to worry about your flock being safe at night. If you live in a very hot area, your flock will have the freedom to leave the coop early in the morning, and you can sleep in. Flock size doesn’t matter with this product – we tested it with our very large flock of both chickens and ducks (and the goat), and they all understand how it works.
What to watch out for
Resetting the ChickenGuard Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener for winter hours
You will want the coop to close at sundown, so you will need to reprogram it based on the season. It’s best to not close the door in the dark, since predators like skunks, rats, raccoons, and opossums start their prowling just after sundown.
Keep a regular door in case of stragglers
We have lots of stragglers (especially ducks) who like to wander around at sundown. You’ll still want a regular door, or you’ll have to install the ChickenGuard Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener with Self Locking Door Kit on the outside of your coop so you can manually raise the door for stragglers.
When you install the automatic door opener, make sure it and the string are directly above the door
This is just a tip – you can learn from our user error. We initially installed the door opener so it wasn’t perpendicular to the ground and directly above where it attaches to the door. In other words, the string had a slight bend to it, because the door opener was 1 inch too far to the left. Because of this, we noticed that the door didn’t raise as quickly, and it likely would run the batteries down faster. So to stop wear and tear on the motor and preserve battery power, we had to adjust its location.
Keep in mind the season and weather
Remember that the ChickenGuard Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener with Self Locking Door Kit will open regardless of weather, so if you want chickens to stay inside for any reason (freezing rain, for example), you will have to manually turn off the door the night prior.
The ChickenGuard Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener with Self Locking Door Kit is a wonderful addition to any coop, and well worth the investment if you want peace of mind. It lives up to its promises, is easy to install, and the chickens appreciate being let out of the coop earlier in the day!