Installing an automatic chicken coop door is easy, but it’s not always super straightforward.
Here’s 7 sneaky hacks to install an automatic door for your chicken coop that the pros don’t always tell you (and I learned the hard way).
First, in the video below, we show you how to install the automatic chicken coop door from out of the package to fully installed.
There’s lots of options for automatic chicken coop doors. (This article contains affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.)
If you want to buy the coop door we use, here’s where to get it. The company is a small business, and they’re great folks. They answered all of our questions, and the coop door is great quality.
Here’s 7 hacks you should keep in mind to make the installation process simpler and less stressful for you and your chickens!
Check the installation area is the right size for your automatic chicken coop door.
It seems simple enough, but don’t make the mistake of eyeballing the size of the automatic coop door. We didn’t do this and had to slightly widen the installation space. Luckily, this was easy and not dramatic.
You might need different hardware than the automatic chicken coop door company provides. This is normal.
We found with our coop, the screws provided by manufacturer weren’t long enough for our coop (not manufacturer error, just the way our coop is made). So, we had to substitute, and the installation went smoothly.
Double check the door is flush with the sides and floor.
We didn’t experience any issues with this, but it’s still worth checking all the same (see tip #7). Holes or gaps let in cold air and moisture, rats, and possibly predators.
If your coop door requires an AC outlet, use a solar powered or battery powered generator for off grid coops
Off grid generators that don’t use gas and that are quiet are ideal. This is the solar powered generator we use (it can also be charged from an AC outlet in our home).
Put the generator inside a box or place it high so the chickens leave it alone. (A box is the best solution to extend the life of the generator and keep it dust-free).
Use a drill to create holes to open an area for the door
This made life easier and installation much faster. If you need to power your tools with an AC plug, the solar generator can help with that too.
Leave animals out of the coop during installation so the noise doesn’t bother them.
The rooster in particular was bothered by the loud noise of the jigsaw. Let your chicken flock run around outside while you install their new door.
Buy an automatic door with interior and exterior frames.
This will provide insulation for your flock so cold and drafts won’t blow through during winter. The frames also make it harder for predators to get through the door and kill your flock.
The one we installed in the video above comes with frames:
Don’t worry if your chickens don’t understand the automatic coop door at first.
They’re smart and will figure it out eventually.
Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.