What To Do In Your Chicken Coop In September

What To Do In Your Chicken Coop In September

September is here…..which means it’s time to think about what to do in your chicken coop in September!

 

It’s pumpkin season, and there’s lots you can do in your coop this month! Help your flock stay healthy and keep your coop in top shape with these tips!

 

If it gets cold early in your area, do a final deep clean before cool weather sets in.

You won’t want to do it when the ground is frozen and you need 3 sets of gloves to stay warm. If you live in a temperate area, now is still the time to deep clean your coop before the days get shorter and you run out of time.

 

You can also decide if the deep litter method is for you.

silkie pullet backyard chicken

Double check windows/doors for tight seals during chilly fall nights

When the wind is howling and there’s freezing rain, those tight seals can mean the difference between life and death. Just double check all your windows and doors seal well, and if not, fix it.

 

Offer your flock pumpkin and/or pumpkin seeds every week. They’ll love the treat, and it’s super healthy for them!

Pumpkin is full of vitamins and minerals, and chickens LOVE to peck at it. The pumpkin seeds might (repeat, might) help your flock rid themselves of worms (studies are inconclusive, but it’s can’t hurt), or at the very least, provide a yummy distraction since bugs and leaves are dying off.

 

You can also make a pumpkin planter like this one, and offer it to your flock when you’re done with it. Just be sure not to paint it!

 

If you have chicks, double check your coop stays the right temperature at night.

This will depend on the age of your chicks – if they only have down or are partially feathered, they will need your help to stay warm.

 

If not, either fix it or come up with a plan to keep chicks warm enough until they’re fully feathered. Remember that heat lamps get very hot and can cause a fire, so avoid them.

 

Hang some fall wreaths or add fall flowers to window boxes

Fall is all about color – and adding a wreath or flowers to your window boxes can brighten up your surroundings and help your flock feel pampered.

 

Backyard chicken coop window

 

If your coop is painted, do a fresh coat before cool weather sets in so your coop looks bright and colorful when the leaves are gone.

Ditto above. When fall’s colors fade, you’ll be glad you made the extra effort to repaint your coop so it looks cheerful even when it’s grey outside.

 

Start adding even more protein to your flock’s diet with mealworms, black soldier fly larvae, or Fluffiest Feathers Ever!

If your flock is molting, a high protein diet will help their feathers regrow. High protein diets also make sure flocks are in great shape to battle the cooler weather. You can feed a high protein diet or treats full time, or just during the molting season.

 

Make a plan for how you’ll keep their water from freezing

It’s bound to happen if you live in a cool area – so now is the time to decide how you’ll prevent freezing, or at least keep fresh water consistently available.

 

Here’s my best ideas for keeping your chickens’ water from freezing.

 

Spend more time with your flock – soon, the weather will be cold and you won’t want to be outside as much.

Nuff said. Here’s a great treat you can make – it includes pumpkin seeds, sage, and more!

 

Add a light to your coop if you want eggs all winter.

As the days get shorter, your hens might stop laying. This is natural, but it’s okay to still want eggs all winter. If you do, then add a light to their coop.

 

If you don’t have power in your coop, you can use a solar generator or a battery powered light. The bulb should stay cool and be a daylight simulator. You can also use a timer to turn it automatically on and off.

Omlet Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door Review

Omlet Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door Review

For this review, we were sent a free Omlet Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door to test. All opinions are our own and represent our own experience with this product.

 

In this article, we’ll cover our review of the automatic coop door when it’s installed in an Omlet chicken coop. For this review, we used our Eglu Cube.

 

In a subsequent review, we’ll show how we installed the same automatic door in a coop we built ourselves.

 

Below are our first impressions, testing results and overall recommendations! Read on to find out about our experience.

 

What it is

The Omlet Universal Automatic Coop Door is an all-in-one auto coop door, frame, motor, and programming panel. It can be used on the Eglu Cube or on your own chicken coop (you don’t need an Omlet coop to enjoy this product – it works with all coops).

 

omlet automatic chicken coop door grey

Manufacturer’s image

 

It’s plastic, with a motor, and comes with all the necessary hardware to install it. The electric panel that allows you to program the door requires AA batteries.

 

According to the website “Omlet’s Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door can be set to close at dusk and open at dawn. This setting will naturally follow the seasons.”

 

Although we did not test this feature, the door can be attached to hardware cloth and other wire so your chickens can easily access their run, if you want them to free range.

 

This product retails on the Omlet website for $189.99, with free shipping.

 

Where to buy Omlet’s Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door

You can purchase this door on Omlet’s website here (and shipping is free – always a good thing!).

 

What the company claims

Quoted directly from the Omlet website:

  • Easy to install, no maintenance required
  • Operated by light sensor or timer
  • Powered by battery
  • Improves coop security and insulation
  • Compatible with the Eglu Cube
  • Reliable in all weather conditions
  • Built-in safety sensors

 

Our experience

This is our third product we’ve tested from Omlet (we also tested the Eglu Go), and we were super excited to give the automatic coop doors a test drive! One thing you might notice is this section of our review is short – that’s because the Omlet Universal Automatic Coop Door was very easy to install! 

 

We installed it in our Eglu Cube, which we reviewed a few years ago, and is still going strong (which says something for the craftsmanship of Omlet’s products!)

 

installing omlet automatic coop door

Taking apart our Eglu Cube to install the new coop door. The door comes with installation directions.

 

The Omlet Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door came with instructions that were easy to follow – so installation only took a few minutes. The chickens were a bit confused the first night – we had to open the door again for our barred rock rooster, who was a bit late to the show, and the door closed before he could get inside.

Omlet automatic coop door programming pad

The programming pad.

 

But the other chickens figured out quickly how to use it, and the door opened bright and early the next morning. The keypad that lets you program the door took a bit of reading the instructions and getting used to the different buttons, but once we figured it out, programming the door was a snap.

 

We also tested the manual feature, since our flock heads into the coop at different times at dusk. It worked well (even for me, who can’t figure out most new devices), and it’s nice to know we can open and close the door easily. (The Eglu Cube also has several other doors, so if we need to check on a flock mate, we don’t need to disarm the auto coop door). 

 

The next day, we tested the “Light Setting” which allows you to program the door to open at dawn and close at dusk. The door did open and close at the right times! (For more information about this setting, please consult Omlet’s website here).

Cochin bantam using Omlet Automatic chicken coop door

My cochin bantam hen was eager to test out the door (before we even installed the automatic door!)

Does Omlet’s Automatic Coop Door live up to its claims?

Yes! This door makes chicken keeping a breeze, and the door operates as expected. It was easy to install, and we appreciate all the safety features!

 

What we like

Door frame means easy installation with better security

The door comes with a frame – so even if you install it into a wooden coop, you won’t need to worry about framing it (without a frame, it can lead to security issues, and it’s one of our biggest qualms about past auto doors we reviewed.).

 

Better predator control

The door can’t easily be moved by predators. In some systems, predators like raccoons can easily lift the door. We’ve also had doors that don’t close all the way due to dirt build up. That does not seem to be the case with the Omlet Automatic Coop Door. 

 

Competitively priced

While we received this product for free to test, I would have bought it anyway. The price of $189.99 is very reasonable, and less expensive than other similar products on the market. It’s well worth the investment for some peace of mind!

 

What don’t we like

If I have to be nit picky – and this is a very nit picky thing – I would say it’s not super aesthetically pleasing. On our Eglu Cube, the operation panel sits on the outside of the coop, and the wires that connect from the door to the panel are hard to hide. However, realistically, this wouldn’t turn me off of this product because it’s easy to use and the chickens like it.

Omlet automatic coop door installed on outside of coop

Is it useful for chicken owners? 

Yes! Your flock will love this automatic coop door. We recommend Omlet’s Automatic Coop Door for flocks of all sizes and ages (just know that you’ll have to teach young chicks and ducklings to go into the coop before the door closes). The best part is that it automates opening and closing the coop, so you can sleep soundly at night and not worry about predators!

 

What to watch out for:

Had to take Eglu Cube apart

We tested this on an Eglu Cube, and to install it, we had to take the roof off of the coop and crawl inside the opening. So, if you have an Omlet coop, you’ll have an extra step.  But it only took us a few minutes. 

 

Haven’t tested it on geese or turkeys

We don’t have geese or turkeys on our farm, so we couldn’t test it with larger fowl. However, the door is very large, and we’ve seen our full-sized goat slip through tighter spaces, so I’m confident all classes of poultry can easily use the Omlet Automatic Coop Door.

 

Do night check for stragglers

Because the door automatically closes, you’ll have to check for stragglers. Another option is to have the door close well after dark (say, 30 minutes). In areas with a lot of predators, this isn’t ideal, however, so my recommendation is to just do a night check and herd in any latecomers.

 

Summary

The Omlet Universal Automatic Coop Door is a great addition to any coop, and your flock will love it!

Automatic Coop Door Install: Omlet Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door Review

Automatic Coop Door Install: Omlet Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door Review

For this review, we were sent a free Omlet Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door to test. All opinions are our own and represent our own experience with this product.

 

In this article, we’ll show how we installed the Omlet Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door in a coop we built ourselves.

 

(We reviewed the automatic coop door when it’s installed in an Omlet chicken coop here.)

 

Below are our results, how we installed it, and overall recommendations! 

 

What it is

The Omlet Universal Automatic Coop Door is a heavy-duty plastic automatic coop door, frame, motor, and programming panel unit. You can install it in your Eglu Cube or on your own chicken coop (we show you below how to install it on your own coop). If your chickens free range, you can also install the door to hardware cloth and other wire so your chickens can easily access your lawn.

 

omlet automatic chicken coop door grey

Manufacturer’s image

 

Omlet’s Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door comes with all the necessary hardware to install it – all you’ll need is a screwdriver. The programming panel requires AA batteries.

 

The panel can be set to open and close at a specific hour, or you can use the light setting to close at dusk and open at dawn. This setting will naturally follow the seasons – no additional programming necessary. You will still need to replace batteries regularly.

 

This product retails on the Omlet website for $189.99, with free shipping.

 

Where to Buy Omlet’s Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door

You can purchase this door on Omlet’s website here (and shipping is free – always a good thing!).

 

What the company claims

Quoted directly from the Omlet website:

  • Powered by battery
  • Can be installed in any coop
  • Easy to install, no maintenance required
  • Operated by light sensor or timer
  • Built-in safety sensors
  • Reliable in all weather conditions
  • Improves coop security and insulation

 

Installing the Omlet’s Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door Into Our DIY Coop

We built this duck coop a while back, and were super excited to receive the Omlet’s Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door to test! Ducks tend to have a harder time getting in and out of our coops (they can’t jump a well as chickens, and don’t have quite the same leg strength). So, we needed a safe and easy way for them to get in and out of their new home.

 

Coop security is also a big concern – while our existing coop is predator proof, we need our new coop to also protect our ducks. Unlike chickens, ducks can’t roost or fly away from predators. At the same time, especially during the summer, they can’t be locked up in their coop for hours after sunup – it’s too hot!

 

So, the Omlet Universal Automatic Coop Door is a great solution to several problems on our farm. We can program it to open and close at specific times, and our ducks can have access to their run – long before we’re awake!

 To install the Omlet’s Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door, we used:

 

  • The door kit Omlet sent us
  • An electric screwdriver
  • A sawzall to create a door opening

 

automatic coop door

Unwrapping the door from its box

Creating a door opening

To install the door kit, you’ll first need to create a door opening (this is where your ducks will actually exit the coop). To make this super easy, just trace the door opening in the Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door.

automatic coop door install

We used a marker to trace the size of the door

 

Then, use the sawzall to make the opening.

automatic coop door

The finished door opening:

automatic coop door

Naturally, my daughter had to “help out”

Installing the Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door kit

The kit comes with all the hardware you’ll need. For this part, we followed the directions in the instruction manual that accompanied the door kit. They  were easy to follow – so installation only took a few minutes. 

Programming the Universal Automatic Chicken Coop Door

While the sunlight feature is a nice option, because our ducks need to be herded into the coop every night, we programmed the door to open and close at specific times so we could better plan our day. (For more information about the daylight setting, please consult Omlet’s website here).The keypad took a bit of reading the instructions and getting used to the different buttons, but once we figured it out, programming the door was a snap. 

 

automatic coop door programming panel

The programming panel. It’s weather-proof!

 

The finished install:

automatic coop door

We did it!

Does Omlet’s Automatic Coop Door live up to its claims?

Yes! This door is very easy to install in any coop, and the door operates as expected. Our ducks figured out how to use it, and we’re happy to know our ducks are safe and sound at night.

 

What we like

Door frame means easy installation with better security

We love how easy this was to install and that’s because it comes “pre-hung” with a door frame. It’s also an added safety feature: without a frame, it’s easier for predators and scavengers to maneuver around the door and enter your coop.

 

Better predator control

The door can’t easily be moved by predators. In some systems, predators like raccoons can easily lift the door. We’ve also had doors that don’t close all the way due to dirt build up. That does not seem to be the case with the Omlet Automatic Coop Door. 

 

Competitively priced

While we received this product for free to test, I would have bought it anyway. The price of $189.99 is very reasonable, and less expensive than other similar products on the market. As far as DIY coop doors go, it’s well worth the investment for some peace of mind!

 

What don’t we like

There’s nothing we really don’t like about this system. But there are some things to watch out for (read below).

 

Is it useful for chicken owners? 

Yes! Your flock will love this automatic coop door. We recommend Omlet’s Automatic Coop Door for flocks of all sizes and ages (just know that you’ll have to teach young chicks and ducklings to go into the coop before the door closes). The best part is that it automates opening and closing the coop, so you can sleep soundly at night and not worry about predators!

 

What to watch out for:

Be sure to install it on thicker wood, or have metal cutters handy

We noticed that some of the screws are very long – about 4” long. After installing the automatic door, the end of the screws were visible on the outside of the coop, which can be dangerous. To remedy this, we had to remove the extra bit.

 

Door might be a bit small for some ducks, or a mass exodus

The door opening is quite small – it’s definitely large enough for a single chicken or duck to use. Our ducks like to leave their coop in a mass exodus (meaning, all at once, preferably with lots of arguing about who will go first). It’s impossible for more than one duck to use the door at the same time. So, if your ducks are similar, be prepared for some loud, angry quacking. 

 

Do night check for stragglers

Because the door automatically closes, you’ll have to check for stragglers. Another option is to have the door close well after dark (say, 30 minutes). In areas with a lot of predators, this isn’t ideal, however, so my recommendation is to just do a night check and herd in any latecomers.

 

Summary

The Omlet Universal Automatic Coop Door is a great addition to any coop, and your flock will love it!

DIY Automatic Coop Door With ChickenGuard

DIY Automatic Coop Door With ChickenGuard

Building your own DIY automatic coop door is easy with a ChickenGuard Automatic Coop Door Opener!

 

(For this article, ChickenGuard provided us with a free Automatic Coop Door Opener. This article reflects my own personal opinions using this product).

 

With the hot summers and chilly winters (with lots of freezing rain) in Southeast Missouri, making sure my flock as easy access in and out of their coop is very important.

 

That’s why a few years ago, we installed an automatic coop door. It worked great….until the goat broke it one day.

 

Since then, the door has stayed silent, and my patient flock had to wait until I made it outside to let them loose for the day.

 

That is, until ChickenGuard asked if I’d review their Automatic Coop Door Opener.

 

chickenguard automatic coop door

They previously sent me an automatic opener and door kit (read that review here). 

 

Since we already had an automatic door that didn’t work, I was excited to test out the Automatic Coop Door Opener and see if we could rig it with our existing door and make it functional again.

 

Since the ChickenGuard Automatic Coop Door Opener works with any pre-existing door that can easily slide up and down, I had a good feeling it would solve our problems. 

 

And since it’s also programmable, my hens could enjoy the weather long before we woke up!

 

Here’s how we combined our existing door with the ChickenGuard Automatic Coop Door Opener – and how you can do it with your hen house!

 

Building Your Own Automatic Coop Door

 

For the ChickenGuard Automatic Coop Door Opener to work, you’ll need to make or purchase door that slides up and down. We already had one, but to make your own, you’ll need:

  • A sawzall or other tool to cut an access door into your coop
  • 1×2 boards to frame the access door (enough for 2 frames)
  • Wood to build your new door from (a 12-inch x 12-inch piece of wood works well. An easy solution is to use the piece leftover from cutting the access door).
  • Screws to secure the frame (the length will depend on your door, but make sure they won’t stick out and hurt your chickens)
  • An eye hook

 

For your door, you’ll want to make sure the color matches your coop (you can either make it the same color, or a complementary contrasting color).

 

Framing the door is important – on the outside, it’ll make your coop look more finished. 

 

automatic chicken coop door

Our DIY Coop Door framed on the outside looks good and helps keep predators out.

 

On the inside, it’ll prevent predators from easily pushing the door out of the way to enter your coop. 

 

The ChickenGuard will only do so much – it’ll open and close the door. To ensure your coop is 100% predator proof, framing the entire area is necessary.

 

You will need to leave enough space between the frames so the coop door can slide up and down. 

automatic chicken coop door

The 1/2 inch grove between the inner frame and outer frame lets the door easily slide up and down.

The gap size will depend on the piece of wood you use. The pre-existing door we had left about a ½ inch gap between the frames.

 

Installing the ChickenGuard Automatic Coop Door Opener

Once your coop access door is framed, adding the automatic door opener is a snap.

 

To the top of the coop door, drill in the eye hook – you’ll loop the string from the ChickenGuard Automatic Coop Door Opener through it. We simply tied ours to the eye hook. The motor in the ChickenGuard Automatic Coop Door Opener raises and lowers the door.

 

chicken guard coop door opener

 

The coop door will automatically rise and fall using the string. It seems simple, but it works VERY well. 

 

We’ve been using this product for months with no problems – and our flock is VERY happy.

 

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Programming & Testing The ChickenGuard Automatic Coop Door Opener

 

Follow the directions in the ChickenGuard Automatic Coop Door Opener manual to program the product. It’s simple, and you only need to press a few buttons. 

 

In our previous review of the self-locking door kit, we had it installed in 10 minutes. We set ours to open at 7 AM, but we change the closing time based on the season.

 

To test whether your new automatic coop door works, simply press the buttons on the ChickenGuard Automatic Coop Door Opener – if your coop door slides up and down, it works! 

 

You can purchase the ChickenGuard Automatic Coop Door Opener on Amazon here.

 

If we were to install a 4th coop door (yes, we have quite a few!), I would purchase the ChickenGuard Automatic Coop Door Opener. It’s worth a little extra effort to create easy access for your chickens to get in and out of their home without relying on their humans.

Easy & Cheap DIY Chicken Coop Build

Easy & Cheap DIY Chicken Coop Build

Here’s part 1 of our new chicken coop build! It’s a time lapse of how we built the frame. So far, it’s cost us about $160 to build this coop – $80 for the hardware and $80 for the 2×4 wood.