self-closing doors for chicken coops?

Rex Harrill brixman at
Mon Oct 12 20:54:43 EDT 1998

marc at wrote:

> "Does anyone have information on how to open and close a chicken coop
> door automatically, using a photo sensor or timer?"

First, I assume you know that the birds must have proper ventilation.
Shutting the door on them could cause problems.

Anyway, if you're in mind to adopt a different idea, I once saw a
diagram for a chicken house in an English free-range operation that used
a fence charger.  There was a hole about 2 or 3 feet from the ground
that the chickens could hop-fly up to.  They would then momentarily
perch on the hole edge and then either hop down or on up to their night
perch inside.

A charged wire was mounted on insulators about 3 inches down from the
hole.  The wire ran all the way around the house and stuck out from the
coop side the length of the insulators (about 2 inches).  The predators
that tried to go to the hole got zapped on the nose.  They also got
zapped if they went around back with intentions of coming over, and then
in, from the top.

I don't know if they have a snake problem in England or not, but
methinks this system should zap them as well.

Rex Harrill

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