Green Frog coop auto opener

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Wriggle
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Green Frog coop auto opener

Post by Wriggle »

My COVID 19 induced rush back into chicken keeping has seen me purchase a wooden coop online that had no internal photographs. The perching is lower than the nest boxes, and we are now 3 weeks into moving them on to perches manually each night. I’ve decided to replace it with a Green Frog chicken medium loft. I wanted to add an auto opener with a light sensor but I would like to power it from a solar panel. Any recommendations as to what would be suitable?
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Tweetypie
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Re: Green Frog coop auto opener

Post by Tweetypie »

Hi Wriggle

I contemplated having an auto opening door fitted to my chicken coop, but after careful consideration and words from the wise, decided against it.

Solar - that will require lots of daylight to ensure it works? What about the changes in daylight hours?
Wriggle
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Re: Green Frog coop auto opener

Post by Wriggle »

Hi Tweetie, love to hear if there are good reasons to avoid an auto opener. I’ve been researching solar to run a heat sink fan in the greenhouse so I was planning on setting up a 12v system with a battery and charging control unit. For the fan I would have to have excess solar capacity for dull days. If I factored in the power consumption of the opener then it should work but I would prefer not to bodge a battery unit opener as keeping it watertight might be tricky with extra wires coming out of the battery compartment.
Margaid
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Re: Green Frog coop auto opener

Post by Margaid »

Hi Wriggle,

When I had chickens I used a "HenSafe" automatic door opener which unfortunately can't be solar powered (I just checked on the website). :(

It can be set to work with a combination of daylight and time so that it opened when it was light enough or at the set time on a really overcast day and closed at the later of the set time or when the light failed. That meant no hens were ever left outside which can be a problem if the opener works only on daylight detection or only on a timer.

I expect you'll have as many opinions about them as there are members who have used them!
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Marigold
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Re: Green Frog coop auto opener

Post by Marigold »

Hi Wriggle,
Having used a Green Frog Medium Lodge for 9 years, I can say that they are very good coops and never wear out! However I don’t see how they could host a door opener. The door is a heavy triangular piece of plastic suspended on its apex, which can be opened by pulling a cord that fastens in to a holding fixture. You can adjust the amount the door opens and in winter, for instance, you can open it halfway, enough for a hen to get through but giving more shelter. Door openers are usually devices that pull a rectangular door upwards vertically, aren’t they? It may be that Green Frog have now invented a unit that works with their coops, and if so I shall be interested to see the link to this.
I always left the door open, winter and summer, so the hens could go to roost and get up when they wanted, with no need to worry about them being stuck in a hot coop very early on a summers morning, or being shut out at dusk by a malfunctioning unit in winter. Hens need maximum ventilation and it really is best to provide a dry and airy coop which avoids the possibility of condensation and transmission of bronchial diseases. Of course you have to be certain that your run is foxproof, but since foxes attack at any time of day or night, you need to ensure they are safe in their run whenever they are in it, whether or not the coop is shut up for the night. I would put the money and effort into ensuring this, rather than on gadgets which may not work 100% at the very time you need them most. Or just get up early every day (5.00 a.m. in summer) and do the job yourself!
Margaid
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Re: Green Frog coop auto opener

Post by Margaid »

I would follow your advice where I am now Marigold as I don't think I'd let hens free range here.

That was the situation where I used to live - totally free ranging during the day and then shut in their huge electric netting enclosure late afternoon and free to go into the coop, which would eventually close itself. Their position wasn't permanent - they would move once all the building work was done so apart from the fact I wanted them to free range whenever possible, I didn't want the expense of building something "permanent" which I'd have to move in due course.
Icemaiden
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Re: Green Frog coop auto opener

Post by Icemaiden »

Hi Wriggle.
We've got a Green Frog chicken barn with the same kind of door that Marigold has described. We transferred our VSB door opener to it from our old coop, though we had to put some extra weights on the metal door to get it to close properly. The cord from the VSB goes around a simple pulley-type wheel before attaching to the door, thus allowing it to pull at the necessary angle.


The VSB has lasted a good few years so far but uses AA batteries. Could you recharge batteries using your solar panel? Then you could use pretty much whatever door opener you wanted...
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
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