Chuxaway automatic door

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Marigold
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Re: Chuxaway automatic door

Post by Marigold »

If you make a really strong, foxproof run, you don't actually need to ever close the pophole at night at all. Then you don't have all the bother or worry of shutting them up and opening them up, or wondering whether the door has worked, and they can come and go as they please (VERY early at this time of year.) and ventilation in the coop is greatly improved as well.
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RedBarnHens
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Re: Chuxaway automatic door

Post by RedBarnHens »

I have to say I'm now a bit worried about how lightweight the pophole door is. It's an aluminium one and in hindsight I can see how a fox could easily open it....hmmm. I think I'll continue working on my run and making it as predator proof as I can. I think once the chickens arrive and are used to the coop I may consider leaving the pop hole open for them.
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Marigold
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Re: Chuxaway automatic door

Post by Marigold »

Yes I think you're right, the run has to be the main line of defence. If that's good enough, they'll never have the terrifying xperience of being shut up in a coop whilst the fox is chewing his way in to get them!
chickenfan
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Re: Chuxaway automatic door

Post by chickenfan »

The metal door is hopeless. Mine has already jammed. I have to say I'm only shutting mine in at night because of the cockerels early crowing.
chickenfan
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Re: Chuxaway automatic door

Post by chickenfan »

Marigold wrote
If you make a really strong, foxproof run, you don't actually need to ever close the pophole at night at all. Then you don't have all the bother or worry of shutting them up and opening them up, or wondering whether the door has worked, and they can come and go as they please (VERY early at this time of year.) and ventilation in the coop is greatly improved as well.
.

I'm quite interested in this, as currently a lot of my birds are choosing to just perch in their Flyte so Fancy rain shelter overnight. Do hens not need to be kept warm at night in winter? Or could a rain shelter with a perch and facing away from the wind be enough? There is the big disadvantage that foxes will try harder to get into a pen with visible easy access birds, and this could stress them a lot, as well as the problem of a cock crowing not being muffled by housing - but its hard to afford decent housing, and it rarely has enough ventilation.
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Marigold
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Re: Chuxaway automatic door

Post by Marigold »

My coop pophole is situated facing towards a corner of the run, which is covered with tarpaulin so winds don't blow directly inside. The Green Frog door is basically an isosceles triangle suspended by its narrowest point, adjustable so you can set it to be fully open in summer and a bit narrower in winter. This is a benefit but not absolutely necessary, the normal rectangular door would be just as good. So long as the birds aren't exposed to wind and rain blowing in directly though the pophole, they're fine with an open door and as you say the ventilation is good. Chickens are very well insulated in their fitted 'duvets' and really don't need to be kept warm if they're in a dry coop. In fact, as much air as possible and the ability to get up very early is a real benefit to them, especially in the hot summer nights. I've always done it this way, and in all the years I've kept hens I've never had any respiratory infections in any of them.
Also, it's much easier when we go away, to find someone who will check and feed etc once a day, without having to keep on popping round morning and evening as well.
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dinosaw
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Re: Chuxaway automatic door

Post by dinosaw »

All they need is shelter from the wind Chickenfan, the feathers keep them plenty warm even in winter. All 4 Thuringians roost in the beams of their run and not always together in a group and I had a Welsummer who preferred to roost by herself in the beams of her run. The only time I would be worried enough to take them off and put them in the house would be if they were in an advanced state of moulting. If they have just started to roost outside it could be worth checking their coops for redmite though as this can be a reason for them not wanting to go in the house.
chickenfan
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Re: Chuxaway automatic door

Post by chickenfan »

Very interesting - thanks Marigold and Dinosaw.
ChickenJules
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automatic door

Post by ChickenJules »

I've been reading this with interest. Chickenfan, re security of the pop hole - it's possible to have your pop hole come to rest behind a small piece/bar of wood so that potential predators cannot get underneath to lift it (the chickens would have to step over it in the morning). Also the HenSafe has a "both" setting so that both timer and light levels have to be met before the door operates. This would work in a situation where lights come on at night - RedBarnHens.
Smallholder and Entrepreneur based in Wiltshire, UK. Love my animals and birds, often to be found in the polytunnel on a rainy evening with a book and a G&T :D
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RedBarnHens
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Re: Chuxaway automatic door

Post by RedBarnHens »

That's a very good idea ChickenJules. Strangely enough I was thinking just the same and will definitely try a piece of wood across the bottom of the pop hole door.

Thank you for the for the information re the HenSafe, I think I'll look into that one. I hope the set-up instructions are easy though.

I also like the idea of keeping the pop hole open, but feel I need to be really sure that my chicken run is as secure from predators as I can make it. I'm quite looking forward to getting home from holiday this weekend so that I can get cracking on all my ideas :) I hope to get my chickens the first week of June.
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