If you keep chickens, you’re likely accustomed to rising early in the morning to let them out of their coop, as well as making sure you’re home to get them safely back inside in the evening.

An automatic chicken coop door can simplify your schedule by assuming the responsibility of opening and closing the door each day, but would such a device work for you?

There are numerous automatic coop doors on the market, and each has a variety of features.

The Poultry Butler, for example, comes preassembled in three different sizes, and the device’s controller allows users to choose between preset open-and-close times or to let the light sensor trigger the door to open at sunrise and close at sunset.

Although automatic coop doors typically run on power supplies, these can often be replaced with batteries or a solar panel.

Automatic coop doors not only allow chicken keepers more freedom with their schedules, but they also provide peace of mind by protecting flocks from predators.

“With the number of chickens we’ve lost over the years, especially when we were new to keeping chickens, I’d go so far as to say an automatic chicken coop door would be essential for any flock owner who likes to travel, works long hours away from home, or who doesn’t have a trusty neighbor or friend to look after the birds during an absence,” writes one blogger.

However, an automatic coop door will keep chickens safe only if its power source is functional, if the door isn’t prevented from closing by bedding or debris, and if all the birds are safely inside prior to the door shutting.

To ensure your chickens are safe, purchase an automatic door that has both a primary power source and a backup battery. Also, keep the area around the door free of debris, and be sure to check periodically that your timer is operating correctly, especially when daylight hours change in spring and fall.

Watch an automatic coop door at work in the video below.

Related on MNN: