DIY automatic chicken coop door

An automatic chicken coop door is a game-changer in poultry care, offering both security against predators and convenience for the owners. While there are ready-made options available, building a DIY automatic chicken coop door can be a rewarding project, allowing customization to fit your specific needs and coop design.

For backyard chicken enthusiasts, an automatic chicken coop door can be a significant upgrade to their setup. This blog will guide you through creating a DIY automatic coop door, blending convenience, security, and the joy of crafting something for your feathered friends.

Understanding the Basics

The fundamental idea behind an automatic chicken coop door is relatively straightforward. It involves setting up a door that opens and closes either on a timer or in response to light changes. This automation ensures that your chickens are safely tucked in at night and can roam freely during the day without manual intervention.

Materials and Tools Needed

To start your DIY project, you’ll need

A sturdy door: This can be made from wood or any lightweight, durable material.

A door frame: To support and guide the door.

A motor: A simple DC motor or a linear actuator will do.

A timer or light sensor: To automate the opening and closing of the door.

Pulleys and cables (if applicable): Depending on your design.

Power source: Such as a battery or solar panel.

Basic tools: Including screws, hinges, a drill, saw, and measuring tape.

Designing Your Automatic Door

Choose the Opening Mechanism: Decide whether you want a sliding door, a guillotine-style door, or a swinging door. Each has its pros and cons regarding space and complexity.

Select the Activation Method: A timer is predictable but doesn’t adjust to changing daylight hours, while a light sensor adapts to the natural light but can be triggered by temporary light changes.

Plan the Installation: Ensure the door fits well within the coop, provides enough space for chickens, and is protected from elements.

Building the Door

Construct the Door and Frame: Measure and cut the materials according to your coop’s dimensions. Ensure the door slides smoothly in the frame.

Install the Motor or Actuator: Attach the motor to the door in a way that it can effectively open and close the door.

Set Up the Control System: Connect the motor to the timer or light sensor. Carefully follow any electrical safety guidelines.

Test the Mechanism: Before introducing it to your chickens, test the door multiple times to ensure reliable operation.

Safety and Convenience Features

Manual Override: Implement a manual override system for emergencies.

Battery Backup: In case of power failure, a battery backup can be a lifesaver.

Safety Sensors: To prevent the door from closing on a chicken.

Customization and Aesthetics

Personalize your automatic door with paint or decorations that complement your coop’s design. This not only enhances the coop’s appearance but also makes the project more fulfilling.

Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance ensures the longevity and reliability of your DIY door. This includes checking the batteries, cleaning the tracks, and inspecting for wear and tear.

Advantages of a DIY Approach

Cost-Effective: Building your door can be more affordable than buying a pre-made one.

Customization: Tailor the door to the specific needs and size of your coop.

Satisfaction: There’s a unique satisfaction in building something functional and valuable for your chickens.


Constructing a DIY automatic chicken coop door is a practical and enjoyable project that adds a layer of security and convenience to your chicken-keeping experience. With the right materials, a bit of creativity, and some basic technical know-how, you can build a custom solution that keeps your chickens safe and makes your daily routine easier. The effort put into this project pays off in the peace of mind and the extra time you get to spend enjoying your backyard flock, rather than worrying about their safety.