DIY Automatic Chicken Coop Door by April Wilkerson

DIY Automatic Chicken Coop Door by April Wilkerson

Nathan Bong
Nathan Bong
PA Engineer

Raising chickens and having access to fresh eggs everyday is truly rewarding, however, there are a few challenges that come with having to keep an eye on the chickens and the coop every day. Although the chickens will go inside their chicken coop every evening on their own, manual coop doors will require users to remember every morning and every evening to coop and uncoop them. Proudly sponsored by Progressive Automations, we will cover how April Wilkerson was able to make her very own DIY automatic chicken coop door!

Step 1: Making the Door Pieces

DIY automatic chicken coop door


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The build starts by making the door and frame pieces out of wood and cutting them into shape. Depending on the size of your chicken coop, the cuts will have to be adjusted to scale according to the chicken door size you need. For this project, April uses some scrap wood from her shop and cuts them to size.


Step 2: Painting the Wooden Pieces



After getting the pieces ready, the next step is to give them a few good coats of paint. Since all the components for this DIY automatic chicken coop door will be hidden under the coop itself and then also under the nesting box, April will not be too worried about using untreated wood for this project. These wooden pieces will then be left until the paint is dry for the next step.


Step 3: Attaching the Door and Hinges

DIY chicken coop door


When attaching the DIY chicken coop door, April uses a drill to assist in securing the wooden pieces together with screws. Once the pieces form the shape of a box, April attaches two hinges to the door itself can pivot open and close.


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Step 4: Choosing an Actuator

The PA-07 Micro Linear Actuator


An electric linear actuator was required to drive this DIY automatic chicken coop door; however, the preferred model will need to be compact in size to fit with the smaller size planned for the electric door. April selected our PA-07-4-5 micro linear actuator as it had the perfect size for the given space restrictions while still having sufficient force and speed for operating the electric door. These are also some of the major reasons the PA-07 Micro Linear Actuator is popular in other customer projects. With a huge variety of electric linear actuators and accessories to choose from, April highly recommends Progressive Automations to anyone in need of great customer service and quality products.


Step 5: Installing the Actuator and L Bracket

Installing the actuator


For the installation of the electric linear actuator, April added more painted wood scraps at the top to create a cubby for the actuator to go in. An L bracket gets attached to the top of the DIY chicken coop door before securing the front mounting hole of the actuator with the other end of the L bracket. During this installation, the actuator needs to be fully extended to keep the electric door in the closed position.


Step 6: Testing Out the System

April uses a transformer


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When testing out the system, April uses a transformer to temporarily give it electrical power. If you hear clicking but don't see any action, just reverse the connections across the two wire leads of the actuator and you should see it work perfect. April then clamps the door firmly shut as that's the position that needs to be established when the actuator is fully extended. It's crucial to move the actuator all the way forward and apply pressure on the bracket assembly so that this door is held shut completely before drilling down a screw to secure the actuator’s rear mounting hole.


Step 7: Wiring the Electronic Components

April Wilkerson


Once all the tests are successful, the electronic components will then need to be wired together to enable the automatic operation of the electric door throughout the day. For the wiring diagram, check out the full project plan by April. Our AC-27-10-12 relay is used to enable the reversing polarity for extending and retracting the linear actuator. The signal that energizes the coils of the relay comes from a photocell so that the door will open whenever the sun comes out and then close whenever the sun goes away.


Step 8: Integrating the Final Setup

The final step is to install the automatic door


The final step is to install the automatic door on the chicken coop. April places all her important electronic components under the chicken coop to keep them out of the rain. In this final setup, a solar panel is used to keep a battery charged which then powers the rest of the DIY automatic chicken coop door. A fuse is also added between the battery and the actuator for extra electrical safety. To make room for the automatic door, April cuts into her chicken coop wire and added in two studs. She then slips the door into place and secures it with a few screws. For the photocell to work, April places it higher up on the coop and facing West to catch the evening light. The chickens start going home around nightfall and the door stays open until a little bit past that.

Now that the DIY automatic chicken coop door has been completed, we can watch the full video of it in action along with its build process!


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By following the build process and using the right supplies, April now has her very own chicken coop door. We hope you found this as interesting as we did, especially if you were thinking about making your own DIY automatic chicken coop door!

To see more projects by April Wilkerson, feel free to visit her Youtube channel!

Thank you, April, for sharing your project! We hope your DIY automatic chicken coop door continues to serve you well!

If you have any queries about our electric linear actuators or wish to discuss our other products further, please do not hesitate to reach out to us! We are experts in what we do and will be happy to assist in any way we can. | 1-800-676-6123

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