Last week I designed, constructed and installed my first coop door opener – it has operated flawlessly the past week automatically opening the door at about 8am and then late afternoon I reverse the current and close it when I feed the chickens and settle them for the night.
An ongoing issue has been the aggressiveness of the Buff Orpington rooster to his Buff Orpington sister. The coop has a partition door and, prior to the advent of the door opener, I would house Lady Macbeth (such a fierce sounding name yet such a timid bird) and the gentle New Jersey Giants and the two Golden Comets on the one side, and the rooster and the other birds on the other. But since I now arrive later and the door is opened by my new gadget they all have to have access to the exit door, which means no partition. So the drill the past few evenings was to enforce the partition while Lady Macbeth ate and then, when she had had her fill, I opened the partition door, the rooster charged in and she hopped onto the roost for the night where she was safe from him. I notice it takes her longer to fill her crop than the other birds and I surmise that, unlike her companions who snack the feed during the day, she probably doesn’t because she does not wish to be cornered by the rooster. So each evening I wait about 10 minutes while she eats. Time for a second door.
My second door follows the same design as the first with a few refinements. I acquired a sturdy double pole double throw automotive switch from Radio Shack, which is easier to use than the two separate switches I used on version 1. I ordered a transformer 10VDC with an advertised 1.5 amps on the internet but it was a puny affair and could not turn the motor and certainly did not deliver 1.5amps, even though the specs made this claim. It was cheap and the adage “cheap is costly” applied in this case. I rummaged and found a 10VDC transformer rated at 0.8amps and it works just fine. Again I used an inexpensive timer and a night light to remind me at the end of the day to switch the live circuit to timer circuit. So tonight Lady Macbeth can sup at her leisure with her 4 docile companions and the rooster can rant and rave to no avail.