Friday, May 31, 2013

ADOR Automatic Coop Door for Peace of Mind ~ Product Review

*UPDATE:  I currently own two ADOR pop doors, one for my main coop and one for my small temp coop.  Right about 1 year after installing the first door it suddenly stopped working properly.  It wouldn't open more than 2-3" on several mornings in a row, but it would close at night.  I figured it was probably the battery so I replaced it with a new one.  It worked fine for the first night, then would not open the second day.  I replaced the battery again, just in case I got a bad battery.  The door still (two months later) does not open fully on most days, but will close at night.  I have to manually open the big coop door each morning.  Also, the button to manually open the door has broken.  I don't feel the bump under the cover and it will not open or close the door manually using the button.  Because of this malfunction I have removed it from my "Stuff My Chicks Love" page and all links to their website in this post have been disabled.  I never support a product that does not perform well for me.

Note...The second door, that I purchased just a few months after the first one, is still functioning perfectly, and on the original battery.

*Original Post Below*

I previously shared about taking our chicks on a vacation with us.  But I don't think we will be doing that again.  At that time the babies had just learned to put themselves to bed at night but we still didn't have a way of closing them up securely each night and letting them out early each morning unless we are home to do it ourselves.  Having a friend check in on our chickens once a day is good, but asking them to devote early mornings AND just after dark visits to open and close the coop is just too much to ask of a friend.

That's the reason we wanted to invest in an automatic coop door.  I used the word 'invest' because they are not cheap!  I have friends who say that spending $179 for a chicken door is just too much money.  But when you factor in the value of never having to worry about your chickens safety after dark if you are not able to make it home on time, or the benefit of actually sleeping in on occasion, or the ability to go away a few days and not needing to have a chicken sitter, then I think it is worth every single penny!

I looked at what appeared to be the top rated brand of automatic coop doors, the 'Pullet-Shut', but I didn't like the way the door opened, leaving the actual door 'waving in the wind', quite literally here.  We have 5 seasons each year: winter, spring, Wind, summer, and fall.  I guarantee that door would have been ripped off before Independence Day!  Then I learned about the ADOR, an industrial grade Automatic Coop Door.  It doesn't require electricity in the coop or an expensive solar panel to operate.  It runs on a long-life 6V battery that has been shown to last way more than a year with normal use.  I can handle changing the battery every year when we change the smoke detector batteries, even though I wouldn't have to worry about doing it at that time because it has a low-battery warning to let you know long before the battery dies that it needs to be replaced soon. 

The ADOR is a rugged galvanized steel door  that goes up and down instead of out, and it has a daylight sensor on the front so it automatically detects daylight and opens in the early morning and closes itself just after dusk.  If you tend to have late stragglers you can also reprogram it to either delay closing, or do a 'Last Call' where it will reopen briefly, shortly after closing, to let in any slowpokes who were late to the coop.  With the direct sprocket drive you don't have to worry about strings or cables getting messed up either.  Since this door had all the features that I hoped for, and the price was comparable to other quality automatic coop doors, I chose this one.

The only drawback was that the company had only been making this door for a short time.  Long enough to work out the bugs, but not so long that they had hundreds of orders to ship each day.  Until spring of 2013 that is.  I placed my order on April 20th, right about the time many other chicken keepers were also discovering them.  The large influx of orders was a bit of a surprise for Rod, the owner of the company, so they actually ran out of motors about the time I placed my order.  Rod immediately ordered more motors but they had to wait for them to be delivered, then install them in the units.  By that time they had so many more orders backed up that they used up all the new motors quickly and had to place two more orders for more motors right away so they could fill the new orders coming in.

As it turned out, my ADOR was shipped the day we left on vacation with our chicks and arrived about May 23rd.  I picked it up at the FedEx Kinko's on my way home with the chicks, with hopes of installing it the next day.  The night we got home I opened the box and read through the installation instructions.  It was almost bedtime for me so I couldn't do anything until the following morning, but I was anxious to give this thing a try.  I installed the battery and pushed the manual open/close button.  The door churned open.

I then reset it to automatic mode and took it to my bedroom.  I laid it on a shelf near my bedroom window, then turned off the lights and went to bed.  Within about 8 minutes the door closed because it sensed the room was suddenly dark.  At 5:34 am there was just enough light coming through my window that the sensor picked it up and the door opened. The excitement of this new chicken accessory motivated me to get out of bed and go install it on the coop right then.

First I had to remove the current pop door.  My opening was about 1/2" narrower and 2" taller than the suggested opening size for the ADOR but the door frame would cover any opening so I didn't bother cutting a new opening.  I just mounted it right over the existing hole.  Installation was Easy-Peasy too!  I used the manual override button to close the door so I had access to the three mounting holes just above the door.  I held the door roughly where I wanted it to be and screwed in the center screw.  This held the ADOR in place while I placed a level on the top of the frame.  My 6 year old granddaughter held the level up for me while I screwed in the other top screws to attach the door.  Then I pushed the button to set the door back in automatic mode and within seconds the door opened (because it was daylight).  This exposed the screw holes at the bottom of the frame.  I had to remove the little bar covering the holes, then screwed in the last three mounting screws and put the little bar back in place and I was done.  It doesn't get any easier than this!

ADOR Installed on the Coop over existing pop door hole.

My little Barred Rock (who we think is a Roo) was of course the first to come and inspect the new door.  After getting his blessings I gave the door a test. See the video of it in action.

Later that night I sat in the coop until the sun had completely gone down, waiting for the door to close.  The chicks had put themselves to bed at 7:42pm, while the moon was just beginning to rise in the sky. (the picture below looks lighter than it was outside, my camera adjusted the light automatically).  At 8:11pm the door was still open.  I was glad it did not close too early and lock a chick or two outside but I was a little concerned that it was still open when it was now dark.  I went inside for 2 minutes, returning outside at 8:13pm to find the door had closed while I was inside...darn, I wanted to watch it close!

Chicks heading to bed through the new ADOR Automatic Coop Door

 The next morning I was still asleep when I heard the chicks drinking out of the Chicken Fountain just outside my was 6:05 am and they were already out and about in the run.  I went back to bed until 7:00am :-)  That night the chicks had put themselves to bed again some time before 8:00pm (when I checked on them), then at approximately 8:10pm the door closed.  

Disclaimer: I was not compensated in any way for this review.  I did not receive a free product for reviewing purposes.  I simply bought a fantastic product that will make my life much easier, and my chickens lives much safer, and I wanted to share it with you!  

Keeper of 1 husband, 2 grandkids, 3 dogs,
3 cats, and 17 Chickens!
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Did this post stir something inside of you? If so, Please leave me a comment, I would love to know what you're thinking!!!