Brinsea ChickSafe Advance automatic coop door opener with optional door
With apologies to P.T. Barnum, when I found out that I was going to be reviewing an updated version of the Brinsea ChickSafe coop door opener, I decided to try something different. Instead of waiting for it to arrive in the mail, I wanted to actually go to the Brinsea warehouse and pick it up.
Since Titusville is only about a half hour drive from us on the east coast of Central Florida, I thought it would be a nice drive and would also give my husband George a chance to go fishing. So I messaged ahead to make sure that it was okay that I picked it up in person and I was told that it would be fine.
All of the Brinsea people are always very friendly and helpful. It has been a year or two since I've been over there. It ended up being a good trip and yes, my husband did catch some fish!
So, what’s new?
The first thing I can tell you is that this new Coop Door Opener is different looking than the older version that I reviewed years ago. It's a little bit larger and in black. And, I was also able to get the optional 2-piece aluminum door. It is 11 inches wide x 13 inches high.
I am glad that the door opener is still powered by batteries. Running electric out to the coops is not something I wanted to do.
I was a little bit concerned about the amount of vertical space this opener would need. The older one needed a fair amount of room to get my door all the way open.
Preparing for the installation
I had decided to put this new Brinsea ChickSafe opener on a barn-shaped shed that had been turned into our newest chicken coop. We call it the “barn coop.” I wanted to put the opener on the shorter side wall with the lower roof line so that the eve of the roof would give it a little bit of protection from the elements to the door opener. Once we made a plan for where it was going to be installed, we took measurements.
I would advise that you read over the directions for the door and the opener thoroughly before you start.
My husband started marking off the area to be cut. He used a reciprocating saw to cut the opening into the barn coop wall. And from there he started installing the door. Once he had the side rails and the two-piece aluminum door installed, then came placement of the opener. The instructions give you the measurements for the placement.
Once the opener was installed and the string tied to the new door, it was time to put the batteries in and test it out. The directions will walk you through the way to set up the information on the opener that is necessary such as current time, the time you want the door to open, and the time you want it to close.
It can also work by sensing light and dark. And it can also do a combination of the two, which I think is very interesting.
Adapting our installation
Once the door was installed and programmed. My husband took some measurements and built a nice little ramp for the chickens to walk up and down. The door opening was about 18 inches above the ground so it did not have to be a very big ramp. We put the door in the open position but still left the two big barn coop doors open for the chickens to go in and out until they get used to it.
I have been concerned about leaving those big doors open due to it getting wet in there when it rains.
So if the Brinsea ChickSafe coop door opener works out the way I hoped it would, I can start to leave those big doors shut more. There are 2 windows that we installed on the barn coop that I covered with hardware cloth so that I can leave them open for ventilation but not have to worry about predators.
The opener in operation
The first night was not a true first test of the coop door since I had the big doors open because I wanted the chickens to go in and roost that evening and get comfortable with the smaller opening of the new coop door. So they all went to roost in the barn coop.
I went over to shut the big doors and stood there and watched the new Brinsea ChickSafe door close by itself using the programmed time.
The next morning I was taking care of chicks in the hatchery and had a chicken walk up to me early in the morning. I actually thought that she must have stayed outside somewhere during the night since she came over before I was done feeding all the chicks.
It took me a minute to figure out that the door had actually opened on its own—I started to see other chickens and roosters from the barn coop coming over to greet me in the morning!
I decided to walk over and look and the chickens were very happy going up and down the ramp and coming in and out of the new door. And I think they were enjoying the fact that they did not have to wait for me to come over and open the big doors for them.
A money-saving installation
There are about 40 chickens and roosters living in the barn coop and they have no issues using the ramp and the new door. It seems to be working out very well for them and me.
I can now keep the floor in the coop dry by keeping the big doors closed when it rains and this way I do not have to keep replacing all the wet shavings. So it is saving me money also. I think that this Brinsea ChickSafe coop door opener would work well on a smaller coop also. Or even a larger coop for that matter.
I like it and my chickens and roosters like it!
- Easy to fit—self calibrating
- Fully digital menu driven controls and display
- Adjustable light sensor and programmable timer
- Manual opening/closing feature
- Suitable for -20 to 120°F
- Weatherproof, UV-resistant, designed to work in extreme conditions
- 8 lbs door lifting capacity
- Auto-stop feature if a chicken is obstructing the door
- Powered by 4 AA batteries, supplied
- Long battery life—typically 1 year
- Retains settings when you need to change the batteries
- Battery level shown on the digital display
- Easily adjustable light sensitivity for closing
- Not affected by lightning or car headlights
- No minimum or maximum door heights
- Suitable for both external and internally-mounted doors
- Full 3-year warranty
ChickSafe Advanced Automatic Chicken Coop Door Opener
Regular Price: $179.99
On Sale For: $169.99
ChickSafe Space Saving Chicken Coop Door
Regular Price: $49.99
On Sale For: $39.99
Brinsea Products Inc.
704 N. Dixie Ave.
Titusville, FL 32796
About the author
Lisa Pedro, aka Christmas Chick, hails from Christmas, Fla. Lisa and her husband of more than 33 years own Fort Christmas Farm, where they raise a variety of poultry including chickens, guineas, quail, and ducks.