Five years ago my son and I bought two Dominique chicks. Opening and closing the chickens' coop door soon became a hassle. One night I had gotten home late and it was raining. I thought about closing the coop door, but it had been left open for the past few days and everything seemed okay.
Later that night I heard something outside and saw a raccoon running from the coop. It had already killed one chicken and was going back for the other one. As I was burying our chicken in the middle of the night, I was mad at myself for not being more diligent and careful about closing the door.
Afterwards, I searched for automatic chicken doors, but didn't find any I liked. Most were too big and were placed on the outside of the coop. I didn't think that would look good and since my coop was small it wouldn't fit anyway. I also didn't want an opener with a string because we had just lost a chicken to a predator so it needed to be as secure as possible.
It had to be something that would fit existing coop doors and be predator proof without sacrificing the integrity of the coop. Since I have a CNC machine, I know they use lead screws to move the table and nothing will move unless the motor is turning. So I decided to incorporate this principle into the opener. It also needed to be solar powered because running electricity to the coop would be expensive so why not eliminate the need for it? Finally, I added a switch so the door could be manually opened or closed. After many revisions and experimentations, The Ladies First Chicken Door opener was created.